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Chemistry Event

Graduation Celebration

The Department of Chemistry hosts an annual Graduation Celebration and Awards Ceremony to recognize the outstanding achievements of our students on an annual basis.

More details coming soon.

Date:
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Location:
WT Young Library Auditorium
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Dawson Lecture: Molecular Oxygen as a Reagent in Late Transition Metal Organometallic Chemistry

 

Abstract: From environmental and economic standpoints, molecular oxygen represents the ideal oxidant for chemical transformations. It is readily available, inexpensive (particularly if used without separation from air) and environmentally benign. However, more expensive and/or hazardous oxidants are often employed in homogeneous metal-catalyzed oxidation reactions. An insufficient knowledge of how transition metal complexes react with molecular oxygen has inhibited catalyst design of effective aerobic systems. Kinetic and mechanistic studies of the reactions of oxygen with various late metal complexes, including metal alkyls and hydrides, will be presented along with our nascent mechanistic understanding of these reactions. The generality of these aerobic oxidation reactions and the potential for incorporation into hydrocarbon functionalization strategies will be discussed.

 


 

Dr. Karen Goldberg
Vagelos Professor of Energy Research
University of Pennsylvania

 

Dr. Goldberg earned her A.B. from Barnard College, her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and performed postdoctoral studies at The Ohio State University, she joined the faculty at Illinois State University, a primarily undergraduate institution in 1989. In 1995, she moved to the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle and in 2010, became the Nicole A. Boand Endowed Professor in Chemistry at UW. From 2007-2017, Professor Goldberg served as Director of the first NSF Phase II Center for Chemical Innovation, the Center for Enabling New Technologies through Catalysis (CENTC), a collaborative effort between 18 principal investigators and their students at 14 institutions across North America. In 2017, she moved to her current position at Penn.

Professor Goldberg is best known for her work developing mechanistic understanding of fundamental organometallic reactions and for application of that knowledge to the creation and optimization of new catalytic systems. Her lab has made significant contributions to our understanding of the mechanisms of C-H, C-C and C-X reductive elimination and oxidative addition reactions, b-hydride elimination reactions and the insertion of molecular oxygen into metal-hydride and metal-carbon bonds. Professor Goldberg has been an invited speaker at conferences and universities around the world and has published over 125 papers. More than 60 graduate students and postdoctoral research associates and over 70 undergraduate students have trained in her laboratories.

Professor Goldberg has served on the Advisory Boards of various American Chemical Society (ACS) and Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) journals. She co-Chaired the 2012 Gordon Research Conference on Green Chemistry and served as Chair for the Chemistry Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2017. She currently serves as a member of the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology (BCST) at the National Academy of Sciences, as a member of the International Advisory Committee of the International Solvay Institutes, on the Scientific Advisory Boards of several NSF Research Centers, as a Councilor for the Division of Inorganic Chemistry at the ACS and as a member of the Board of Trustees of Barnard College.  Professor Goldberg received the 2015 Carol Tyler Award from the International Precious Metal Institute and the 2016 ACS Award for Organometallic Chemistry. She is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

Group Website

 


Department Host: Dr. Aron Huckaba

For more information about Dr. Lyle Dawson and the Dawson Lecture series, please visit this page

Date:
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Location:
WT Young Library - UK Athletics Association Auditorium
Type of Event (for grouping events):

Regional Undergraduate Poster Competition

 

 

 

 

 

 

UK Department of Chemistry Regional Undergraduate Poster Compeition
Jacobs Science Building - Atrium (check-in located in JSB 261M)

To comply with University of Kentucky COVID-19 protocols, all presenters and attendees are required to wear masks during the competition.

The Department of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky will hold its annual Regional Poster Session for Undergraduates on Friday, April 15, 2022.  The 2022 competition format is scheduled to be in-person. Come participate in this opportunity to share your research and network with other undergraduate researchers in the region. There is no registration fee!

Abstracts are due by March 25, 2022 at 5pm. To submit an abstract and register, click here.

To view a copy of last year's abstract booklet, click here.

Note to UK students: Students in CHE 395 planning to graduate or otherwise conclude their research are required to participate in the Poster Session if they have not done so in the past.

