Amy Solinski to Present at the ACS National Meeting

On the 25th of August, Amy Solinski will take the stage at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Diego to present at the Merck-sponsored Women Chemist Committee (WCC) Session. The opportunity is a wonderful recognition of Amy’s scientific excellence as well as her advocacy for women in science – she is a recipient of the 2018 ACS Georgia Section Women in Chemistry Scholarship, a member of the Georgia Chapter of the WCC, and a member of Emory’s Association for Women in Science (AWIS).

Amy Solinski’s contributions at Emory paint a picture of an engaged, curious, and creative scholar. From collaborations in the Wuest Lab and beyond to outreach with multiple organizations, she has had an impact on the Emory community. Her contributions to our community are made all the more impressive by the fact that, despite being a rising fifth year graduate student, she has only been at Emory for two years as of this June. She moved to Emory from Temple University with her advisor, Dr. Bill Wuest, when he joined the Emory faculty in 2017. Amy’s hobby of photography has had a visual impact on the community as well. Her work is featured on the Wuest Lab website, the Department of Chemistry website, and has been featured in multiple chemistry news stories.

In the Wuest Lab, Amy’s graduate research centers around the development of antibiotics derived from natural products. She uses chemical tools to study complex biological systems, specifically focusing on biofilm growth in the oral cavity. In fact, her manuscript, “Synthetic Simplification of Carolacton Enables Chemical Genetic Studies in Streptococcus mutans”, was recently published in ACS Infectious Diseases. This research will be the focus of her talk at the ACS meeting.

Amy appreciates the dynamic nature of the research in the Wuest lab. Although most of the research projects start with synthesis, they tend to branch out into medicinal chemistry, chemical biology, or other fields of chemical application. “You aren’t pigeonholed into one area of science,” says Amy. “If a project takes you in a new direction, you are encouraged to continue in that direction.” Fortunately, her lab members are keen to collaborate and, when she needed resources outside of her own lab, she was able to reach out to other labs. In fact, she has been a part of three separate collaborations so far!

When she isn’t spearheading collaborative research efforts, Amy is also a leader in the many organizations of which she is a member. For the AWIS Emory Graduate Student Chapter, Amy has served as the social networking chair, helping to plan networking events with other organizations. One event this last spring was a brunch social attended by members of the Georgia AWIS chapter, a few engineering organizations, and some members of the Georgia Tech community. As a member of the Georgia Chapter of the WCC, she has also helped manage communications efforts through social media.

Big things are on the horizon for Amy as she enters her fifth year. She has another manuscript soon to be published and has recently embarked on the search for a postdoc position. Although she is open to several possibilities, she is hoping to dive a little deeper into the realm of chemical biology. “I’m really into the idea of using synthesis and chemistry as a tool in biological systems,” Amy says. Her passion for research is matched by her passion for mentorship. Having mentored two undergraduate students and several younger graduate students, she is particularly interested in a career where she can provide one-on-one mentorship to students in a research setting.

“Research is hard!” says Amy. “Sometimes it’s hard to visualize the real impact, but persistence is key.” As she moves closer to the end of her graduate career, she is beginning to see the pieces of her project really come together. Amy is enthusiastic about her career trajectory, confident that she can reach her professional goals, and excited about her recent engagement! She is really looking forward to a bright and fulfilling future.

Welcome to the Fall 2019 Entering Graduate Class!

We are excited to welcome our 2019 graduate cohort to campus! This group of early career scientists is distinguished by their broad research experience and training, including summer REUs and participation in programs including:

  • National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science (GEM)
  • Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP)
  • McNair Scholars
  • NIH Initiative to Maximize Student Development (IMSD)
  • NIH Post-Baccelaureate Research Education Program (PrEP)
  • NSF STEM Talent Expansion Program
  • Robert A. Welch Foundation Research Fellowship
  • Rotary Club Scholarship

Almost every student in the cohort has been a peer instructor for chemistry courses and many completed an honors thesis. Outside of the classroom, these scholars have pursued techniques relevant to chemistry via industry internships, training as a certified pharmacy technician, and beyond. They have conducted outreach in K-12 education, their universities, and the broader community. 

In recognition of their academic and research excellence, our new graduate scholars received generous support from highly competitive Laney Graduate School fellowships including:

  • 7 Centennial Scholars
  • 1 IMSD Fellow
  • 2 Laney Scholars
  • 2 Quayle New Student Awardees
  • 5 Women in Science Scholars
  • 3 Woodruff Scholars

Each of these students has their own story to tell and incredible potential to draw on Emory resources to forge an amazing scientific career.

Entering Class of 2019

Anna Blood
New College of Florida

Patrick Gross
College of Charleston

Kendra Ireland
Sam Houston State University

Noah Jaffe
Emory University

Ayanna Jones
Clark Atlanta University

Stacey Jones
Georgia State University

Christina Lester
East Tennessee State University

Kimberly Marroquin
University of West Georgia

Zakiria Mays
Georgia State University

Kirklin McWhorter
Auburn University

Yasir Naeem
Hunter College

Christian Sanchez
Pepperdine University

Gavin Smith
University of California, Santa Cruz

Sa Suo
Southern University of Science and Technology

Rachel Washington
Willamette University

Aaron Bosse wins ARCS Award

Aaron Bosse (Davies Lab) has recently been named an ARCS Award recipient. The award is given by the ARCS foundation to celebrate the exceptional promise of the nominee to make a significant contribution to the advancement of Science.

While earning his B.A. in chemistry at The College of the Holy Cross, he completed two years of research in the lab of Prof. Andre Isaacs. His research focused on developing novel methodologies using click chemistry and resulted in a first author publication in Synlett. Now, Aaron is serving as lead researcher on C–H functionalization methodology applied to total synthesis in the Davies lab, collaborating with multiple groups in the CCHF.  Before winning the ARCS award, he has received numerous other recognitions including the ACS DOC Outstanding Undergraduate award, Quayle New student award, Quayle Student Achievement award, and NSF GRFP Honorable mention. Outside of lab, Aaron loves spending time in nature, visiting craft breweries, and relaxing with his dog and cat.

Congratulations, Aaron!

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.”