Fall 2018 Seminars

 

Lunch at 12 PM (Grote 401)/Seminar at 3 PM (Grote 411, Presentation 3-3:45 PM & Question Sesssion 3:45-4:00 PM)
Date Speaker Home Institution Host Type of Chemistry
August 24 First Day No Speaker First Day No Speaker First Day No Speaker First Day No Speaker
         
August 31        
         
September 7

 Erika Milczek

The History and Future of Chemical Manufacturing: a discussion about new careers and the global landscape of the emerging bioeconomy

 Curie Co. LLC Manuel Santiago Industrial
         
September 14

John Shugart

Chemists in Agriculture: A career in solving puzzles

Georgia USDA Gretchen Potts State Laboratory
         
September 21

Michael Nippe

Taking Inspiration From Bulk: Molecular Electrocatalysis and Magnetization Dynamics of Heterometallic Lanthanide – Transition Metal Complexes

Texas A&M John Lee Inorganic
         
September 28

Wang-Yong Yang

Designer small molecules targeting a disease-causing RNA, expanded r(CGG) repeat

UTC Kyle Knight Organic
         
October 5

Jared Pienkos

Organometallic Chemistry for Catalysis, Medical Imaging, and Drug Design

UTC John Lee Inorganic 
         
October 12 Chad Resznyak Tennessee Tech Michael Dabney Chem Ed
         
October 19 URP Poster Session No Speaker URP Poster Session No Speaker URP Poster Session No Speaker URP Poster Session No Speaker
         
October 26

 Kelmara Kelly &

Steven Adams

Eastman John Lee Industrial
         
November 2 SERMACS No Speaker SERMACS No Speaker SERMACS No Speaker SERMACS No Speaker
         
November 9        
         
November 16        
         
November 23 Thanksgiving No Class Thanksgiving No Class Thanksgiving No Class Thanksgiving No Class

 

 

Erika Milczek: The History and Future of Chemical Manufacturing: a discussion about new careers and the global landscape of the emerging bioeconomy

Over the last four decades the global enzyme market has seen a 40x growth in sales, from $200 Mn in the 1970s to over $8 Bn in 2015. Biocatalytic processes are gradually replacing chemical processes across all commercial sectors, ranging from packaged food to household products and even data storage. Growth in the bioeconomy is largely a result of inexpensive synthetic DNA, readily available sequencing, and vast databases capturing & cataloging genomic information. Industrial researchers have leveraged these tools to engineer enzymes through directed evolution. Engineered enzymes have transformed the detergent industry giving rise to enzyme based Tide PODS rather than powdered surfactants that were the gold standard prior to the 1990s. Equally significant, enzymes are replacing precious metal catalysts to afford high regio- and stereochemical control in generating small molecules for the fine chemical and pharmaceutical industries. This talk will provide an overview of emerging technologies and interdisciplinary research that are driving the bioeconomy and biomanufacturing. Two industry case studies, the detergent industry and the pharmaceutical industry, will be presented for context.

 

John Shugart: Chemists in Agriculture: A career in solving puzzles

Within the Georgia Department of Agriculture Laboratory Division there are a number of laboratories whose primary focus is chemistry. The analysis of fuels and pesticides are two of the leading laboratories that perform a wide variety of chemical tests and procedures. These laboratories, as well as others in the laboratory division, encounter unique scientific problems that require creative solutions and provide a variety of different career paths for chemists.

 

Michael Nippe: Taking Inspiration From Bulk: Molecular Electrocatalysis and Magnetization Dynamics of Heterometallic Lanthanide – Transition Metal Complexes

The first part of the presentation will introduce our methodology towards improving molecular catalysts for energy relevant conversions. We strategically introduce redox-active and slightly acidic imidazolium moieties into the secondary coordination sphere of molecular CO2 reduction electrocatalysts. Results from systematic comparative studies will be presented that strongly suggest that mechanistic details of catalysis are altered for the new functionalized catalyst systems, resulting in improved catalytic metrics.

The second part of the seminar will discuss our strategies to study intramolecular interactions between transition metal (TM) and lanthanide (Ln) ions to generate novel spin systems that can display single-molecule magnet (SMM) properties. SMMs are very attractive candidates for the miniaturization of tunable information storage materials and quantum computing devices. Our work aims to generate heterometallic SMMs that feature either TM···Ln interactions or TM‑Ln bonding. I will present key results of our comprehensive structural and spectroscopic studies which have already led to the development of redox-switchable SMMs, new molecular platforms to facilitate strong magnetic coupling between Ln3+ ions, and hard SMM behavior.

Wang-Yong Yang: Designer small molecules targeting a disease-causing RNA, expanded r(CGG) repeat

One major class of disease-causing RNAs is expanded repeating transcripts.  These RNAs cause diseases via multiple mechanisms, including: (i) gain-of-function, in which repeating RNAs bind and sequester proteins involved in RNA biogenesis; and (ii) repeat-associated non-ATG (RAN) translation, in which repeating transcripts are translated into toxic proteins without use of a canonical start codon.  In this seminar, I will show how small molecules that bind and/or react with an expanded r(CGG) repeat (r(CGG)exp) that causes fragile X-associated tremor ataxia syndrome potently were designed and used to study the disease. The designer compounds improve both pre-mRNA splicing and RAN translational defects from two main pathogenic mechanisms. Importantly, they inhibit RAN translation of r(CGG)exp embedded in a 5’ untranslated region but not canonical translation of the downstream open reading frame while antisense oligonucleotide inhibits both translation events.   

Jared Pienkos: Organometallic Chemistry for Catalysis, Medical Imaging, and Drug Design

Organometallic chemistry has found application in catalytic chemical production, and is now showing additional promise in biological fields such as drug design and medical imaging.  In light of the diversity of the field, I will briefly highlight three research projects, related to the aforementioned topics, that will form the basis of my research group.  Ligand design still plays a key role in catalyst development, and in one project we will use synthetic chemistry to prepare new trans-bidentate ligands. Trans-bidentate ligands can force a metal to adapt to a constrained geometry, which can lead to increased catalytic activity of the resultant transition metal complex.  In addition to catalysis, we hope to explore biological application of organometallic complexes.  For instance, iridium-based compounds can serve as medical imaging agents because of their emissive properties, and I propose a method to synthesize such emitters. Moreover, I will discuss how organometallic compounds can deliver signaling molecules, which has direct application in drug design.  For this, I will describe a proposed synthesis of a carbon monoxide (CO) releasing molecule or CORM.

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