Mallory Theis is a Reaxys PhD Prize Finalist

Congratulations to Mallory Theis (Heaven Lab) for being selected as a finalist for the Reaxys PhD Prize 2019 for her publication “Dative Bonding between Closed-Shell Atoms: The BeF– Anion“.  The prize, given by Elsevier, recognizes accomplished young chemists for innovative and rigorous research. It is considered the world’s most prestigious award for PhD students in the chemical sciences.

As a finalist, Mallory is invited to this year’s Reaxys PhD Prize Symposium, which will take place in Amsterdam on October 3 and 4. At the symposium, attendees get the opportunity to meet with other finalists as well as members of the Reaxys Advisory Board. In addition, students will have the chance to showcase their research during a poster presentation session.

Nick Stair Receives MolSSI Seed Software Fellowship

Congratulations to Nick Stair (Evangelista Lab) for receiving a Molecular Sciences Software Institute (MolSSI) Seed Software Fellowship! MolSSI serves to bring together science, education, and cooperation by providing software tools, educational materials, community-led workshops, and fellowships to computational molecular scientists.

Nick will use his fellowship to write open-source quantum computing software and to test new quantum algorithms for strongly correlated electrons.

Congratulations, 2018-2019 Graduates!

On Monday, May 13th, the Department of Chemistry celebrated the graduation of 104 undergraduate chemistry majors and 21 new PhDs. Congratulations to all of our graduates!

Afoma Deborah Afobunor
Feven Tadessa Alemu
Otgonjargal Altangerel
Fabliha A. Anam
Netra Anand

Up Next: Graduate School, Public Health

Nicholas W. Arehart

Up Next: Marketing Operations Analyst, Integral Ad Science in New York City

Greti Barokas

Up Next: Medical School, Emory University Class of 2023

Caroline Grace Bauchiero

Up Next: Job Offer, Teaching at Stuffield Academy in Suffield, CT

Anna Lena Bell

Up Next: Job Offer, “Box” Implementation Analyst

Kelsey Lauren Berman
Andrew Tuo Bi
Laura Briggs
Chenxi Cai, Ms
Siying Cen, MS
Zachary Yixin Chen
Shuo Cheng
Sanim Alam Choudhury
Frances Nicole Connor
Paul Frank D’Cunha
Yitao Dai

Up Next: Graduate School, PhD in Pharmacognosy

Christopher Elias Dalloul
Giselle De La Torre

Up Next: Post Baccalaureate Program

Luke Alexander del Balzo
Dian Ding

Up Next: Graduate School, Harvard University, PhD in Chemistry

Corey Eisner
Elizabeth Anne Ejzak
Matthew Paul Epplin, PhD

Up Next: Postdoc, Stanford University

Birk Kenney Evavold
Maxine Dora Faass

Up Next: Graduate School, Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering

Qiyuan Fan
Benjamin MacEwen Fontaine, PhD
Helen Catherine Garby
Julia Lane Gensheimer

Up Next: Medical Scientist Training Program to earn MD/PhD

Ian Allen George

Up Next: Medical School, Duke University School of Medicine

Angel Gonzalez-Valero

Up Next: Graduate School, University of California, Berkeley, PhD in Chemistry

Alexander Ben Grayson
Paul David Greenstein
Ziwei Guo, PhD

Up Next: Pursuing a career in industry

Jennifer Sussette Gutierrez
Garrett Halstein
Talin Handa
Benjamin Heifetz
Caroline Grace Henry
Christopher Hernandez
Lana Lee Herrmann

Up Next: Teaching English in Thailand, Princeton in Asia

Cole Alexander Holan

Up Next: Medical School

Derek Xin Hu
Hyun Hwang
Sabrina Kate Ibabao

Up Next: Dental School

Shivam B Jariwala
Ban-Seok “Samuel” Jeong, PhD

Up Next: Post-doc, Emory University, Dyer Lab

Brittany Symone Jones
Kelly Marie Jones

Up Next: Dental School, University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine

Malichai E Jordan
Samika Shashank Joshi
Amelia Jane Joyce
Augustine Kang
Colleen Elizabeth Keohane, PhD

