Monday, November 29, 2010

Protein Structure & Function REU at U South Alabama

The University of South Alabama hosts a NSF-REU site to work on various projects in the area of "Protein Structure and Function". In order to apply, students must have completed organic chemistry, have a GPA of 3.0, and be interested in basic research.
The summer program lasts 10 wks (from May 23 to July 29).
Participating students receive a stipend of $500/week, housing and up to $300 to cover travel expenses.
For more information about the program, individual projects or to download an application form, please have the students contact me or visit our website at:

Need to fulfill your Student work?

Are you good at Math or the Sciences?

Come and join Educational Talent Search Tutoring Program and be part of something great!!!

St. Olaf College Access programs Educational Talent Search (ETS), GEAR UP (GU) and Upward Bound (UB) are looking for tutors for their schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

If you are interested and have the following times open during interim, 2nd Semester or both, take advantage of this opportunity and make money. The commitment is a minimum of 4 hours a week.

Tuesday through Thursday: 7 am- 3pm (4hrs within this time frame)

Tuesday through Thursday: 1pm-5pm

Tuesday or Wednesday: 2pm-6pm

The only thing you have to do is set up an appointment with Denice Stocker or Wendy Placko for an interview. We ask that you stop by the Education/TRiO Office in the Modular village to make this appointment. There will be some paperwork for you to complete. Interviews will be taking place on Wednesday and Friday (12/8-12/9) each day from 8:00am-5:00pm.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Molecular Animations - NY Times

Visualizations of scientific processes are becoming more common as the world of cinematography meets the graphical interface of the biological, physical and environmental sciences. Check out this piece in the NY Times addressing how science can reach the broader community as well as give current students a more visual representation of the complex, technical language we use to describe exciting events in cells and between molecules. You can also click here to go directly to the video piece rather than read the article.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Analytical Chemist Position

An employer in the Faribault, MN area has contracted with Kelly Scientific Resources to fill an opening for an Analytical Chemist. They are looking for recent or December graduates.

If you are interested, you can contact Krista Leach, Scientific Recruiter, using the contact information below.

W: 952-797-0500 F: 952-797-0611

  • Kelly Scientific Resources
  • 6465 Wayzata Blvd., Suite 155, St. Louis Park, MN 55426-1722

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's getting to be the season for letters of recommendation!

As you consider asking professors for letters of recommendation, please remember to bring each letter writer a FERPA waiver form. The forms are available at the Registrar's website. Here's a link to the most-used need to turn in one copy to the Registrar's office and give one copy to each letter writer. This St. Olaf waiver is different from a waiver you may have signed for the receiving institution. The reason to sign a waiver is so that the receiving institution can be sure that the submitted letter is an honest and frank appraisal of your abilities.

Faculty are asked to write a large number of these letters, so make sure to ask far in advance of due dates. It's a good idea to supply letter writers with lots of information: a resume', a statement about your motivations for the position you are seeking, a degree audit if the faculty member is not your advisor, an organized list of due dates, addresses, websites, etc.

Finally, if you are still a young college student...make an effort to get to know your professors! Visit during office hours, either to ask questions about class or just to introduce yourself. Eventually you may want letters of recommendation from these people!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Want more Organic Chemistry?

Advanced Organic Synthesis Lab (Chem 374)

So you've seen all those cool instruments and fancy pieces of glassware in Organic I and II lab, but did get a chance to really use them. You learned about a ton of different chemical reactions in lecture and spent hours working on multi-step synthesis problems but didn't get a chance to use those skills in lab. Advanced Organic Synthesis Lab takes you beyond the lab manual and gives you a chance to direct you own lab work.

With all the equipment and instrumentation in the chemistry department at your disposal, you'll develop your own multi-step synthetic procedure based on research publications and spend the semester building your chosen molecule from scratch. You'll also get the chance to prepare a poster describing your work and present it at the end of the semester.

It won't always be easy and it won't always be fun, but when you get a nice clean NMR showing you've isolated your final product, you'll know it was all worth it.

If you're thinking about going to graduate school or want to get a taste of what research is like, this is a great class for you!

