This year’s Summer Academy to Inspire Learning (SAIL) Chemistry Camp was the fifth annual hands-on chemistry lab hosted by the UO Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. Organized and lead by grad students Lisa Eytel (Chemistry) and Dana Reuter (Geological Sciences), the camp offered hands-on chemistry lab experience for students from local high schools. Eytel and Reuter are outreach co-chairs for the UO chapter of Women in Graduate Sciences, which has provided leadership for the SAIL Chemistry camp since it got its start in 2014.
From July 23-27, student participants in this year’s forensics-themed camp got to use laboratory skills to tackle a “crime” and identify the culprit in a murder-mystery scenario.
A special appearance by UO President Michael Schill started the week off with a bang (literally!) and then SAIL campers got down to work. From Tuesday through Thursday they collected evidence from the crime scene and analyzed fingerprints, blood drops, fiber and an unidentified powder. On Friday, they presented their evidence and brought the culprits to justice. Check out the photos and videos on our SAIL Chemistry website!
Thank you! to all the additional volunteers who helped make 2018’s SAIL Chemistry Camp a huge success: Brylee Collins, Alicia DeLouize, Allison Dona, Tai Donor, Annie Gilbert, Shweta Gupta, Mason Leo, Checkers Marshall, John Morehouse, Holly Rittenberry, and Lucy Walsh – as well as SAIL staffers Katie Brooks and Robin Nagy, and faculty advisor Darren Johnson!
Four Chemistry and Biochemistry majors are among the 2018 recipients of the UO’s Vice President for Research and Innovation summer research fellowships. The awards are designed to support the university’s undergraduate scholars as they pursue their research interests during the summer. Read more in AroundtheO
Faculty Mentor: James Hutchison
Project Title: The Study of sub 10nm indium oxide nanocrystals as carbon dioxide reduction catalysts
Faculty Mentor: Andy Marcus
Project Title: Investigating the single-stranded (ss)DNA binding protein (gp32) dimer formation on a 15-nucleotide ssDNA lattice using microsecond resolution single-molecule florescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET)r
Faculty Mentor: Michael Harms
Project Title: Evolution in the Protein Calprotectin
Faculty Mentor: Diana Libuda
Project Title: Determining the Early DNA Break Repair Dynamics Specific to Crossovers
The UO’s eighth Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium is Thursday, May 17, 2018. The event will host 382 undergraduates engaged in original research, creative work, and community-based projects from over 71 majors, 13 minors, and eight colleges. The full schedule and research abstracts are available here
Eighteen undergraduates will be presenting their chemistry and biochemistry research at the following sessions:
Concurrent Oral Session 2 – 11:45-1:15 p.m.
SPRUCE ROOM – SESSION 2S: CHEMISTRY, MATH, AND COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCE
Makenna Pennel − CHEMISTRY
Faculty Mentor(s): Jim Hutchison, Kenyon Plummer
Concurrent Oral Session 3 – 1:30-3:00 p.m.
MAPLE ROOM – SESSION 3M: DNA & GENES
Rachel David − BIOCHEMISTRY
Investigating the Role of Genomic Positioning in Directing Meiotic Double-Strand DNA Break Repair
Faculty Mentor(s): Diana Libuda, Erik Toraason
Poster Session – 5:30-7:30 p.m.
