2016 School News

Kenneth Suslick has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) for demonstrating a "prolific spirit of innovation." LAS News article.

An international research collaboration may have devised a simple way to recycle waste carbon dioxide into valuable fuel via graphene quantum dots acting as electrocatalysts. The findings by Paul Kenis and colleagues can be found in Nature Communications. ChBE News article.

Wilfred van der Donk is the recipient of the 2017 Repligen Award in the Chemistry of Biological Processes in recognition of his contributions to the understanding of natural product biosynthesis. ACS Biological Chemistry Division Newsletter.

Wilfred van der Donk is the recipient of the 2017 Repligen Award in the Chemistry of Biological Processes in recognition of his contributions to the understanding of natural product biosynthesis. ACS Biological Chemistry Division Newsletter.

Chad Rienstra is among six Illinois faculty members elected as 2016 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was selected for "distinguished contributions to the development of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance for structural determination of large biomolecular assemblies relevant to human disease". UIUC News Bureau article.

Kai-Chieh Tsao and Hong Yang have invented a highly-efficient method for producing precision catalysts that can be used for cathode reaction in hydrogen fuel cells for automobiles. ChBE News article.

Alison Fout was named one of six Lincoln Excellence for Assistant Professors Scholars. She was chosen for her development of sustainable catalysts for use in industry and her exemplary and innovative teaching abilities. LAS News article.

Chad Rienstra, Emad Tajkhorshid, and James Morrissey have been awarded a Director's Transformative Research Award from the NIH for their highly creative approach to the study of cell membrane lipids. MCB News article.

Chad Rienstra has been named a University Scholar for his breakthrough SSNMR spectroscopy research, his innovative teaching and his leadership roles on campus. UIUC News Bureau article.

Andrew Gewirth and Jason Varnell devised a method to isolate active, stable nanoparticle catalysts containing iron that may be useful in perfecting fuel cells. UIUC News Bureau article.

Will Bassett and Dana Dlott have changed the study of explosive charges by recreating the conditions in miniature, subsequently measuring what occurs with great accuracy and providing new insights in the field of energetic materials. AIP Publishing article.

Ying Diao was named one of the 2016 MIT Technology Review's Innovators Under 35 for her innovative printing of plastic solar cells that have double the efficiency of previous ones. ChBE News article.

Using advanced imaging techniques, Huimin Zhao, Charles Schroeder and colleagues have discovered the TALE genome-editing proteins that have a different DNA-binding search procedure than other proteins in this class. The novel mechanism has potential for use in biomedical applications. UIUC News Bureau article.

Prashant K. Jain, Jeffrey S. Moore, Catherine Jones Murphy and Ralph G. Nuzzo are among the most highly cited researchers worldwide. Chemistry News article.

Andrew Gewirth, Nancy Sottos and students have perfected a test providing knowledge of the mechanical, electrical and chemical forces within lithium-ion batteries. UIUC News Bureau article.

M. Christina White and graduate student Thomas Osberger led research finding that two small-molecule iron catalysts can oxidize chiral amino acids and peptides to an array of unnatural forms, giving researchers more options for developing drug candidates. UIUC News Bureau article.

Joaquín Rodríguez-López was awarded a 2016-17 ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship to pursue his research in green technology. His grant title was "Achieving the Ultimate Performance of Fuel Cell Electrocatalysts via Programmable Electronic Control of Surface Reactivity". Toyota announcement.

He is also the recipient of the 2017 Royce W. Murray Young Investigator Award from the Society of Electroanalytical Chemistry (SEAC).

William Hammack and Don DeCoste have re-introduced the Michael Faraday Christmas lectures on the physical phenomena of the candle by producing a YouTube series and a companion book that further elucidate the original lectures. ChBE News article.

Alumna, Mary-Dell Chilton (Hager, PhD '67), is a 2016 University of Illinois Alumni Achievement Awardee. She is being honored for being a pioneer in genetically modifying plants. U of I Alumni article.

Anish Shenoy, a graduate student in the Schroeder research group, won third place in the Langmuir Graduate Student Oral Presentation Awards Session at the 90th American Chemical Society’s Colloids and Surface Science Meeting. ChBE News article.

Yang graduate student and Dow Chemical Company Fellow, Yung-Tin Pan, was awarded a Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the U of I Graduate College. ChBE News article.

Hyunjoon Kong is the recipient of a 2016 Campus Distinguished Promotion Award. The award identifies scholars whose contributions and achievements within their respective fields are particularly excellent. ChBE News article.

Clinical trials of an anti-cancer drug developed by Paul Hergenrother to potentially aid in the treatment of glioblastoma are expanding with the help of an anonymous investor. UIUC News Bureau article.

Huimin Zhao is the recipient of the 2016 Charles Thom Award from the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB). The award is given for "outstanding contributions of exceptional merit, reflecting an independence of thought and originality that adds appreciably to scientific knowledge". ChBE News article.

The RSC Journal of Materials Chemistry has named Ying Diao an Emerging Investigator and as such she contributed to the themed issue, "Novel design strategies for new functional materials". ChBE News article.