Schedule of Events
11:30am-12:00pm
Check-in and set up posters
Jacobs Science Building (JSB), Room 261M
Posters should remain on display 12:00pm-3:00pm
12:00pm-1:30pm
Group A Presents
Posters located on the first and second floors of JSB
1:30pm-3:00pm
Group B Presents
Posters located on the first and second floors of JSB
3:00pm-3:30pm Networking Break
3:30pm
Awards Ceremony
Jacobs Science Building (JSB), Room 261M

The poster size should be limited to 4 feet wide and 5.5 feet tall. 

The 2022 Undergraduate Poster Competition will take place in the hallways of the Jacobs Science Building.  You will each have assigned areas on a wall-mounted rail system to hang posters.  Simply find your name and insert the poster nearby.  Please be aware, thumbtacks are prohibited.  Tape deemed appropriate for the walls will be available to secure the corners of the poster.

Awards
First Prize $300
Second Prize $200
Honorable Mention 3 @ $100 each

Recent winners include students from:

Asbury University
Belmont University
Berea College
Centre College
Indiana State University
Indiana University
Indiana University Kokomo
Marshall University
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Transylvania University
University of Kentucky
Western Kentucky University
 

We thank the Lexington Section of the American Chemical Society for graciously funding the awards for this poster session.

Please contact the department if you have questions.

 

Date:
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Location:
Jacobs Science Building
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Inaugural Susan A. Odom Lecture

This lecture series commemorates the life and legacy of Professor Susan Odom, an energetic, productive, and driven faculty member in the Department of Chemistry from 2011 to 2021. It features speakers noted for outstanding research in Professor Odom’s fields of synthetic and materials chemistry.

Visit this page for more information on the Susan A. Odom lecture series.


Jodie L. Lutkenhaus

Bio: Jodie L. Lutkenhaus is holder of the Axalta Chair and Professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University. Lutkenhaus received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and her Ph.D in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Current research areas include polyelectrolytes, redox-active polymers, energy storage, and composites. She has received recognitions including World Economic Forum Young Scientist, Kavli Fellow, NSF CAREER, AFOSR Young Investigator, 3M Non-tenured Faculty Award. She is the past-Chair of the AICHE Materials Engineering & Sciences Division. Lutkenhaus is the Deputy Editor of ACS Applied Polymer Materials and a member of the U.S. National Academies Board of Chemical Sciences & Technology. 

 

"Redox-active Macromolecular Radicals for Metal-Free, Degradable Batteries"

Abstract: Because of the projected shortages of elements used in Li-ion batteries and limited battery recycling, alternative electrode chemistries are gaining interest. Ideally, this future battery would contain materials that are easily sourced with little environmental impact, would be degradable of recyclable, and would bear similar or better energy storage characteristics in comparison to Li-ion batteries. This talk will examine one such promising battery chemistry, that of macromolecular radicals. These polymers generally contain redox-active nitroxide radical groups that reversibly exchange electrons at rates much higher that of current metal oxide cathodes. This manifests as a higher power or a high charging rate. The current challenges for macromolecular radical batteries are to understand the redox mechanism, to increase the energy density in metal-free or aqueous conditions, and to consider a circular life cycle. Insight into the polymer’s redox mechanism is provided using electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring, in which mixed electron-ion-solvent transfer is quantified. This knowledge reveals why certain metal-free, aqueous electrolytes are well-suited to this polymer class. Last, an organic peptide battery that degrades on command into amino acids and byproducts provides a path forward toward recycling for a circular life cycle. Collaborative work on polypeptide redox flow batteries with the late Susan Odom is highlighted.

