A monthly digest of activities in the Department of Chemistry at MIT

  February 2017 | Vol 36 | 02

Surendranath and Willard Named 2017 Cottrell Scholars

Paul M. Cook Career Development Assistant Professor Yogesh Surendranath (left) and Assistant Professor Adam P. Willard (right) have been named 2017 Cottrell Scholars by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA).

Surendranath and Willard are two of 24 top early career academic scientists selected to receive this designation, which comes with a $100,000 reward for each recipient for research and teaching.>>

Institute Prof. Emerita Mildred Dresselhaus, a pioneer in the electronic properties of materials, dies at 86

Mildred S. Dresselhaus, a celebrated and beloved MIT professor whose research helped unlock the mysteries of carbon, the most fundamental of organic elements — earning her the nickname “queen of carbon science” — died Monday, February 20, at age 86. >>

A New Contrast Agent for MRI

Bawendi Lab: A new, specially coated iron oxide nanoparticle developed by a team at MIT and elsewhere could provide an alternative to conventional gadolinium-based contrast agents used for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures. In rare cases, the currently used gadolinium agents have been found to produce adverse effects in patients with impaired kidney function. >>

John M. Hayes, PhD '66

John Michael Hayes, born September 6, 1940, passed away at his home in Berkeley, California, on February 3, 2017, of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.  Hayes was a geochemist, receiving a B.S. from Iowa State University in 1962 and a Ph.D. in chemistry (under Professor Klaus Biemann) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1966. >>

Where are you now?

We love to hear from our alumni. Let us know what you are doing for work, if you're continuing your studies, participating in any exciting projects, sports, hobbies, travel, etc. 

Submit your professional and personal news on the Alumni Notes page of the Department of Chemistry website.

Please keep your notes as short as possible.  Liz McGrath, Senior Individual Giving Officer, will receive and review your submission for posting. >>

Donor Appreciation

We gratefully acknowledge gifts and pledges to the Chemistry Department from the following chemistry alumni, friends, corporations and foundations during the 2016 calendar year. >>

21st Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

June 13-15, 2017 Reston, Virginia

The ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable invites you to present your research at the 21st Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference session, “ Green Organic Chemistry Research in Academia: Accelerating the Pace of Industrial Adoption.”

Center for Environmental Health Sciences selects 2017 poster winners

The Center for Environmental Health Sciences (CEHS) at MIT held its annual poster session on Jan. 18 in the Building 13 Lobby. The session highlighted the work of the environmental health research communities of MIT and some of the Institute's sister institutions. Over 60 posters were presented from the science and engineering laboratories affiliated with the center. >>

Making single-cell RNA sequencing widely available

Shalek Lab: sequencing messenger RNA molecules from individual cells offers a glimpse into the lives of those cells, revealing what they’re doing at a particular time. However, the equipment required to do this kind of analysis is cumbersome and not widely available. >>

New technology offers fast peptide synthesis

Pentelute Lab: Manufacturing small proteins known as peptides is usually very time-consuming, which has slowed development of new peptide drugs for diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and bacterial infections.

To help speed up the manufacturing process, MIT researchers have designed a machine that can rapidly produce large quantities of customized peptides. >>

Named Lectures:

Merck-Pfister Lectures in Organic Chemistry >>

Thursday, March 16,  and Friday, March 17, 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm in 6-120


Pfizer-MIT Lecture in Organic Chemistry >>

Thursday, March 30, 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm in 6-120



3Q: Leora Cooper on her grandmother, Mildred Dresselhaus’, legacy

When Mildred Dresselhaus passed away on February 20, 2017, MIT and the national science community lost a leader, not only in terms of her remarkable personal achievements as a nanoscience pioneer, but also her considerable effort to encourage women to seek careers in science. Dresselhaus’ achievements have inspired a great many women to follow in her footsteps –including her granddaughter, Leora Cooper, who is currently pursuing her PhD in Physical Chemistry with Professor Keith Nelson at MIT. >>



TY Shen Lectures in Biological Chemistry

On February 14 and 15, 2017, Prof. Dr. Franz-Ulrich Hartl, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, visited the department to deliver the TY Shen Lectures in Biological Chemistry.>>

Click here to learn of current opportunities.

Contributions to the Department of Chemistry provide critical support by way of graduate fellowships, supplies, and important seeding for new programs. 


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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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