Chemistry Seminar Lecture: Hope Chemistry Professors

Friday, August 30 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm

A. Paul Schaap Science Center, 1000
35 East 12th Street, Holland, MI 49423-3605

Dr. Jason Gillmore: “A long local sabbatical – organic synthesis, electrochemistry, photochemistry, and computation at Hope College and the MSUBI Organic Energy Storage Lab”

In this short talk Professor Gillmore will highlight what he and his coworkers have accomplished at Hope College and the MSU Bioeconomy Institute's Organic Energy Storage Lab, where he divided his time over the past 15 months. At Hope this includes bringing work begun as far back as 2008 to fruition in two new publications on synthesis and electrochemistry related to an obscure class of photochromes (molecules that change structure and color in response to light) envisioned as photochromic photooxidants (for light initiated electron transfer reactions). It also includes securing a new grant to explore the fundamental synthesis and photochemistry of a new class of photochromes of interest for their long wavelength absorbance and potential for use in photomechanical systems (that bend in response to light). At MSUBI this includes supporting a team of 6 BS level research staff and 8 summer undergraduate interns in a range of synthesis, spectroscopy, and electrochemistry. Specifically they have studied molecules for use as redox shuttles in lithium ion batteries (to cheaply make the batteries safer and more efficient) and as electroactive substrates for redox flow batteries (for grid-scale energy storage required to support broad implementation of renewable electricity generation).

Dr. Mike Pikaart: “Adding Spice to Biochemistry Laboratory with BASIL”

In this presentation, Dr. Pikaart will report on BASIL (Biochemical Authentic Scientific Inquiry Laboratory).  BASIL is a protein biochemistry CURE in which students discover enzymatic function of previously uncharacterized proteins.  It combines computational and wet-lab protein science to deliver foundational concepts within the undergraduate biochemistry teaching lab. The BASIL consortium came together in 2015 as instructors sought to integrate genuine research into the biochemistry laboratory course.  To broaden the impact of teaching through research, the BASIL instructors have implemented a CURE, or Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience, approach. The BASIL functions as a CURE by leveraging the products of NIH’s 15-year protein structure initiative (PSI).  The PSI was a high-throughput “structure-omics” project which resulted in determination of thousands of structures of proteins of unknown function; their structures and sequences are available via the Protein Data Bank, and expression plasmids are available a minimal cost.  In the BASIL lab, student teams “adopt” a PSI protein and analyze it through expression and purification, assay development, and bioinformatics tools.  This presentation summarizes the status of BASIL on multiple campuses and seeks to promote further adaptation of this CURE.

Dr. Maria Burnatowska-Hledin: “Sabbatical Report from Professor Burnatowska-Hledin”

Dr. Hledin summarize the time spent during her sabbatical working in her research lab performing experiments and writing manuscripts. Importantly, she worked on submitting two research proposals for funding. One of her proposals, just funded by the American Heart Association, will provide funds to support student research during the summer and during academic year. While pursuing those activities, she continued to mentor research students both during the semester and in the summer. These students were involved in the cutting-edge research activities, and presented their work at national biochemistry and molecular biology meeting in the spring and the Beckman Foundation meeting in the summer. As a result of their efforts, she and her students are planning on submitting at least two manuscripts for publication in the fall. To keep current with the latest endeavors in her area of expertise in biochemistry, cell biology and biotechnology (for non-majors) courses that she teaches, and to expose students to “the state-of-the-art” practices of these disciplines, she spent significant time upgrading her teaching materials. 

Event Type

Academics, Natural & Applied Sciences Division, Chemistry and Biochemistry

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