 

Date:
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Location:
WT Young Library Auditorium
Type of Event (for grouping events):

47th Annual Naff Symposium

Innovation in Molecular Neuroscience

Schedule of Events - April 1, 2022

8:00am

Registration and Continental Breakfast
WT Young Library Gallery

8:50am

Welcome - TBD

9:00am

Dr. Erin Calipari
"A novel mechanism for hormonal regulation of reward circuits in the brain contributes to addiction vulnerability in females"

10:00am

Break
WT Young Library Gallery

10:30am

Dr. Tim Harris
"High capacity electrophysiology: How we got here and where we can go"

11:30am

Lunch & Break

1:00pm

Dr. Elizabeth Hillman
"Understanding the brain with high-speed 3D imaging of cell structure, function and identity"

2:00pm

Break & Poster Session Set-Up
WT Young Library Gallery; Jacobs Science Building, Atrium

2:30pm

Dr. Baljit Khakh
"Cells that tile your brain: Astrocyte roles in neural circuits"

3:30 - 5:00pm

Poster Session
Jacobs Science Building, Atrium

 

Speakers

Dr. Erin Calipari

Vanderbilt University

Dr. Calipari received her PhD in Neuroscience in 2013 in the laboratory of Dr. Sara Jones at Wake Forest University School of Medicine where she studied how self-administered drugs altered dopaminergic function to drive addictive behaviors. She then went on to complete her postdoctoral training with Dr. Eric Nestler at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where she used circuit probing techniques to understand the temporally specific neural signals that underlie motivation and reward learning. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University in the Department of Pharmacology. Her independent work seeks to characterize and modulate the precise circuits in the brain that underlie both adaptive and maladaptive processes in reward, motivation, and associative learning.

Group Page

Dr. Tim Harris

Johns Hopkins University

Timothy Harris is a research professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He leads the Applied Physics and Instrumentation Group at the HHMI Janelia Research Campus, and is the originator of the project that produced the Neuropixels Si probe for extracellular recording in animals, mostly mice, and rats. He shares his time between Janelia and Johns Hopkins and is working on projects to enable recording 10-20,000 neurons in rodents and 30-50,000 neurons in non-human primates, as well as stimulate with high resolution.

He received a BS in Chemistry at California Polytechnical State University, San Luis Obispo, and a PhD in Analytical Chemistry at Purdue University.

Group Page

Dr. Elizabeth Hillman

Columbia University

Elizabeth Hillman is professor of biomedical engineering and radiology at Columbia University and a member of the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute and Kavli Institute for Brain Science at Columbia. Hillman received her undergraduate degree in physics and Ph.D. in medical physics and bioengineering at University College London and completed post-doctoral training at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. In 2006, Hillman moved to Columbia University, founding the Laboratory for Functional Optical Imaging. Hillman’s research program focuses on the development and application of optical imaging and microscopy technologies to capture functional dynamics in the living brain. Most recently, she developed swept confocally aligned planar excitation (SCAPE) microscopy, a technique capable of very high speed volumetric imaging of neural activity in behaving organisms such as adult and larval Drosophila, zebrafish, C. elegans and the rodent brain. Hillman’s research program also includes exploring the interrelation between neural activity and blood flow in the brain, as the basis for signals detected by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Hillman is a fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA), the society of photo-optical instrumentation (SPIE) and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). She has received the OSA Adolf Lomb Medal for contributions to optics, as well as early career awards from the Wallace Coulter Foundation, National Science Foundation and Human Frontier Science Program.

Group Page

Dr. Baljit Khakh

University of California, Los Angeles

Baljit Khakh completed his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge in the laboratory of Patrick PA Humphrey. He completed postdoctoral fellowships in the laboratory of Graeme Henderson at the University of Bristol, and then in the laboratory of Henry A. Lester and Norman Davidson at California Institute of Technology. In 2001, Khakh became Group Leader at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, and in 2006 he moved to the University of California, Los Angeles where he is Professor of Physiology and Neurobiology. Khakh’s work has been recognized, including with the NIH Director's Pioneer Award, the Paul G. Allen Distinguished Investigator Award, and the Outstanding Investigator Award (R35) from NINDS.

Group Page


2022 Naff Symposium Committee

Dr. Chris Richards - Chair

Jason DeRouchey (Chemistry)
Lance Johnson (Physiology)
Brandon Henderson (Marshall University)

 

 

Date:
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Location:
WT Young Library Auditorium
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Chemistry GSA Tailgating Event

The Department of Chemistry Graduate Student Association (GSA) would like to invite you to a tailgating event on Saturday, November 20 from 10:00am-11:30am on the Tobacco Research, Lawn 1. This event is co-hosted by the Sri Lankan Student Association. A grill and some non-alcoholic beverages will be available. If you choose to bring your own alcohol, you must remain in compliance with University Alcohol Policies.

