Fall 2020 

Unless specified differently in the announcement, seminars will be held virtually via WEBEX at 3:10 pm at this link.

Friday, Aug 21

Careers in Government Labs Panel (Michael Mock host)

Friday, Aug. 28

Careers in Industry Panel (Sharon Neufeldt host)

Friday, Sept. 4

Careers in Predominately Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs) Panel (Mary Cloninger host)

Friday, Sept. 11

Postdoctoral Panel (Jen DuBois host)

Friday, Sept. 18

Alternative Careers Panel (Sharon Neufeldt host) 

Friday, Sept. 25

Dr. Shannon Boettcher  from the University of Oregon will present 

"Towards a Molecular Understanding of Dynamic Fe-based Oxygen Evolution Catalysts"

Heterogeneous electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) are complicated materials with dynamic structures. They exhibit potential-induced phase transitions, potential-dependent electronic properties, variable oxidation and protonation states, and disordered local/surface phases. These properties make understanding the OER, and ultimately designing higher-efficiency catalysts, challenging. Measurements of intrinsic activity show that, by far, the most-active phases for OER under alkaline conditions are Fe-containing mixed-metal oxyhydroxides, but exactly how the function remains controversial. I will discuss our work to understand the key properties of these catalysts, including morphology, composition, and molecular/electronic structure, and how they evolve and are dynamic under active catalytic conditions. These concepts inform design strategies for higher-performance catalyst architectures and for their incorporation into practical electrolyzer devices to make clean hydrogen fuel from inexpensive renewable electricity.

The seminar will be hosted by Prof. Nicholas Stadie.

Friday, Oct. 2

Dr. Dipti Nayak, Assistant Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development at UC Berkeley will present

"CRISPR-guided Insights into the Physiology and Evolution of Methanogenic Archaea"

Her website   UCB website   Google Scholar

Members of the Archaea (the third domain of life) that can produce methane are referred to as methanogens. These organisms are prevalent in a wide range of anoxic environments, including the human distal gut, and account for 75 to 80 percent of the annual methane emissions on our planet. Therefore methanogens have significant implications for climate science, biotechnology and even aspects of human health. Despite their importance, the physiology and evolution of methanogens is still poorly understood. At this talk, I will first discuss the development of high-throughput genetic approaches, including CRISPR-Cas9 based tools, to study these pivotal microorganisms. Subsequently, I will describe two examples to highlight how the application of these genetic approaches have transformed our view of the unique biochemistry and evolution of enzymes involved in methanogenic metabolism.

Prof. Roland Hatzenpichler is the host of this seminar. 

Friday, Oct. 9 

Going to Industry from MSU: What you need to do and what to expect.

Dr. John Kiely

During this seminar, Dr. John Kiely will teach you how to successfully create an effective resume’, a research summary sheet, and a cover letter. Dr. Kiely will explain how to develop a competitive application portfolio. In addition, Dr. Kiely will discuss the skills that you need to acquire during your graduate studies to be successful as an industrial chemist or biochemist.

Dr. Kiely earned his undergraduate degree from Montana State University and his Ph.D. from North Dakota State University. He performed postdoctoral research at the University of California-Berkeley before having a successful 25 year career in industry. Dr. Kiely worked for Parke Davis and then for Biotechnology Companies.

Friday, Oct. 23

BETÜL KAÇAR, PH.D., Assistant Professor, University of Arizona

Understanding the paleomolecular evolutionary history of life on Earth through integrative molecular systems

Her website    Paper describing her lab’s approach

Webex link to talk of Betul Kacar  3:10 pm

Webex link to virtual happy hour  5:00 pm 

The suite of life’s essential chemical elements on Earth constitutes only one possible evolutionary outcome. A greater understanding of factors governing the natural selection of elements in Earth’s past will create a predictive capacity for detecting and assessing life’s existence on worlds where alternate evolutionary paths may have been taken. In my talk, I will discuss our approach on the laboratory generation of novel interfaces between self-organizing biotic and abiotic chemistries, and alternative biologies that may not limited by life's extant genetic, enzymatic and metal cofactor-catalyzed molecular architecture. 

Dr. Roland Hatzenpichler host.

Friday, Oct 30  -Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar SPECIAL TIME 

Webex link (JhYgxV4mZ47) 9-10am

Her website   Google Scholar



Microbial communities have profound impacts on their hosts as well as on ecosystem‐level processes. How microbes interact within these natural communities, however, remains largely unknown. The Shank lab addresses this gap by investigating microbial interspecies interactions mediated by specialized metabolites, defining the molecular basis of how these compounds impact bacterial differentiation, and examining the microscale interactions of cells in native and model microcosms. To do so we use a mix of traditional microbiology and genetics, coculture screening, bioinformatics, fluorescence microscopy, and mass spectrometry. Our overarching goal is to understand how microbial communities and their metabolite signals intersect to generate functional biological systems and to identify bioactive compounds to manipulate microbial communities to improve host health and the environment. 