Up Next: Scientist, Janssen US

Ryann Khalil
Justin Leal
Eunice Katherine Lee
Noel Xiang’ An Li, PhD

Up Next: Pursuing a Career in Industry

Qiuyang Li, PhD

Up Next: Postdoc

Patricia Chi Lin

Up Next: Graduate School, UC Irvine, PhD in Chemistry

Zhiyin Lu
Shirley Ma
Haleigh Rene Machost
Pranay Reddy Manda
Sheena Mathai
Carmen Metzler

Up Next: Graduate School, University of Puerto Rico, PhD in Chemistry

Jaecheol Min
Taiki Larry Mochizuki
Alexandra Frances Nazzari

Up Next: Job Offer, NIH Post-Bac Position in Vaccinology Lab

Mathew Sebastian Padanilam

Up Next: Medical School, Indiana University

Hyunmin Park, PhD

Up Next: Working for LG Chem, South Korea

Lara Anne Patel, PhD

Up Next: Writing

Jessica Renee Petree, PhD

Up Next: Staff scientist jointly between Khalid Salaita and Cherry Wongtrakool’s labs

Tyler Tri-Thanh Pham
Akshay Krishna Raghuram
Rachel Aryn Reese
Jonathan Thomas Regenold
Alexa Patricia Rendon
Jin Hyeong Rim
Shannon Rivera, PhD

Up Next: Pursuing a Career in Industry

Claire Roesler
Sean Edward Rossiter, MS
Pratik Kumar Rout

Up Next: Clinical Volunteer, Applying to Medical School for 2020

Brian Douglas Savino
Jeffrey Blair Schriber, PhD
Albert Seoh
Faraz Sewani
Emily Ann Silverman

Up Next: Clinical Research Assistant, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Department of Infectious Disease

Rachel Marie Slaugenhaupt
Nandar Soe
Sreesh Sridhar
Kevin Paul Sullivan, PhD
Cory Sylber

Up Next: Research Assistant, Veterans Affairs Hospital

Shannon Thomas
Christina Tian
Gavin Touponse
Niyati Upadhyay
Robert Alexander VanGundy, PhD
Morgan Bair Vaughn, PhD

Up Next: Pursuing Career in Science Communication

Ken Wakabayashi
Dazhi Wang
Jingxi Wang
Minglun Wang
Yijun Wang
Marshall Julian Weber
Emily Elizabeth Weeden
Brett Stephen Weingart
Yuming Wen
Daniel Joon Won

Up Next: Job Offer, ORISE CDC Fellowship, Applying to Dental School

Jung Hyun Won
Yixin Xu

Up Next: Graduate School, University of Kentucky, PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Eric Boyang Yu

Up Next: Medical School, After Gap Year

Ashley Zachmann

Up Next: Graduate School, UNC Chapel Hill, PhD in Chemistry

Avery Michelle Zearfoss
Alexander De-Xiang Zhang
Tianyuan “Sam” Zhang, PhD
Zhechen Zhang
Bethany Marie Ziemer
Samuel Zinga

 

EBCC Featured in Emory News

The Emory Biotech Consulting Club, founded by members of the Wuest Lab and supported in part by Dennis Liotta, is featured in a recent Emory News report. The article includes quotes from Henry Zecca (Jui Group) and Bill Wuest.

Young Emory scientists wanted a taste of what biotech business careers might be like. So they visited the world’s largest poultry industry conference, and got advice from officials at the Food and Drug Administration – all within a couple months.

“I learned a ton about chickens – more than I thought possible. I’ve been explaining it all to my friends,” says Henry Zecca, a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry.

Zecca’s experience and others emerged at a “Gala” Tuesday evening showcasing the Emory Biotech Consulting Club, which aimed to pair student advisory teams with fledgling startup companies emerging from university research.

The full article is available online from the Emory Report.

