On Friday, July 20, 2018, graduate students Cristin Bosko (Peczuh Group), Jasmin Portelinha (Angeles-Boza Group), and Jessica A. Martin (Pinkhassik Group) attended a “Networking with JST (Joint Safety Team)” event, hosted by Yale University. During the event, Dr. Christopher Incarvito, Director of Research Operations and Technology, led a tour of the facilities and equipment at Yale’s West Campus (formerly the site of Bayer Pharmaceuticals). JST President Victor Beaumont (Loria Group, Yale) then discussed some of the projects the JST has been working on to increase safety awareness in Yale’s Department of Chemistry. Current JST projects include: the production of informational safety posters for the various labs, raising awareness regarding laboratory safety resources, and outreach utilizing social media.
This event nicely complimented efforts by Portelinha and Martin to restart the “Stall Street Journal” publication this summer. “The Stall Street Journal,” found in the bathroom stalls of the UConn Chemistry Building’s Waring Research Wing, is a 1-page monthly flier designed to raise awareness amongst graduate students about chemical safety and to promote career development opportunities.
Given this new source of inspiration and support, these students have a great deal of interest in expanding upon the safety activities in the Department of Chemistry through collaboration with the Safety Committee currently chaired by Dr. Jing Zhao. If you are interested in being part of this endeavor, please contact Jessica A. Martin at email@example.com, or stop by CHEM R414.
Graduate student Islam Mosa won second place in the 2018 UConn Innovation Quest competition run by the UConn Business School, and was awarded a $10,000 fellowship towards commercializing his BioSupercapacitor developed and characterized in conjunction with a team lead by Prof. Jim Rusling and including Drs. Vijay Kumar and Ashis Basu and Prof. Richard Kaner from UCLA.
Min Shen, Amit A. Joshi, Raghu Vannam, Chandra K. Dixit, Robert G. Hamilton, Challa V. Kumar, James F. Rusling, Mark W. Peczuh*
Accurate characterization of antibodies (IgEs) in individuals exposed to allergens such as peanuts can provide insight into the clinical manifestation of an allergic reaction and also reveal how its fundamental immunobiology works. Measurement of IgEs to specific allergen epitopes in serum has been a major challenge. UConn Chemistry grad student Min Shen was the lead author on a recent paper in ChemBioChem reporting a new method that first captures IgEs from serum by using anti-IgE decorated magnetic nanoparticles, then measures IgEs binding to specific epitopes from allergen proteins using arrayed SPR imaging. The new technique was used to catalog anti-peanut IgEs in a set of patient samples and showed excellent correlation with clinical diagnostics. The cover art was prepared by Ella Maru studios.
Svetlana Gelpi (Gascon Group) was awarded the GEM Fellowship sponsored by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. This fellowship awards students the following: $16,000 stipend in the first academic year of the GEM Fellowship; GEM Member University provides a living stipend up to the 5th year of PhD program; a minimum of one paid summer internship with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; full tuition and fees at a GEM University Member.
Gelpi will be working under the supervision of Dr. Felice Lightstone and Dr. Brian Bennion (from the Biochemical and Biophysical Systems Group at Lawrence Livermore) in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline on a project to further automate Computer Aided Drug Design and Discovery.
The following awards were presented at the Chemistry Department’s Annual Safety Training on August 24, 2017.
Waring (Scholastic) Award: Highest GPA for the 2016-2017 class.
Tianqi (Kiki) Chen (Rusling)
Masterton (Teaching) Awards: To be recommended by the TA committee or by instructors who may nominate their TAs for excellence in teaching.
Islam Mosa (Rusling)
Mohamed Sharafeldin (Rusling)
Murali Anuganti (Lin)
Megan Puglia (Kumar)
Shelli Miller (Leadbeater)
Connecticut Chemistry Research Award: List of publications of the graduate student with full citations, and a nomination letter from the major advisor describing research contributions of the student.
Kyle Lambert (Bailey)
Karteek Kadimisetty (Rusling)
Outstanding Service and Research Award: Nomination letter from faculty and/or staff describing specific activities or service provided to the department by the student, and a list of publications of the graduate student with full citations, and a nomination letter from the major advisor describing research contributions of the student.
Shannon Poges (Suib)
Excellence in Service Award; Nomination letter from faculty or staff describing outstanding service by a graduate student, over and beyond normal expectation.
Alyssa Hartmann (Rouge)
Bobbitt-Chou Graduate Summer Research Fellowship: This is a fellowship to recognize early accomplishment in a student’s graduate studies and the promise of continued success. One student entering their third summer of research will be awarded a $3,500 fellowship. The fellowship will be awarded based on course grades and a letter from the primary research advisor. The letter should specifically address the technical abilities of the student and his/her conceptual ownership and creative contributions to the research project.
Matthew Guberman-Pfeffer (Gascon)
Islam Mosa (Rusling Group) won the first place award in the 2017 Science AAAS student poster competition (Category: Physical Sciences). The award includes recognition of the poster title and the winner’s name in the March 24th issue of Science, a cash prize, certificate, and a one-year AAAS membership. A committee of 7 judges from Harvard, MIT, and industry evaluated all posters and selected the winner. The 2nd and 3rd places of the same category received honorable mentions in Science and were awarded to Hendrik Utzak and Anahita Zare from MIT and University of Missouri respectively.
See all poster competition winners and honorable mentions here >>>