The Tobacco Research, Lawn 1 is located on the corner of University Drive and Cooper Drive, directly adjacent to the Kentucky Tobacco Research and Development Center. You may view it on the campus map here.

We hope to see you there this Saturday!

Department of Chemistry Graduate Student Association

Sri Lankan Student Association

Date:
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Location:
Tobacco Research, Lawn 1
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Probing the Assembly, Functional Relevance, and Dynamics of AcrA in Multi Drug Efflux in Escherichia coli

Title: Probing the Assembly, Functional Relevance, and Dynamics of AcrA in Multi Drug Efflux in Escherichia coli

Abstract: Efflux pumps and low permeability of the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria are major culprits in drug resistance. The most studied of these multidrug efflux pumps is the AcrAB-TolC, a complex of three proteins, the inner membrane transporter AcrB, the periplasmic adaptor AcrA and outer membrane factor TolC. This pump exports a wide range of molecules such as dyes, detergents, and antibiotics out of the bacteria system into the external environment. AcrB and TolC exist as obligate trimers, but the structure of AcrA during the assembly process is not well defined. My research aims to explore the functional and structural dynamics of the AcrAB-TolC pump to target the efflux pumps for effective antibiotic development. To achieve this, it is important to understand its structure, behavior, and function within the cell. The dominant negative effect of inactive AcrA and AcrB mutants was investigated, and we proved that once formed, the complex remains bound and does not dissociate easily. We also speculated that the assembly of the AcrAB-TolC is a precisely controlled process involving delicate proof-reading mechanisms that prevent the formation of futile complex.

I explored the role of the unresolved N-and C-terminal ends (NT and CT) in the function and activity of AcrA. At the NT, we removed residues Q31QGG34 resulting in loss of activity. We found that upon replacement of the signal peptide of AcrA with that of OmpA, function of this mutant was restored. The removal of residues 26-37 resulted in a significant loss of AcrA activity even with the OmpA signal peptide. We also found that the CT unresolved residues were not important for the function of AcrA. At the C terminus, truncation of the last 20 residues from E377 to 397 had no detectable impact on activity until lysine at position 374 (K374) when the protein became fully inactive.
 
Disulfide trapping was also used to probe the structure and conformation of AcrA oligomers in E. coli cells, and the interaction of AcrA and AcrB. Sites were chosen based on the tip-to-tip model from the cryo-EM AcrABZ-TolC complex structure and were used as probes to examine factors that affects the hexameric structure of AcrA, that is if the presence of AcrB or TolC affects oligomer formation. We speculate that formation of inter molecular disulfide links between AcrA and AcrB, and between neighboring AcrA subunits, would indicate that the tip-to-tip model truly reflect the assembled structure of the complex in bacteria cells. This is important since most supporting evidence for the tip-to-tip model comes from cryo-EM studies using purified proteins.
 

Zoom Link: https://uky.zoom.us/j/86171629271


Facutly Advisor: Dr. Yinan Wei

Date:
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Location:
Zoom (see event details)
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Photocatalytic Applications of TIO2 For Catechol Degradation and α-FE2O3 for Carbon Dioxide Reduction

Title: Photocatalytic Applications of TIO2 For Catechol Degradation and α-FE2O3 for Carbon Dioxide Reduction

Abstract: Natural and anthropogenic processes are emitting organic and inorganic pollutants, such as phenolic compounds and carbon dioxide (CO2), and polluting the atmosphere. In addition, to meet the energy demand of the world’s growing population, the use of nonrenewable fossil fuels is causing their depletion. Heterogenous semiconductor photocatalysis is a clean and low-cost methodology, which can simultaneously contribute to solve the above energy and environmental problems. In this work, photocatalytic degradation of catechol, an organic pollutant, is explored with Degussa P25 (mixed phase of titanium dioxide, TiO2), and CO2 reduction is accomplished with potassium doped iron oxide.

