The Free Rads hosted a Chemistry Major Interest Lunch on October 12 where they mingled with prospective majors. A representative member from each research lab gave a short presentation about their work. The majors were also able to share their advice on navigating the major while juggling other majors, interests, extracurricular activities, and study abroad. Nearly thirty prospective students participated while enjoying Italian food and informal conversation. Lunch was follwed by lab tours and students were able to peer inside the inner workings of several research labs to see what opportunities await them.
(submitted by Jing Jing Wang)
Nearly thirty students arrived to this event to learn about the major or impart advice on the major.
Free Radicals Officer, Theo Prachyathipsakul ‘19, explaining the requirements for the major and the differences between the A track and the B track.
Alexa Strauss ‘19, a Chemistry and MB&B double major.
And the Free Radicals live on! The Free Radicals held their first major event on October 6, the annual Tie-Dye Lab Coat event, where the chemistry majors gathered outside of Hall-Atwater on a beautiful Saturday afternoon to dye their own lab coats. The day was organized by the Free Radical officers, Theo Prachyathipsakul, David Cabanero, and Jing Jing Wang with assistance from Professor Andrea Roberts. Around twenty Free Rads enjoyed Thai food and decorated their glamorous new lab coats, courtesy of the Chemistry department. Seniors who already had a lab coat from last year tie-dyed shirts. The group also colorized scarves for Professor Roberts and our administrative staff members, Terry Emmons and Aracely Suto. Check out the pictures from this event below! (submitted by David Cabanero)
Dan Chung ’20 drips emerald dye onto his lab coat with flourish.
(From left to right): Chien Ho ’19, Alison Biester ’19, Giselle Reyes ’18, (MA ’19), David Cabanero ’19, and Sojeong Park ’18 (MA ’19)
(From left to right)” May Do ’20, Sydney Taylor-Klaus ’20, Jana O’Donnell ’19, and Dan Chung ’20
Dr. Tsagan (Tsagana) Ednyasheva successfully defended her PhD thesis, “Novel Asymmetric Syntheses of Rocaglates and Their Analogs through a Cinchona Alkaloid-Catalyzed Interrupted Feist-Bénary-Like Reaction”, on June 20, 2018. Tsagana came to Wesleyan in 2012 after receiving her combined Master’s/Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Moscow State University. She had also spent the summer of 2010 working in the Pratt lab, along with her cousin Liudmila (Liuda) Dzhekieva. Tsagana joined Prof. Calter’s lab in the fall of 2012 and worked on a number of projects before settling on a synthesis of the potent anticancer compound, rocaglamide. She developed a rapid synthesis of a new set of analogs of the rocaglamides, taking the Calter group further into medicinal chemistry than it had ever gone. After a long overdue trip to Russia to visit family and friends, Tsagana started her first PhD level job at Exemplify BioPharma, where she joins fellow Calter group alumnus Alexander (Sasha) Korotkov.
The undergraduate summer research fellows presented posters on their accomplishments on July 26. Twenty-six of the presentations were on work done in the Chemistry Department, representing nine different research groups. For more on the event, visit News @ Wesleyan. A list of the chemistry presenters is below the photographs.