Friday, Oct 30 

Mr. Mani Stubbs, Assistant Director for Career Education and Development, Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success (MSU) will present a seminar titled "Online Networking & Your Virtual Brand: Using LinkedIn and HireABobcat.com."

Summary: In an increasingly virtual world, online networking and building your virtual brand has never been more important.  Join MSU Career, Internship & Student Employment Services to leverage online platforms LinkedIn and HireABobcat.com, powered by Handshake to market your skills, build professional relationships, and pursue endless career opportunities.   

Friday, Nov 6

Dr. Joanna Atkin, Assistant Professor at University of North Carolina Department of Chemistry will present 

a seminar titled “Near-field optical spectroscopy for the study of electronic properties in semiconducting nanostructures.”  

Abstract: Semiconducting nanostructures have been proposed as platforms for a wide variety of photonic, electronic, and photovoltaic elements. In order to realize these applications, careful design and characterization of electronic properties such as dopant concentration, activation, and distribution are needed. I will discuss the use of near-field optical microscopy as a non-destructive method for chemical, structural, and electronic imaging in nanomaterials. Near-field optical techniques can break the diffraction limit to provide nanometer scale information through the lightning-rod properties of an atomic force microscopy tip, but interpretation can be challenging due to convolutional effects. I will focus on two applications in semiconducting nanostructures that illustrate the importance of understanding the influence of the tip and controlling near-field interactions. In the first example, we use infrared near-field spectroscopy to resolve free-carriers in axially-doped silicon nanowires (SiNWs). We can detect local changes in the electrically-active doping concentration from the free-carrier absorption in both n-type and p-type doped SiNWs. The high spatial resolution (< 20 nm) allows us to directly measure dopant transition abruptness in single and multi-junction SiNWs. This is especially valuable in boron-doped p-type SiNWs, for which nanometer-scale information on the junction properties is difficult to obtain without intensive processing. In the second example, we use nano-Raman spectroscopy to study functionalized graphene, a derivative of graphene with a band gap. The high degree of chemical and physical disorder can be resolved with near-field spectroscopy, demonstrating its utility in understanding how local properties of nanomaterials affect functionality in optoelectronic and photovoltaic devices.

Prof. Erik Grumstrup host.

WEBEX invite


Monday, Nov 9 - 4th year Graduate Student Seminar

Mr. Devin McGlamery will present his research in a seminar titled "Phonon Dispersion Relation of Bulk Boron-Doped Graphitic Carbon."  Devin is a 4th year PhD student working in the lab of Dr. Nick Stadie.    3:10 pm 

WEBEX invite


Thursday, Nov 12 - 4th Year Graduate Student Seminar

Mr. John Russell will present his research in a seminar titled "Ni-Catalyzed Cross-Couplings of Phenolic Electrophiles."  John is a 4th Year PhD student in the laboratory of Dr. Sharon Neufeldt.  3:10 pm Byker

WEBEX invite


Friday, Nov 13 - PhD Defense in Chemistry

Ms. Emily Reeves will defend her PhD in Chemistry beginning with a seminar titled "Mechanistic Studies and New Methodologies Relevant to Palladium-catalyzed Chemodivergent Cross-couplings."  Emily works in the lab of Dr. Sharon Neufeldt lab.  11 am via WEBEX



Friday Nov 13

Dr. Zhongyue Yang from the Dept. of Chemistry, Vanderbilt University will present a seminar titled "Chemical Dynamics of Biomolecules."


The advancement of computational methods and techniques has boosted the evaluation, understanding, prediction, and design of biochemical transformations. In this talk, I will present the development of a quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) method, environment-perturbed transition state sampling, to simulate time-resolved mechanisms for SpnF enzyme-catalyzed Diels–Alder reactions. I will discuss the use of a GPU-accelerated larger-scale quantum mechanics technique to evaluate the entropy and enthalpy for a mechanically-interlocked molecular switch, lasso peptide Benenodin-1. Finally, I will briefly introduce our ongoing construction of a new enzymology database that integrates structure, kinetics, and simulation data in one place to allow efficient development of data-driven models for functional enzyme discovery.

3:10 pm WEBEX , Dr. Sharon Neufeldt host.