What is an Interim of Bioanalytical Chemistry Like??

Are you interested in biochemistry and/or did you enjoy analytical chemistry? (you don’t need to have taken both...)

Are you interested in how modern biological samples are analyzed?

Do you want to use over $1 million worth of scientific equipment?

Do you wonder what the hospital or clinic lab does with your blood sample to provide your physician with the results of your blood tests?

Do you have an interest in proteomics (what is that?) and how this might lead to individually tailored medical treatments?

Are you thinking of getting a job in the pharmaceutical industry?

Are you looking for a lab experience that lets you work independently and have significant individual hands-on time with various instrumentation?

Do you want to spend more time in the beautiful labs in Regents Hall?

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then you might want to consider taking Chemistry 384: Bioanalytical Chemistry this Interim.

This course will introduce the fundamentals of bioanalytical chemistry, the application of modern analysis techniques to biological samples. Current clinical applications and examples of biological problems will be used to supplement lecture material. Topics will include biological mass spectrometry, radiochemical and immunological assays, various forms of chromatography, gel and capillary electrophoresis, electrochemical analysis and proteomics. Daily lectures will be closely integrated with laboratory experiences. Hands-on laboratory experiments will involve using different types of chromatography to separate biological mixtures in various ways, 1-dimensional and 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis, capillary electrophoresis, and ELISA assays. Several experiments will allow students to use the Chemistry Department’s electrospray ion-trap and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometers to identify proteins and determine the amino acid sequence of peptides. The course has a daily scheduled lecture with the rest of the day open for labs. The course includes significant hands-on lab time, but students work independently on the labs at their own pace and can set their own lab schedule in order to complete the experiments over the Interim term.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Do You Want to Know More About Chemistry 386?

Chemistry 386: Advanced Inorganic Chemistry

Instructor: Gary Miessler

Offered: Spring Semester

Counts toward Chemistry major, required for ACS major

Chem 386 can be called “the course that covers the rest of the periodic table” since it focuses primarily on elements other than carbon. In Chem 386 much emphasis is given to molecular symmetry and how it can be used to understand chemical bonding, IR spectra, electronic spectra, and other characteristics of molecules. We will consider all the elements—and carbon will by no means be ignored! For example, we will spend several weeks on organometallic chemistry (focusing on compounds that have metal­–carbon bonds) and will examine recent developments in the realm of newer forms of carbon (nanoribbons, graphene, carbon peapods, etc.) that have intriguing structures and potential wide-ranging applications in nanoelectronics, medicine, and other realms. In addition, students taking Chem 386 will have an opportunity to prepare and present at least one paper based on current developments in inorganic chemistry and related fields.

Chem 386 should be taken by all students planning graduate study in chemistry, preferably during the junior year; inorganic chemistry is included in the Graduate Record Exam in chemistry (best taken in the fall of the senior year) and is expected background for students entering grad school.

An Interim Course to Think About!

Chem 252: Organometallic Chemistry

Instructor: Gary Miessler

Counts toward Chemistry major; satisfies WRI credit

This course introduces an area of chemistry that bridges the organic and inorganic realms; it can be taken by any student who has completed one semester of organic (Chem 247 is the only prerequisite). In many ways, Chem 252 uses organic chemistry as its foundation. For example, we will consider how benzene and other molecules with cyclic π systems can combine with transition metals to form “sandwich” compounds. We will see that, although there are similarities between organometallic and classical organic molecules, there are some dramatic differences in structure, reactions, and chemical bonding—where we will use an “18-electron rule” for electron counting. In addition, because Chem 252 counts toward the college’s WRI requirement, members of the class will make use of the recent literature to write three short papers and to present the contents of these papers to the class. Examples of topics of current interest that could form the basis for such papers include medical applications of organometallic molecules, recent developments in homogeneous catalysts, and complexes of fullerenes and other “nano” forms of carbon. In addition, a short project will be to use molecular modeling software to calculate and display the molecular orbitals of classic organometallic molecules such as ferrocene and Cr(CO)6.