The 2016 UCB-Ehrlich Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry was given to Paul Hergenrother for his outstanding contributions to chemical biology and anticancer drug discovery.

ChBE sophomore Reahman Afshar was awarded a Chancellor’s Public Engagement Student Fellowship to travel to Ghana with a team to empower village women to set up a solar energy business. ChBE News article.

Ambika Bhagi, a graduate student in the Lu group, has received a Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future Award for postdoctoral studies at UCSF. The award supports women from developing countries in their pursuit of advanced STEM graduate studies.

Andy Thomas and Scott Denmark have observed and characterized the elusive intermediates in Suzuki-Miyauri cross-coupling. The new mechanistic insights have the potential to lead to improved ways to execute the Suzuki–Miyaura reaction. RSC Chemistry World article.

Kenneth Suslick's optoelectronic "nose" may become an important tool for detecting the explosive compounds that terrorists wield. The detectors can be handheld devices or ones built in and connected to a wireless network. The Economist's article, C&EN article.

Ten chemistry graduate students (Chelsea Anorma (Chan), Cecilia Gentle (van der Veen), Summer Laffoon (Hull), Carolyn Levinn (Sarlah), Kimberly Lundberg (Gewirth), Kali Miller (Braun), Tabitha Miller (Fout), Elizabeth Neumann (Sweedler), Sarah Perlmutter (Hergenrother), Aaron Roth (Denmark)) and two chemistry undergraduates (Yujeong Lee (Silverman), Shannon Miller (White)) were awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. Twelve chemistry students earned honorable mentions. Chemistry News article.

Chuck Wallbaum, Director of the SCS Computer and Electronic Services is one of six 2015-16 Chancellor's Academic Professional Excellence Awardees. SCS article.

Daniel Bregante, a graduate student in the Flaherty research group, was awarded a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. ChBE News article.

Mai Ngo (Harley Group) is the recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Other ChBE students received NSF honorable mentions. ChBE News article.

ChBE sophmore Elijah Karvelis has been awarded the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for demonstrating leadership and academic promise. ChBE news article.

The Sweedler group is developing analytical chemistry tools to uncover novel neurochemical pathways. They use sea slugs as a model to gain insights into how animal and human brains function. NSF Science Nation article.

Jeffrey Moore has been named interim director of the Beckman Institute, effective April 16. The Institute pursues interdisciplinary research in the physical sciences, computation, engineering, biology, behavior, cognition, and neuroscience. Beckman Institute Article.

Charles Schroeder, Christopher Rao and Anish Shenoy have developed a method relying on fluid flow to manipulate and assemble multiple particles that uses an automated control algorithm. UIUC News Bureau article.

Chad Rienstra and collaborators have identified the full chemical structure of the protein that form fibrils in the brains of patients with Parkinson's disease. UIUC News Bureau article.

Kenneth Suslick's 'artificial nose' technology is being used to protect Walt Disney Studio's archival artwork that is on an international tour. The sensors detect pollutants, alerting conservators that measures need to be taken to protect the art. ACS press release, Smithsonian SmartNews.

Hyunjoon Kong is the recipient of this year's College of Engineering Dean's Award for Excellence in Research. He creates innovative advanced biomaterial systems. ChBE News article.

Patricia Simpson, Director of the School of Chemical Sciences Academic Advising and Career Services office was honored by the College of Engineering with a Golden Shamrock award. ChBE News article.

Klaus Schulten, Juan Perilla and colleagues used experimental data and computer simulations to determine how a human protein that aids HIV infection binds to the HIV capsid. UIUC News Bureau article.

Joaquín Rodríguez-López and Kami Hull have been named 2016 Sloan Research Fellows. This prestigious award is given to researchers at an early stage of their careers, who exhibit independent research accomplishments. Chemistry News.

Kami Hull and Josh Vura-Weis have both been selected to receive Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards from the National Science Foundation to support their research programs. Chemistry News article.

Dean Olson, director of the SCS NMR Lab was featured in a C&EN article discussing the impact of helium shortages on the continued use of NMR instruments. He recently installed a helium capture system linked to the physics department liquefaction facility.

David Flaherty received a 2016 National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his research proposal, "Molecular Understanding and Catalyst Design for the Direct Synthesis of H2O2". ChBE News article.

The Silverman research group has identified synthetic DNA enzymes that cleave amide bonds, which are fundamental components of proteins. Chemistry News article, C&EN article.

Douglas Mitchell received the 2016 National Fresenius Award. He was cited for his contributions toward the mechanistic understanding and reengineering of natural product biosynthesis. Chemistry News article.

Paul Hergenrother is the recipient of the 2016 Innovation Transfer Award/University of Illinois. The award honors someone whose research has resulted in either a discovery or a work with the potential for significant societal impact. Chemistry News article

David Flaherty and Neil Wilson have uncovered the mechanism for direct synthesis of H2O2 on palladium cluster catalysts, potentially allowing its replacement for the more toxic chlorine. ChBE News article.

John Rogers and collaborators have developed tiny implantable brain sensors that dissolve away when they are no longer needed. UIUC News Bureau article.