EMU BALLROOM & GUMWOOD ROOM
HUSSEIN AL-ZUBIERI − BIOCHEMISTRY
Determining Scrib binding partners relevant to its spindle orienting function
Faculty Mentor(s): Ken Prehoda, Nicole Paterson
DYLAN BARDGETT − CHEMISTRY
Quantitative Analysis of Thin Films via X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy
Faculty Mentor(s): David Johnson
BRIAN CHASTAIN − GENERAL SCIENCE
The Effect of Different Substituents on the Optoelectronic Properties of Diindenoanthracene
Faculty Mentor(s): Michael Haley, Justin Dressler
ANSON DANG − BIOCHEMISTRY
Mapping Interactions Of Single-Stranded (Ss) DNA With the Ss-DNA Binding Protein (Gp32) of the T4 DNA Replication Complex at Specific Nucleotide Residue Positions
Faculty Mentor(s): Pete von Hippel
WILLIAM EDGELL − BIOCHEMISTRY
Synthesis of Alkyne Substituted Cycloparaphenylenes for Conjugated Polymers Research Area: Organic Synthetic Chemistry
Faculty Mentor(s): Ramesh Jasti
ADRIAN GORDON − CHEMISTRY
Title: Energetic Loss From the Use of Hole Scavengers to Measure Photoelectrochemical Cell Efficiency Limits
Faculty Mentor(s): Shannon Boettcher
SHAYAN LOUIE − BIOCHEMISTRY
Synthesis and Characterization of Ru(II) Cycloparaphenylene Complexes
Faculty Mentor(s): Ramesh Jasti, Jeff Van Raden
ALEXANDER LYGO − PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY
Properties and Synthesis of Three Component Heterostructure: (BiSe)1+δ(Bi2Se3)1+ δ (BiSe)1+ δ (TiSe2)
Faculty Mentor(s): David Johnson
SHAWN MELENDY − BIOCHEMISTRY
Assay of Insulin-Stimulated Signaling by Flow Cytometry: Key Points of Regulation Research Area: Natural/Physical Science
Faculty Mentor(s): Carrie McCurdy, Byron Hetrick
TRISTAN MISTKAWI − BIOCHEMISTRY
Synthesis of 7,14-Diarylfluoreno[3,2-b]fluorenes
Faculty Mentor(s): Josh Barker, Michael Haley
BENJAMIN MULLER − CHEMISTRY
Modeling the Behavior of Pyruvic Acid at the Air-Water Interface Research
Faculty Mentor(s): Brittany Gordon, Dr. Geraldine Richmond
MADELYN SCOTT − CHEMISTRY
Optimization of Deposition Techniques for Thin Film Production and Analysis
Faculty Mentor(s): Cathy Wong, Kelly Wilson
KEVIN SPIES − BIOCHEMISTRY
Developmental Synchronization Of The Purple Pitcher Plant Mosquito, Wyeomyia Smithii, as a Result Of Increasing Temperatures
Faculty Mentor(s): William Bradshaw, Christina Holzapfel
MARIBELLE STANLEY − PRE-CHEMICAL ENGINEERING
Drug Development with New Catalytic Molecules
Faculty Mentor(s): David Tyler
ASHLEE VISE − CHEMISTRY
Characterization of GaSbP as a photocathode For Water-Splitting
Faculty Mentor(s): James Young
CYRUS WATERS − BIOCHEMISTRY
Synthesis of 6,13-pentacene-incorporated cycloparaphenylene
Faculty Mentor(s): Ramesh Jasti, Brittany White
Chemistry graduate students Samantha Young and Nicole Paterson will be participating in the 2018 Graduate Student Research Forum on Friday, May 11th.
Samantha, a member of the Hutchison lab, will present on the Dixon Scholars Panel from 10:00- 11:00am in the EMU Swindells Room.
The Dixon Fellows are recipients of the Julie and Rocky Dixon Graduate Student Innovation Award, which supports doctoral students interested in developing their skills and experiencein innovation and/or entrepreneurship in preparation for careers outside of academia. Each year, the Dixon Fellows present at the Grad Forum to showcase their experiences and findings.
Nicole, a member of the Prehoda lab, will present her research at the Poster Session from 12:00 – 2:00pm EMU Ballroom. Her presentation is titled “Role of Gukholder and Scribble in Spindle Orientation.”
The full schedule of events for the 2018 Grad Forum is available at bit.ly/2KL6dfI
UO Dissertation Research Fellowship:
Forrest Laskowski, Boettcher Lab
2018 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships:
Ruth Maust, Jasti Lab
Trevor Shear, Darren Johnson Lab (more…)
UO Women in Graduate Sciences (WGS) was established in 2005 by Chemistry graduate student Sarah Staggs Wisser, who worked in the Darren Johnson lab. With a current membership of 150, WGS at Oregon is one of the largest graduate student women’s groups in the country. The success of WGS is so uncommon, other university student groups nationwide are seeking directions about how to start and maintain a student women’s science organization of their own.