Preview of Chem 385: Biochemistry II

Biochemistry II will be a departure from textbooks into an instructor-guided, student-driven exploration of the molecular basis of human health. In the beginning of the semester we will delve into experimental techniques used to measure biomolecule structure, dynamics and function. As the semester progresses we will discuss how human health and disease are related to the structure and dynamics of proteins, DNA and membranes. Student interest will drive the selection of topics. For example, we might examine the role of dystrophin and actin filament protein dynamics in the progression of muscular dystrophy. Along the way we will generate testable hypotheses that will be the seeds of student research proposals. By the end of the semester you will have designed a real research proposal in which you apply the techniques you’ve learned to a problem of biomedical significance.

For more information, talk with Professor Klein!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Advanced Chemistry Course Options

First in a series....

Have you taken organic chemistry, enjoyed it, and now realize that you only got the tip of the iceberg and want to know more? Consider Chemistry 388: Advanced Organic Chemistry this spring (T 0800-0925, Th 0800-0920). This course is taught ONLY EVERY OTHER YEAR, ONLY IN THE SPRING, so if you are a junior or senior, this is your LAST CHANCE to register for it.

Here's the scoop.

From the catalog:

"This course explores the subject of organic chemistry at a greater depth and breadth than in Chemistry 247 and Chemistry 248. Topics may include analysis of reaction mechanisms, reaction kinetics, and reaction thermodynamics. Particular attention is paid to the interdependent relationship between experimental and theoretical results. Textbook subjects are augmented by readings from the primary research literature. Prerequisite: Chemistry 248. Offered alternate years in the spring semester."

OK, so what does that mean? It means that we'll take a close look at how organic reactions work, and in particular, we'll take a close look at how people STUDY organic reactions -- how they design experiments and calculations to get answers to fundamental questions, especially questions like "How did that happen?" or "Why didn't that work?"

The exact direction we take in the course will depend upon student interest. I guess I could say this is NOT going to be a synthesis course, and no lab, either. (If you are interested in that, be sure to check out Chemistry 374, Advanced Synthesis Lab. Maybe take both!) If you like puzzles and you like organic chemistry, this course should be fun, challenging, and highly rewarding. My goal is to get us digging into the literature, talking about some of the really great experiments that have been done that provide the basis for what is taught in Chemistry 247 and 248, and to get us thinking about how professional organic chemists think about the subject they love.

You know, what you learned in Chemistry 247/248 really is just the tip of the iceberg. Join me this spring and discover what makes it float -- what makes organic chemistry one of the most fascinating and intellectually stimulating areas of active research in the sciences.

As for all upper level courses, we have a minimum registration requirement of 6 students to make this fly, so if you are interested, bring a friend!

Prof. Hanson

Graduate School Informational Workshop: Could I? Should I?

A group of graduate students from the University of Minnesota will hold a workshop at Carleton on Wednesday, November 3 (TODAY), from 3:10-4:20 p.m. in Olin 04 (Map). They would like any Carleton or St. Olaf students considering science or engineering graduate school to attend.

The presenters are:
Bess Vlaisavljevich
Undergraduate University: University of Minnesota, Morris
Field: Theoretical Chemistry

Jacqui Tehranchi
Undergraduate Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
Field: Bioinorganic Chemistry

Christopher (Kit) Zall
Undergraduate Institution: Carleton College
Field: Inorganic Chemistry

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Industrial Chemistry Summer Internships

This opportunity is for sophomore and junior chemistry majors. Click on the title of this blog for more information.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Job Hunting in the Chemical Industry? Look at these Webinars!

ACS Webinars are free...all of these are happening in the next 2 days! A virtual career fair!

November 2 & 3 - Six Webinars to Accelerate Your Career!

What's Ahead in the Job Market for Chemists Nov. 2 11 a.m. ET

Chemical Industry & Employment Outlook Nov. 2 1 p.m. ET

Pharma & Biotech Industry & Employment Outlook Nov. 2 3 p.m. ET

5 Secrets to Career Success for Scientists & Engineers Nov. 3 11 a.m. ET

What recruiters are looking for? Nov. 3 1 p.m. ET

Career Transitions: Navigating the Shifting Employment Landscape Nov. 3 3 p.m. ET