Degussa P25 is used to study the degradation of catechol at the air solid interface because of low cost, stability, and abundant sources of TiO2. Catechol forms a chelate with TiO2 and shows an absorption band in the visible range through ligand to metal charge transfer transition. The photocatalytic activity of catechol degradation on TiO2 surface is reported at variable wavelength of irradiation. The generation and quantification of reactive oxygen species and redox pairs has been studied with scavengers. Finally, the apparent quantum efficiency (AQE) for catechol loss and CO2 and carbon monoxide (CO) growths are determined.

Potassium doped iron oxides of varying composition (100 Fe:x K, 0 £ x £ 5) are synthesized using an incipient wetness impregnation method. The structure, composition, and properties of the catalysts are investigated by diffraction methods, thermal analysis, and multiple spectroscopies. UV-visible light excites the catalysts in the presence of pure CO2 or air under a saturated water vapor atmosphere. The AQE for the CO(g) production shows maximum for 100 Fe:1 K catalyst.

The study creates a path for the application of semiconductor photocatalysis in air purification, water splitting, and fuel production.


Faculty Advisor: Dr. Marcelo Guzman

Date:
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Location:
Chem/Phys 114
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Succinylated polyethyleneimine gene delivery agents for enhanced transfection efficacy

Title: Succinylated polyethyleneimine gene delivery agents for enhanced transfection efficacy

Abstract: Gene therapy aims to treat patients by altering or controlling gene expression. Today, most current clinical approaches are viral-based due to their inherent gene delivery activity. However, there is still a significant interest in nonviral alternatives for gene delivery, particularly synthetic lipids and polymers, that do not suffer the immunogenicity, high cost, or mutagenesis concerns of viral vectors. Polymeric vectors are of particular interest due to the ability to further tune the polymer properties through the incorporation of additional functional units such as targeting ligands or shielding domains. Polyethylenimine (PEI), a highly cationic polymer, is often considered a benchmark for polymer-based gene delivery and thus serves as an excellent model for investigating gene delivery mechanisms. One reason PEI, especially branched PEI, is thought to outperform many other cationic polymers is due to the presence of secondary and tertiary amines. These amines are thought to help facilitate escape from endocytic vesicles via a 'proton-sponge' mechanism. Despite its successful use for gene delivery, PEI was initially developed for use in common processes such as water purification. As such, the properties of PEI should not be expected to be optimal for gene delivery. In this dissertation, our research efforts focused on the incorporation of negatively charged succinate groups to the PEI backbone to create succinylated zwitterion-like PEI (zPEIs). Specifically, we focused on the synthesis and characterization of zPEIs as well as the impact of zPEI on DNA condensation and gene expression.

This dissertation will discuss the results of three projects. In project (1), we studied the suitability of minimally modified zPEIs for gene expression. In this work, we reveal that modification of PEI amines as low as 2% was sufficient to provide significant improvements in gene delivery particularly in the presence of serum proteins. In project (2), we investigate the self-assembly of DNA induced by modified and unmodified branched PEIs using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). Modified PEIs included both succinylated zPEI and acetylated PEIs (acPEI) both modified from 0-40%. We demonstrate that changing the degree of modification significantly alters the packing density of the resulting polyplexes. While acPEI shows a continuous decrease in DNA packaging efficiency with increasing degree of modification, zPEI shows a crossover behavior where DNA-DNA interhelical spacings increase at low succinylation but decrease at higher degrees of succinylation. Studies on the pH dependence on the inter-DNA spacing also shows that lowering the pH leads to tighter DNA packaging for all PEIs studied. In project (3), we studied the efficacy of zPEI polyplexes at varying protein concentrations ranging from 0-10 mg/mL of bovine serum albumin (BSA). These high protein concentrations are comparable to in vivo protein concentrations. We show that while PEI/DNA transgene expression decreases with higher protein concentrations, the zPEI studied stayed approximately constant over the protein range studied. To test if these conditions may lead to the formation of a protein corona on the nanoparticles, which was recently shown to enhance serum-free transfection in unmodified bPEI/DNA, we also measured the transgene expression of polyplexes pre-treated to form a protein corona to uncoated polyplexes.

 

Zoom Link:  https://uky.zoom.us/j/88495036293


Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jason DeRouchey

 

Date:
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Location:
Zoom (see event details)
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