Fall 2019 

Friday, August 30 

Prof. Erik Grumstrup  (Dept. of Chemistry and Materials Science MSU) will kick off our fall seminar series with a presentation titled "Dynamics at the mesoscale: time resolved microscopy of chemical systems from 10^-3 to 10^5 daltons."  3:10 pm in the Byker Auditorium.

Tuesday, September 3

Ms. Ece Topuzlu will defend her Ph.D. in Biochemistry beginning with a seminar titled "Biochemical and Biophysical Characterization of Plastic Degrading Aromatic Polyesterases."  Ece works in the laboraotry of Prof. Valérie Copié.3 pm in the Byker Auditorium.

Friday, September 6 -

Ms. Emerald Ellis will present her fourth year graduate student seminar titled "Controlling Oxygen's Potential for Fun and Profit." Emerald is Ph.D student in Jen DuBois' Lab.  3:10 pm in the Byker Auditorium

Friday, September 13

Prof. Dong Wang (U of Montana) will present "High-valent Co2(μ-O)2 Diamond Core Complexes: New Bio-inspired Strategies for Aliphatic C-H Bond Activation."  Byker Auditorium at 3:10 pm  Prof. Sharon Neufeldt host.

Friday September 20 - open

Friday, September 27 - 

MUS Materials Science Symposium

Friday, October 4 - 

Dr. David Tyler (Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Oregon) will present "Homing Pigeons, Degradable Plastics, and Solvent Effects; How Caged Radical Pairs Impact Everyday Chemistry."  Byker Auditorium at 3:10 pm.  Prof. Mike Mock host.


How do homing pigeons navigate?  How do we design plastics so they degrade after they are used?  Why are solar energy conversion systems with donor and acceptor complexes so inefficient?  Why do bonds break more readily if they are under mechanical stress?  It turns out that radical cage effects are important in understanding the answers to these and numerous other practical questions involving chemical reactivity.  In this seminar, I will introduce the concept of caged radical pairs, and then I will show why caged radical pairs are key intermediates in the systems mentioned above and in radical reactions, in general. 

Friday, October 11 

Mr. Jesse Peach will present "Making Sense of Complex Biological Fluids Using Mass Spectrometry" as part of his 4th year graduate student PhD requirement in Biochemistry. Jesse works in the lab of Prof. Brian Bothner.

Thursday, October 17

Dr. Alan Weaver (U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, Fort Sam Houston, TX will present "Insights into Burn Wound Infection & the Post-Doctoral Experience in the U.S. Army Research Sector" in the Byker Auditorium at 3:00 pm. Alan graduate from our Department with a Ph.D in Biochemistry.  Prof. Valerie Copie will host. 

Friday, October 18

Ms. Amanda Fuchs will defend her PhD in Biochemistry beginning with a seminar titled "Quantitative 1H NMR Analyses of Immunometabolic Modulation in Human Macrophages.” Amanda works in the lab of Prof. Valérie Copié.  3:10 pm in the Byker Auditorium.

Friday, October 25 

Dr. May Nyman from Oregon State University will present "Building Materials from Molecular Clusters" in the Byker Auditorium at 3:10 pm.  Prof. Nick Stadie will host.


Metal-oxo clusters are modular building blocks for materials via hydrolysis reactions and coordination chemistry. Landmark discoveries in cluster-based materials include zeolites and MOFs. Understanding and controlling solution phase reaction pathways from monomers to clusters to materials (and vice versa) will lead to new discoveries from across the periodic table, and most aspirational, the next new class of cluster-based materials.

I will present an overview of our studies of metal-oxo clusters and their importance in functional materials and understanding reaction pathways, beginning with an introduction to small-angle X-ray scattering as a primary tool in studying cluster systems. Time permitting, presented cluster systems will include; 1) The iron Keggin ion and its relevance to natural systems; 2) Diversifying Zr/Hf oxocluster chemistry with peroxide (and use in microelectronics); 3) Behavior of Nb-POMs around neutral pH; and 4) heterometallic U(IV) clusters and materials.