Dunham Lab Paper Selected as Editor’s Pick

Ha An Nguyen

The Dunham Lab recent paper in the Journal of Biological Chemistry has been named an Editor’s Pick. The paper, “Importance of a tRNA anticodon loop modification and a conserved, noncanonical anticodon stem pairing in tRNACGGPro for decoding” is also the first paper for graduate research Ha An Nguyen who is featured in an author profile. In the profile, Ha An shares one of the most exciting parts of the research process:

“It was when we saw diffraction spots at high resolution for the first time! I spent a year setting up about one hundred crystallization trials and subsequently screening hundreds of beautiful crystals with not much success. It was very emotionally taxing to be sleep-deprived (most of our synchrotron times were during the night) and have your precious crystals diffract poorly. While I understood spending a year attempting to perform X-ray crystallography is not much time, as a starting graduate student, I couldn’t help but feel that I was a failed crystallographer. That one crystal ended up being all I needed, and the structure, along with the biochemistry, seemed to fall into place. We collected the X-ray data in October 2018 and wrote the paper in 3 months.”

Congratulations to Ha An and the Dunham Lab!

Further Reading

Alumni Spotlight: Suk Cho Thrives “Living Life to the Fullest”

Dr. Suk Cho, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder of Joy Nutritionals, is no stranger to hard work. Guided by the mindset of “living life to the fullest”, he has seized numerous opportunities to expand his knowledge, gain experience, and truly develop as a scientist. The way he sees it, attitude is everything. “You don’t have to be the best chemist, and you don’t have to be the best manager,” he says. “But do your best.” His accomplishments have fueled his motivation, raising him through the ranks from graduate student to senior scientist to Chief Scientific Officer.

After earning his undergraduate degree from Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, Dr. Cho attended Miami University, where he earned his master’s degree in organic chemistry. Having kept an eye on some of the great research going on here at Emory, he officially joined the Emory community in 1985 as a PhD student in the lab of Dr. Lanny Liebeskind.

“Suk Cho was a confident and strong PhD student during his tenure in graduate school at Emory University,” says Lanny. “His research generated high-quality scientific results and led to a number of significant peer-reviewed publications.  I remember him as very personable, with an assured and engaging personality that, in retrospect, portended the future successes in his professional endeavors.”

Originally, Dr. Cho assumed he would use his expertise in chemistry to pursue a career in pharmacy. However, the more he learned about the importance of chemistry in the production of cosmetics, food, and other diverse products, he became more drawn to this side of research and development. “Everything is chemistry,” says Dr. Cho. “I’m very proud of becoming a chemist. I can apply it to just about everything.” As a curious, creative, and committed student, Dr. Cho felt confident that he could succeed in such an industry setting. Having assimilated to a new way of life after immigrating from Korea during his teenage years, Dr. Cho was prepared for a transition from academia to industry

With this can-do attitude and a freshly earned doctorate degree, Dr. Cho went on to work for Unilever, a company that strives to make sustainable living commonplace, supplying over 400 household brands from Dove and Vaseline to Lipton and Ben & Jerry’s. While working at Unilever, Dr. Cho was motivated to learn as much as he could about his industry. Beyond the basic chemistry behind the efficient production of household products, Dr. Cho learned about toxicology and environmental impact, large-scale production and its consequences, consumer demands, and sales and marketing. He also learned that these aspects of the industry truly guide the science behind production.

Dr. Cho went on to spend a brief couple of years as Sr. Scientist with PPG before becoming the Vice President of Research and Development at Melaleuca: The Wellness Company. In this role, he oversaw the production of hundreds of products for nutrition, personal care, skin care, and the household to be used around the globe. Dr. Cho then transitioned to Chief Science Officer at Isagenix, a company built to inspire and empower individuals to “live their best life through a journey of nutrition, health, and overall wellness.” He led the Product Innovation, Research and Science, Quality Assurance, and Regulatory teams at Isagenix, while also serving as Consultant/Owner of Ideate, LLC.

Now, with over 30 years of research and product development, he serves as Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Joy Nutritionals. With a mission to “promote healthy, energetic, active lifestyle choices”, Joy Nutritionals offers lifestyle-based solutions supported by science, community, and technology. The company strives to provide high quality, good-for-you products to promote everyday health and wellness. Dr. Suk Cho is responsible for developing such products, giving everybody a chance at a healthy life.

