Spring 2013
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MaryZhu @asu.edu

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Daniel Buttry, chair of the department, presenting Bateman Scholarship to Gina Mo at 2013 Annual Award Ceremony

A Message from the Chair...

Like Phoenix weather, this time of year, the intensity of activity in ASU’s School of Molecular Sciences is extremely hot!

Our students continue to distinguish themselves with academic and performance excellence. Graduating senior, Brenna Fanning, became the department’s third recipient of the Dean’s Medal, following Camila Sharman last fall. Tom Osborn Popp, chemistry junior, is our inaugural awardee of the Arizona Society for Coatings Technology Scholarship. Matthew Calhoun, an undergraduate in our biochemistry program was recently awarded a prestigious American Physiological Society Summer Research Fellowship.

The department finds itself at the center of many activities on campus – living up to what is expected of a core science discipline. Our faculty and department research continue to attract significant worldwide attention. Ariel Anbar is one of three outstanding faculty members who have just been honored as 2013 president’s professors. Ariel has made a sustained and substantial contribution to chemistry general curricula from the introductory to the specialized level. Most recently, he led the development of the innovative Habitable Worlds online course.

Stuart Lindsay has been selected to receive the 2013 Gary S. Krahenbuhl Difference Maker Award presented by ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Stuart has been a pioneer in both research advances and in education initiatives at ASU for more than 30 years.

Mark Hayes is being honored in November by the American Microchemical Society with the Benedetti-Pichler Award in recognition of his major contributions to the development of new technology for analyzing ultra small volumes of biological fluids and tissues.

At the beginning of the year it was announced by Science Magazine that the groundbreaking research on protein structure by Petra Fromme’s group (in close collaboration with John Spence of the physics department), was one of the top 10 breakthroughs of 2012. John Chaput’s biomimicry work on creating synthetic, DNA-like genetic materials, has garnered recognition from Discover magazine as one of its top stories of 2012.

Recent publications include one in Nature Materials from Jeff Yarger’s group using light scattering to obtain a wide variety of elastic properties of the silk of several intact spiders’ webs. Spider silk is an exceptional biopolymer and Yarger’s group is studying its molecular structure in an effort to fabricate materials ranging from bulletproof vests to artificial tendons. Another in Science is from the groups of Hao Yan and Yan Liu where the team reports making new 2-D and 3-D objects that look like wire-frame art of spheres as well as molecular tweezers, scissors, a screw, hand fan, and even a spider web.

Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE), ASU’s technology venturing arm, recently held its Annual Inventorship Recognition Reception at Rula Bula’s in Tempe.

Awards were presented to ASU researchers who received patents, licensed technologies and initiated start-up companies during the 2012 FY. Almost 50% of these were from the School of Molecular Sciences, a very impressive statistic.

Awardees from our department included Austen Angell, Noeleen Melody, George Pettit, John Kouvetakis, John Chaput, Neal Woodbury and Hao Yan.

The science and creativity to be found in chemistry and biochemistry is essential for the success of many of these enterprises. All in all, this was a very good year for the department and, as ever, we look forward to the future.

With best regards,
Daniel Buttry
Professor and Chair
Chemistry and Biochemistry

School of Molecular Sciences Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona 85287-1604 Phone: (480) 965-3461 FAX: (480) 965-2747