Friday, November 1 

Nicholas J. Borys Department of Physics, Montana State University

Excitons in 2D Atomically Thin Semiconductors

Abstract: Transition metal dichalcogenide semiconductors, such as monolayer MoS2, are an emergent class of ultrathin thin semiconductors that are only three atomic layers thick yet host a rich suite of photophysical phenomena that provides new opportunities ranging from fundamental investigations of many-body physics to the development of new optoelectronic and quantum devices. In these atomically thin semiconductors, the absorption of light creates an “exciton,” which is an excited electronic state composed of a negatively charged conduction band electron that is tightly bound to a positively charged valence band hole. Like molecules, excitons govern light-matter interactions such as absorption and emission in 2D semiconductors and are fundamental packets of energy that can be leveraged for next-generation technologies. Using time-resolved and nano-optical spectroscopy techniques to access excitonic physics at extreme length and time scales, a striking diversity of excitonic phenomena has been identified in these 2D materials. Building on previous results, our newest findings in these regimes highlight how exciton populations can be coerced into interacting to form bound states of multiple electrons and holes as well as how strain localizes excitons on length scales that are commensurate with their size. These new results demonstrate the exciting potential of monolayer semiconductors to be utilized for model optoelectronic and quantum devices with unique functionalities derived from 2D excitonic physics.

Tuesday, November 5

PhD Defense in Chemistry

Ms. Grace Purnell will defend her PhD in Chemistry beginning with a seminar titled "Unusual Isomerization Behavior of Organic Solutes at the Aqueous-Silica Interface." Byker Auditorium at 3 pm.  Grace works in the lab of Professor Rob Walker. 

Thursday, November 7

Mr. Colin Miller will defend his PhD in Chemistry beginning with a seminar titled "Redox Homeostasis and Stress in Mouse Livers Lacking the NADPH-dependent Disulfide Reductase Systems."  2 pm in the Byker Auditorium. Profs. Mary Cloninger and Ed Schmidt are the advisors. 

Thursday, November 7 

Prof. Takamitsu Kohzuma, Institute of Quantum Beam Science Institute, and the Frontier Research Center of Applied Atomic Sciences, Ibaraki University, Mito, Ibaraki will present

"The Strong Weak-Interaction in Protein"


Noncovalent weak interactions play important roles in biological systems [1]. In particular, such interactions in the second-coordination shell of metal ions in proteins modulate the structure and reactivity of the metal ion site in functionally significant ways.

Recently, we have demonstrated the perturbation of weak non-covalent interaction on the structure and properties of copper site in a blue copper protein, pseudoazurin (PAz) [2]. PAz is well known to work as an electron transfer protein to NO2- reductase and N2O reductase in denitrifying bacteria [3]. The weak interaction at Met16 with a copper coordinated histidine (His81) imidazole ring in the second coordination sphere provides significant effect not only for the PAz properties and local structure but also the whole protein stability [4].

In this lecture, I also would like to introduce the utilization of modern quantum beams involving Synchrotron X-ray, Neutron Beam, and Muon in bioinorganic chemistry.


  • K. Burley and G. A. Petsko, Science, 229, 23 (1985); O. Ymauchi, A. Odani, T. Kohzuma, H. Masuda, K. Toriumi, and K. Saito, Inog. Chem., 28, 4066-4068 (1989); T. Kohzuma, et al., J. Biol. Chem., 274, 11817-11823 (1999); R. F. Abdelhamid, Y. Obara, Y. Uchida, T. Kohzuma, D. M. Dooley, D. E. Brown, H. Hori, J. Biol. Inorg. Chem., 12, 165-173 (2007); D. Rokhsana, D. M. Dooley, R. K. Szilagyi, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 128, 15550-15551 (2006); A. Taborosi, T. Yamaguchi, A. Odani, O. Yamauchi, Bull. Chem. Soc. Jpn., in press.
  • Yamaguchi, K. Akao, A. Takashina, S. Asamura, M. Unno, R. K. Szilagyi, T. Kohzuma, RSC Adv., 6, 88358-88365 (2016); M. B. Fitzpatrick, Y. Obara, K. Fujita, D. E. Brown, D. M. Dooley, T. Kohzuma, R. S. Czernuszewicz, J. Bioinorg. Chem., 104, 250-260 (2010); T. Yamaguchi, J. Yano, Y. Vittal, Y. Nihei, H. Togashi, R. K. Szilagyi, T. Kohzuma, Bull. Chem. Soc. Jpn., 88, 1642-1652 (2015).
  • Kohzuma, S. Takase, S. Shidara, and S. Suzuki, Chem. Lett., 149-152(1993); K. Fujita, M. H.-Fujita, D. E. Brown, Y. Obara, F. Ijima, T. Kohzuma, D. M. Dooley, J. Inorg. Biochem., 115, 163-173 (2012)
  • F. Abdelhamid, Y. Obara, T. Kohzuma, J. Inorg. Biochem., 102, 1373- 1379 (2008); T. Yamaguchi, Y. Nihei, D. Southerlands, M. Stillman, T. Kohzuma, Protein Science, 1921-1931 (2017).