Read more in the Oregon Quarterly article.
Biochemistry majors Tristan Mistkawi and Alex Egdell are among nine UO undergraduate researchers awarded minigrants through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), a unit within the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation. The $1000 awards are given to students to assist with research expenses including purchasing supplies and materials and paying for travel that is necessary to conduct research.
Tristan is conducting research in the Haley lab on electronic properties of indenofluorenes and their derivatives, and Alex is in the Jasti lab doing reasearch focused on the synthesis of alkyne substituted cycloparaphenylenes for conjugated polymers. Both scholars will present their research at the UO Undergraduate Research Symposium on May 17, 2018.
Kira Egelhofer has been selected as the next recipient of the Rosaria Haugland Graduate Research Fellowship. The Fellowship, established by Dr. Rosaria Haugland in 2004, is awarded every three years by the UO Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry to an outstanding graduate student in Chemistry. It covers the recipient’s stipend, tuition, and miscellaneous fees for a three-year period. Kira was selected from a pool of applicants by a faculty committee who were impressed by Kira’s science and her work to engage women and minorities in STEM.
Kira grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, with a passion for nature and outdoor learning. In high school, a tough-but-inspiring female science teacher sparked Kira’s interest in chemistry, and led her to pursue an undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, with a thesis project in Environmental Chemistry.
Kira entered the UO chemistry PhD program in 2015, and jump-started her studies in solar energy by taking masters courses the preceding summer that were offered by the UO masters internship program, and taught by Fuding Lin, Benjamin Alemán, Jim Hutchison, and Mark Lonergan.
Now in her third year, Kira is a member of the Lonergan lab. Her research involves measuring the selectivity and recombination of contacts to solar cells. “We are interested in these parameters because they impact solar cell efficiency,” Kira explains. “More specifically, I seek to understand how and why very thin layers of semiconducting or insulating materials inserted between the bulk material and contact of the solar cell impact selectivity and recombination. This information helps us rationally design solar cells with improved characteristics, such as efficiency.”
In addition to her research, Kira has been a member of the UO Women in Graduate Sciences since her first term at the UO. The goal of WGS is to involve and retain more women in the sciences. Kira enjoys the opportunity to promote science with K-12 students, young adults, and the wider community through a variety of WGS outreach activities. She currently serves as the organization’s Fundraising Chair, and is looking forward to their hosting a visit from Astronaut Wendy Lawrence for WGS’s annual fundraiser in March.
As for what the future might hold after completing her doctoral degree, Kira has no firm plans, but a few possibilities appeal to her – such as writing for scientific journals with a focus on communicating science to the general public, or working in solar energy research and development, perhaps even for NASA or SpaceX.
– By Leah O’Brien
The Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact may not have broken ground yet, but its impact got a jump start by sponsoring five, $500 Knight Campus Student Innovation Fellowships for underrepresented students in STEM disciplines who participated in the Sustainable Invention workshop that kicked off the 2017-18 academic year.
One chemistry graduate student and two undergrads were among the five fellowship recipients: Genevieve Dorrell (undergrad, biochemistry), Carl Hartzell (post bac, physics), Ruth Maust (graduate student, chemistry), Makenna Pennel (undergrad, chemistry, honors college) and Pallavi Webb (undergrad, CIS). The fellowship funds could be used to offset academic expenses such as tuition, books, school supplies and travel to scientific meetings.
The week-long workshop, titled Sustainable Invention Immersion Week, took place September 10-15th at 942 Olive Street, the UO’s innovation hub in downtown Eugene. Participating students had the opportunity to learn from experts in design, business, chemistry and communication as they worked in interdisciplinary teams to create their own green product over the course of the event. The teams then pitched their product ideas to win funding to move their idea forward. Awards were given for the top four product ideas.
The workshop was organized by professor Julie Haack, the assistant department head of the UO’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Kate Harmon, the undergraduate program manager and management instructor at the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship. Their goal is for Sustainable Invention Immersion Week to become an annual event, with a changing theme that will be tied to what’s happening at the Knight Campus.