Echoing the messages of health and wellness that define his industry, Dr. Cho also hopes to encourage people to make decisions that guide them towards a healthier lifestyle. “A lot of our diseases stem from our poor lifestyle choices,” he says. “I want to advocate for investing in yourself mentally, physically, psychologically, and emotionally.” By reminding us to live life to the fullest, while protecting our health and well-being, Dr. Cho shows us a stunning example of how we, too, can find joy.

While his work has broad potential impact, Dr. Cho has already inspired the work of a very important future leader – his daughter, Belle. The business major and chemistry minor is studying at the University of Arizona where she is focused on a future in game development. (Her first game, “Furthest Reach,” has a release date set for 2020.) “There has never been someone to inspire me as much as my father has,” says Belle. “My dad came to the United States from Korea when he was sixteen years old, knowing very little English and [the] school he attended wasn’t really ‘prepared’ for a non-English speaking student at that time. However, it didn’t stop him from going to college and majoring in one of the most challenging science fields. My outlook on education has changed so much in the last two years and I really have my dad to thank for that. I am grateful for the life I have and all the things he has provided for the family.”

 

Rachel Kozlowski (Dyer Group) Awarded Dean’s Teaching Fellowship

Rachel Kozlowski

Rachel Kozlowski (Dyer Group) has been awarded the Dean’s Teaching Fellowship for the 2019-2020 academic year. Dean’s Teaching Fellowships are selected based on progress towards completing the Ph.D. degree as well as a strong commitment to teaching. This year, 12 students were awarded the fellowship, which provides financial support through a $19,000 stipend.

As a Dean’s Teaching Fellow, Rachel will be designing and teaching a section of CHEM-150: Structure and Properties as an instructor of record this coming fall. CHEM 150 is the first  course in the Chemistry Unbound curriculum and focuses on starting students in their chemistry studies with an “atoms first” approach.

“Being awarded this teaching fellowship is an excellent opportunity for me, as my career goal is to be a professor at a primarily undergraduate institution (PUI),” says Rachel. “Professors at PUIs have a much greater emphasis placed on teaching, so while I will still have a small undergraduate research group, most of my job responsibilities will involve teaching students. Having the opportunity to be an instructor of record while still working towards my PhD degree is invaluable.”

Congratulations, Rachel!

Congratulations, Dr. Shannon Rivera!

Shannon Rivera

Shannon Rivera successfully defended her dissertation, “Elucidating the Various Roles of the Globin Domain from Globin Coupled Sensors”, on March 21st, 2019. Shannon’s committee was led by Emily Weinert with Brian Dyer and Stefan Lutz as additional members.

During her time at Emory, Shannon was supported by an Emory Graduate Diversity Fellowship as well as a Carl Storm Underrepresented Minority (CSURM) Fellowship. She was also recognized with the department’s Outstanding T.A. Award for Analytical Chemistry in 2014 and the Quayle Outstanding Student Award in 2018.

Shannon has also been involved in several student organizations including Pi Alpha Chemical Society (PACS) where she served for one year as Vice President of Community Service and the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) where she served consecutive terms first as Co-Social Chair and then as Communications Chair. She has also been a long time member of the Chemistry Graduate School Prep Club sponsored by the NSF Center for Selective C-H Functionalization, serving as President in 2017 and 2018. CGSPC connects Atlanta-area undergraduates from PUIs and HBCUs (including Agnes Scott, Spelman, Morehouse, and Clarke-Atlanta) with mentors who help them to connect with mentors who can help them navigate the graduate school application process . Shannon was instrumental in bringing CGSPC students to Emory for an on-site mentoring event. “They got to talk to faculty, grads, and post-docs about admissions and the struggles of being under represented in the sciences. The effect the event had of them and the fact that it cemented the drive to go to graduate school for those students, that is what made it a huge accomplishment for me,” says Shannon.

Scientifically, Shannon’s work was recently recognized with an invitation to give two oral presentations at SERMACS and GRS/GRC Metals in Biology. SERMACS receives well over 1,000 applications for oral applications and awards only 12-15 spots. “Scientifically though, the most fun and impactful accomplishment was successfully crystallizing my protein, BpeGlobin,” says Shannon. “It was fun because my protein is red, so my crystals are red! They came in different shapes, but you could always see them.  It is also very important for my scientific community because its the first crystal of  the signaling domain of a Globin-coupled sensor with oxygen in the pocket; the gas responsible for activating the protein.”