2 pm in ABB 138.  Prof. Robert Szilagyi host.  

Friday, November 8 

Dr. Aaron Wright from Pacific Northwest National Lab will present  "Cultivation- and Genome-Independent Functional Profiling of Microbiomes with Chemical Probes."

Abstract: We are developing and applying chemical probe approaches to characterize and quantify enzyme activities within environmental and host-associated microbial communities.  Specifically, our probe-based methods do not require genomes or genome inferences nor microbial cultivation to assess specific functional activity of microbial cells in complex communities. In host-associated and environmental systems we are using our probe-based approaches to delineate how perturbations or exposures create metabolic susceptibilities and alter microbial functions, community physiology, and community structure.  Our research is enabling the microbiome sciences community to move from functional inference to direct measurement.  3:10 pm in Byker.  Prof. Roland Hatzenpichler is the host. 

Tuesday, November 12 

Ms. Sarah Hopfner will present her research in a graduate student seminar titled "Drug Development for Tuberculosis: Making Drugs that Shut Down the Backup Power." 3 pm in the Byker Auditorium.  Professor Mary Cloninger is the research advisor. 

Friday, November 15  - Open

Friday, November 22 

Dr. Sean Brady (Rockefeller University) will present "Watch Your Step, There Is New Chemistry Everywhere."


The characterization of biologically active small molecules (natural products) produced by easily cultured bacteria has been a rewarding avenue for identifying novel therapeutics as well as gaining insights into how bacteria interact with the world around them. Large-scale sequencing of bacterial genomic and metagenomic DNA indicates that this traditional pure culture-based approach to studying bacterial natural products has only provided access to a small fraction of the diverse metabolites encoded by environmental microbiomes. In particular, these studies suggest that in most environments, uncultured bacteria outnumber their cultured counterparts by at least two orders of magnitude. Although there appears to be no easy way to culture this collection of unstudied microorganisms, we have developed culture-independent methods to circumvent this discovery bottleneck, which involve the extraction, cloning and heterologous expression of bacterial biosynthetic gene clusters directly from environmental samples. The application of these methods to the identification of new antibiotics from the global soil microbiome as well as metabolites encoded by the human microbiome will be discussed.  Prof. Roland Hatzenpichler is the host. 3:10 pm in the Byker.  

Friday, Dec 6 - Faculty Candidate

Wednesday, December 11

CHMY and BCH 494 students will present their research starting at 1 pm.  Each presentation will be aproximately 25 minutes.  Students presenting are Luke MacHale (Robert Szilagyi advisor),  Heath Weaver (Garrett Moraski advisor) and Brock Cone (Jovanka Voyich advisor).

Byker Auditorium 

Friday, December 13

Graduate Student Seminar with Ece Topuzlu 3:10 pm 



Friday, February 7- Dr. Stephan Irle from Oak Ridge National Laboratory will present "Recent developments for the quantum chemical investigation of molecular systems with high structural complexity."  Robert Szilagyi host. 


Friday, February 28th - Graduate Recruiting Day

Friday, March 13 - Stephen Sprang (Montana) Martin Lawrence host

Friday, March 20 - Spring Break

Friday, March 27 - NCUR at MSU 

Friday, April 3 - Betul Kacar (University of Arizona) Roland Hatzenpichler

Friday, April 10 - University Holiday

Friday, April 17- Viola Birss (University of Calgary)  Rob Walker

Friday, April 24- Jessica Hoover (Sharon Neufeldt)