|In the spotlight...
NIH funds $7.7 million center at ASU to battle infectious diseases
ASU has been awarded a $7.7 million grant for the next five years from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, to unravel the structures of membrane proteins that play a key role in protection against infectious diseases. Professor Petra Fromme is Director of the Center ... read more in NIH Center
DNA art imitates life: Construction of a nanoscale Mobius strip
Liu/Yan group publishes in Nature Nanotechnology ..
Plants kickstart evolutionary drama of Earth's oxygenation
Anbar group publishes in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)
More in Research highlights...
Friday, October 29, 2010
ASU University Club
|Eyring Lecture October 21/22
e are midway in the Fall 2010 semester, which means homecoming is approaching and it is time for ASU's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry's newsletter. Published three times per year, it has been nearly five months since our last letter. As usual, much has happened, affirming the high level of activity that is generated by 1330+ undergraduate majors (including 360 freshman), 175+ graduates, and 120+ faculty and staff members. "Chemistry News" provides some of the highlights, but please drop by at our homecoming reception Friday, October 29, between 4:30 to 6:30 pm, at the University Club this year, for an accounting of much more.
As Department Chair, I can't help but boast of our accomplishments. Professor Petra Fromme recently led a group of some eleven faculty principal investigators to establish ASU as one of the USA's premier centers on characterizing the structure of membrane proteins. The National Institutes of Health has awarded this group a five-year, $7.7M grant as part of the national "Protein Structure Initiative". ASU's center focuses on Membrane Proteins and Infectious Diseases (MPID) and stems from its recent remarkable successes in developing radically new techniques for determining protein structures and understanding how they catalyze basic biological functions.
There are other examples of research highlights to be found in this letter. Looking back into earth's early history, Professor Ariel Anbar and his coworkers described research correlating the rapid oxygenation of the atmosphere with increased plant and fish life. Professor Dan Buttry and graduate student Eli Hvastkovs reviewed the development of DNA hybridization sensors. Professors Hao Yan and Yan Liu and their coworkers provide impressive examples on how DNA can be manipulated and reconfigured into imaginative topologies, that themselves suggest new uses and functions. Finally, the team of Devens Gust, Tom Moore and Ana Moore published on their concepts of generating solar fuels using photosynthetic processes.
All told, the Department's research activities have rapidly increased; accounting for more than $16M in expenditures funded through competitive awards. This is a 56% increase over last year and in large part stems from the addition of new faculty and concentrated efforts in expanding all of the department's enterprises.
This newsletter also proudly reports two examples of the department's students engaging in community affairs. Undergraduate biochemistry major Tina Mounlavongsy was elected Vice President for Services and into the executive ranks of the Associated Students of Arizona State University (ASASU). Her job is to oversee and improve all of the services this organization offers to some 57,000 members. In the second example, this newsletter describes outreach activities of ASU's Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society aimed at informing and exciting grade school students in chemistry and biochemistry itself. These are only two of the many examples of the way our department is embedding itself into the surrounding community and becoming a societal resource of even greater value than it already has as a highly recognized learning center.
I hope that you will find time to drop by our homecoming reception and tell us what you are doing and giving us the chance to fill you in on other activities of the department. If you can't make it, please send me a note, or call. We would very much like to learn what our alumni and friends are doing.
With best regards,
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