Shannon plans to pursue a career in industry.

Congratulations, Shannon!

Alum Caitlin Davis (Dyer Group) Accepts Assistant Professor Position at Yale

Caitlin Davis

Caitlin Davis, a recent alum of the Dyer Group, has accepted an Assistant Professor position in the Department of Chemistry at Yale University.

At Emory, Caitlin’s work focused on developing structurally specific time-resolved infrared techniques to probe fast protein dynamics in vitro. Her work at Emory was supported by the highly competitive Clare Booth Luce (CBL) Scholar Program Graduate Fellowship as well as a Scholarly Inquiry and Research (SIRE) at Emory HHMI Fellowship, both from Emory’s Laney Graduate School. “As part of the fellowships, I spent about ten hours a week meeting with students and developed a course around professional development, science communication, and science ethics,” says Caitlin. “The positive experience I had mentoring these students was one of the reasons I decided to pursue a career in academia.”

Caitlin’s work at Emory was also recognized with the 2010 Outstanding T.A. Award for Physical Chemistry and a 2013-2014 Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Scholarship. In 2014, she won the Public Dissertation Abstract Award in Emory’s annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition.

More recently, Caitlin was an NSF Center for the Physics of Living Cells Postdoctoral Fellow in the Gruebele Group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Work in the Gruebele lab allowed Caitlin to take her Emory experience in new directions as the lab pioneered efforts to move the temperature jump technique that she learned in the Dyer lab into living cells. Caitlin investigates bimolecular interactions between proteins and RNA using 2- and 3-color fluorescence microscopy and to collect measurements in cultured cells and zebrafish larvae.

At Yale, the Davis Lab will use spectroscopic imaging to quantify biomolecular interactions in living cells, contributing to a better understanding of diseases arising from the misregulation of proteins and RNA.

Caitlin credits Dr. Dyer’s mentorship with helping her to develop as an independent researcher and cultivating her interest in academic research. “When I entered Emory, I was interested in pursing a career in industry,” explains Caitlin. In the Dyer Group, Caitlin was allowed to pursue her own research ideas. Her original ideas resulted in two publications (among nine total published during her time at Emory) and sparked her interest in an academic career that would allow a similar level of creative control over her research. Furthermore, she decided that an academic career would allow her to pursue a passion for mentoring young scientists sparked through her Emory fellowship experiences. “I find it incredibly fulfilling to see my mentees succeed. I’m excited to be in an environment where I can continue to assist with the development of future researchers.”

Caitlin will carry her Emory experience into her work at Yale. “The faculty at Emory have been my role models for how to balance research, teaching, and mentoring. As a graduate student I was supported not only in my research, but also to mentor in the lab or teach a course. This prepared me for the job market, because I had the hands-on experience to build an approach for teaching, mentoring, and outreach in addition to research.”

Congratulations, Caitlin!

First Person: Caitlin’s Career Advice to Graduate Students

My tip for graduate students and postdocs is to start early and have a career development plan.

Dr. Dyer had us meet with him once a year to discuss our goals for the upcoming year. I used it as an opportunity to not only discuss my projects and publications, but also my professional and career development. For example, one of my goals was to improve my public speaking. We worked to find as many opportunities to present at local and regional meetings as possible so that I could become more comfortable presenting my work. This helped me better understand how I personally need to prepare to give a great talk.

I felt confident going into the job market this year, because I had prepared the first versions of my documents as a graduate student! As part of one of my graduate fellowships I developed a teaching statement and my original research proposal became part of one of my research proposals. Because I’ve been revisiting these documents for years, I’ve had time to refine them.

There are also many workshops specifically designed to assist with preparing for the job market. I participated in the NextProf Science workshop at University of Michigan, the Postdoc to Faculty workshop at the National ACS Meeting, and the Illinois Female Engineers in Academia Training (iFEAT). These workshops pair you with faculty and other applicants who review your application and give you feedback. Having many perspectives on my proposal helped me better balance project specific details with the broader impacts.

For more from Caitlin, follow her on Twitter @thedavislab!