“Expressing and Characterizing Heptosyltransferase Enzymes”
“Selectivity and Byproduct Formation in Thiol-Michael Reactions”
“Computational Studies on the Catalytic, Asymmetric ‘Interrupted’ Feist-Benary Reaction”
“Characterization of the solution speciation of vanadyl complexes through longitudinal and transverse relaxation times”
“Mapping the Allosteric Network of Glutathione Peroxidase-4 (GPX4)”
“Synthesizing Analogs of Anti-Cancer Molecule, Rocaglamide”
“Expression and Purification of Computationally Designed Mini-Proteins”
“Synthesis of 6-(aminomethyl) picolinate”
“Synthesis of Nigrospine”
“Synthesis of Bimetallic Palladium-Copper (Pd-Cu) & Silver-Platinum (Ag-Pt) Nanoparticles”
“Non-Linear Dependence of 1H Relaxation Rates on the Concentration of Copper Hexaaqua Ion”
“Investigation of Seed-Mediated Synthesis of Gold Containing Nanoparticles”
“Subcloning LpxE from pET-15b to pNGFP-BC”
“Modification of Pyridine Donating Groups in TPADA and TPAMA to Optimize Stability and Relaxivity”
“Fingerprinting Biomolecules and the Detection of Disease Markers Through the Use of Rhodium Nanocubes For Surface Enhanced Resonance Raman Spectroscopy”
“Synthesis and Study of a Water-soluble Macrocycle”
“Molecular Dynamics of the 530 Loop of the Ribosome”
“Computational Design of DNA Scaffold for Optimization of CryoEM”
“Conformational Isomerism of 1-Iodopentane and 1-Iodohexane”
“Dendrimer Synthesis via Highly Efficient Thiol-Michael Reactions”
“The Synthesis of a Probe for Lignin Depolymerization Detection”
“Kinetic Ensemble Refinement Improves Protein NMR Structures”
“Mutagenesis of E. coli Heptosyltransferase I to Disrupt Enzyme Dynamics and Chemistry”
“Ab Initio Investigation of Radical Organic Compounds”
“Electrochemical Synthesis of Gold Concave Nanocubes”
“A Computational, Energetic Analysis of the Roles of Initiators in Thiol-Vinylsulfone Reactions”
The Annual Chemistry Department Summer Picnic was held on June 27. In addition to being a nice break from the usual routine, the annual picnic serves as an effective way of zeroing out the department’s discretionary budget before the end on the fiscal year. Students, staff, and faculty enjoyed the traditional grilled treats. Fireworks (commercial and legal, of course) were a highlight.
A total of thirty-nine degrees in Chemistry were awarded on May 27 at the 186th Commencement. The department proudly congratulates all its new alumni/alumnae.
Ph.D. recipients: Joy Cote
M.A. recipients: Paul Brauchle
Yoon Jeong Choi
B.A. recipients: Abby Cahn-Gambino
Joanna Korpanty (with High Honors)
Ji Yoon Park
Daniel Robertson (with High Honors)
David Solti (with Honors)
Aaron Stone (with Honors)
Jeanette Thornton (with High Honors)
Ann-Dorie Webley (with Honors)
Stephen Frayne recently defended his Ph.D. dissertation and will be receiving his degree at commencement this May. Steve joined the Department of Chemistry at Wesleyan in 2012 after having received his B.S. in chemistry from Fordham University. At Fordham Steve worked in the laboratory of Dr. Ipsita Banerjee focusing on the rational design of artificial biomaterials. While in the Banerjee group Steve investigated the pH-dependent self-assembly of plant-based acids such as abscisic acid and ellagic acid into templates for the growth of cadmium selenide (CdSe) nanoparticles, with potential applications in bioimaging, cell targeting, and environmental remediation. Upon coming to Wesleyan, Steve joined the lab of Prof. Brian Northrop where he has been conducting experimental and computational research with the aim of streamlining the design and synthesis of organic materials. Much of Steve’s work has focused on the fundamentals of thiol-Michael reactions and, in particular, selective thiol-Michael reactions that enable researchers to synthesize multifunctional polymers and dendrimers more rapidly and efficiently. After graduating Steve will be joining the lab of Prof. Jeffrey Grossman in the Materials Science and Engineering department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he will apply his experimental and computational expertise to develop new materials that address important energy related challenges, such as nanoporous membranes for water desalination.
The 3rd annual Big Drop was held on May 9 outside the Exley Science Center to mark the last day of classes for the Spring semester. A series of smashable items—including water balloons, bouncy balls, watermelon, apples, pineapple, discarded computer equipment, plastic, and Oobleck—were dropped from the building’s rooftop. The Free Radicals also contributed a variety of explosions including the burning of an Orgo Lab report in liquid oxygen.
The Chemistry Department’s holiday party, organized largely by the graduate students, was held on campus at the Daniels Family Commons at the end of last semester. It is always a highlight of the year and nearly everyone attended, but the absence of Prof. Pratt resulted in fewer creative dance moves this year. Some candid photos from the event are below.