Friday, February 27, 2015

Chemistry Seminar, March 5th, 3:15PM

Natural Biomarkers for Monitoring Bioenergetics in Living Cells

Ahmed A. Heikal

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Swenson College of Science and Engineering,

University of Minnesota-Duluth, MN, 55812, USA

Abstract: Reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) is a key cofactor in energy
metabolism pathways and a myriad of oxidation-reduction reactions in living cells.  NADH is
naturally fluorescent and its emission is rather sensitive to protein binding.  As a result, NADH
autofluorescence would allow for noninvasive and ultimately quantitative monitoring of energy
metabolism in living cells.  In this seminar, I will highlight our efforts in establishing NADH as a
natural biomarker for cellular energy metabolism, mitochondrial anomalies and related health
problems.  Macromolecular crowding effects on enzyme binding reactions with NADH will also
be discussed using a combination of both fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy methods

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Summer research opportunity

Students please visit the UNLV REU Site: Mechanisms of Evolution website. 

Undergraduate projects funded by the REU Site: Mechanisms of Evolution focus on biological processes that drive heritable change. The inspiration for this proposal is the celebrated essay, Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution by Theodosius Dobzhansky. The goals of this proposal are to provide undergraduates with hypothesis-based projects that investigate one or more mechanisms of evolution, promote careers in science and reinforce the connection between genetics and evolution.

Students from underrepresented groups and those that attend academic institutions with limited research opportunities, including two-year colleges are strongly encouraged to apply.

The grant provides a travel subsidy, housing and stipend.  
Visit for the application, a list of mentors and additional details.

Program dates: May 26-July 31
Application deadline: March 6, 2015

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tips for Scienitifc Talks, Posters, Papers, and Proposals


Over the years many of us have been asked or volunteered to talk with a variety of audiences about our work and our perspective as scientists on topics of the day.  In the not so distant future, you will need these skills as well.  The ability to tell a compelling, coherent, engaging story will serve you well.  Recently, Ronald Hites, editor of the ACS journal Environmental Science and Technology, wrote a piece that presents some suggestions on how to give scientific talks and posters and on how to get started writing research papers and proposals.  It is well worth the read and follow-up conversations with trusted mentors and friends.  Enjoy exploring the paper; oral and written communication play critical roles in daily life as well as one's work life.  For those having done summer research here at St. Olaf, many of the paper's take home messages should resonate!


Summer chemistry opportunity

I am writing to request your assistance in identifying outstanding undergraduates who might be interested in, and qualified for, the ACS sponsored Nuclear and Radiochemistry Summer School Program.  We are seeking curious and highly motivated students with strong science backgrounds. If selected, these students receive an all-expense paid opportunity to complete a 6 week summer course in Nuclear and Radiochemistry in either California or New York. They also earn hours (tuition paid) of undergraduate chemistry credit through either San Jose State University or SUNY-Stony Brook.  Selected students also receive a stipend of $4,000.

An announcement for the Nuclear and Radiochemistry Summer Schools that can be posted is attached to this request. It describes the application procedure and the background we hope applicants will have when applying. This information and an on-line application form can also be found on the web at:

The deadline for applications is March 13, 2015. Please distribute this announcement to your undergraduate students and encourage them to consider this unique opportunity! If you or your students have any questions about the ACS sponsored program, please do not hesitate to contact me using the information below.

Thanks, in advance, for your assistance.

Sincerely yours,

J. David Robertson, National Director
ACS Summer Schools in Nuclear and Radiochemistry
Department of Chemistry
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211

Drug discovery summer internship

Summer Internship-Pharmaceutical Formulation Development

Are you looking for a challenging and rewarding summer internship?  Then, CIMA LABS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceuticals, is the place for you. CIMA LABS is a drug delivery technology company that develops and manufactures prescription and over-the-counter drug products using proprietary drug delivery technologies. 

As a summer intern, you will work in the Formulations Development Group.  The work comprises performing general formulation development activities associated with the development of new dosage forms and drug delivery systems.  These activities include the assembly and operation of processing equipment such as blenders, tablet presses, granulators, and coaters to manufacture formulations. The intern will also characterize the physical properties of the formulations, document the data in notebooks, and effectively present the data to the Formulations group.

We are seeking students who have demonstrated a strong academic record and the capability to perform well in a research environment. Candidates who have completed courses in chemistry, pharmacy, physics, statistics and/or calculus and who have previous lab experience are desired. Candidates should have completed at least six semesters of undergraduate work or be enrolled in graduate school.

If this internship opportunity is of interest to you, please email or fax your cover letter, resume, and college transcript (unofficial is acceptable) to Gladys Tripp by March 31, 2015.

7325 Aspen Lane North
Brooklyn Park, MN  55428
Fax: 763-488-4800

CIMA QUALIFICATIONS Must have completed at least six semesters of undergraduate work towards a bachelor degree in chemistry, pharmacy, chemical engineering, or a related field, or be enrolled in or attending graduate school. Completion of courses in chemistry, physics, pharmacy, statistics and/or calculus is desired, as well as courses with laboratory experience. 
JOB REQUIREMENTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES Essential responsibilities will include the assembly and operation of processing equipment such as blenders, tablet presses, granulators, and coaters to manufacture formulations. The intern will also characterize the physical properties of the formulations, document the data in notebooks, and effectively present the data to the Formulations group. 
JUSTIFICATION The summer intern will work on a project related to abuse-deterrent new therapeutic entities (NTE). The project will include experimental work to further enhance the CIMA ADT-IR abuse-deterrent technology platform and/or to elucidate the mechanistic features of this platform. The position will run from mid/late May through mid/late August. The position will be treated in accordance with the Teva University Internship Program Policy. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Carl Djerassi 1923-2015

In 1951, a little known chemist working at Syntex in Mexico City, achieved the first chemical synthesis of an oral contraceptive steroid.  Dr. Carl Djerassi went on to do a large variety of work aimed at benefiting the chemical sciences, forwarding graduate chemical education as a faculty member, and improving the relationship between science and society - especially the arts (literature and theatre).  We now celebrate a life well-lived.  For those interested, check out the links below or simply search the web, SciFinder Scholar, or Web of Knowledge for works and contributions by Djerassi.

Abbreviated Bio

TEDx Vienna (YouTube)

Oxygen (the play!)