Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Professor Rizk Publishes Research

Earlier this month, the Journal of Biological Chemistry published work done by biochemistry professor Shahir Rizk as part of team investigating ways to force proteins to adopt particular configurations. The two pictures shown above (click on image to enlarge) illustrate two different synthetic antibodies (blue) attaching themselves to the maltose-binding protein, MBP, (teal).  Because the antibodies are different, they bind to MBP in different spots and affect MBP in different ways. On the left we see the antibody holding MBP in its closed state after it has captured a molecule of maltose (red), while on the right the antibody is holding MBP in its open state.  Rizk continues to research interactions like this and has had many students help with this endeavor.  Some of these students have been supported by summer SMART grants. Congratulations to Rizk and his colleagues on their publication. You can read the abstract and access the full paper from this link using a university computer.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Student Outreach at the Public Library

Over the weekend the Biology-Chemistry Club conducted another outreach event at the River Park Library from 11:00 in the morning to 1:00 in the afternoon on Saturday. Our students led children through short and fun hands-on experiments to get the kids excited about science. The Biology-Chemistry Club has been very active over the years in this type of outreach and their efforts are sure to have lasting positive effects on the young future scientists that participate. Thanks to everyone who dedicate their time on the weekend to interact with the students - and their time prior to that to organize and prepare the event.

Research Experience for Undergraduates

Learning science is one thing, but actively doing science is another.  Would you like an experience beyond homework problems and routine laboratory experiments? Would you like to have a hand in scientific discoveries and advances? Would you like to get an edge over other students appling for graduate school or a job? Would you like to get paid for all of this?  If so, then an REU - or Research Experience for Undergraduates - may be for you. But these paid opportunities are competitive, so find out what they are, and what you need to do to apply, ASAP. Contact your favorite professor to learn more, watch out for announcements from the biology-chemistry club, and view this video from biochemistry professor Shahir Rizk.

We Have A Winner!

Congratulations to Alysha Muhleisen who won $100 for her video on why she loves biochemistry. Not surprisingly, Muhleisen is a biochemistry major, but a love for biochemistry is shared by faculty and students on our campus outside of the major: some of the contest videos were submitted by biology students and chemistry professor Matt Marmorino majored in biochemistry as an undergraduate.  To learn more about Muhleisen and why she loves biochemistry, please see her video on Facebook.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Alumna Earns Doctoral Degree

2010 chemistry graduate Bonnie Huge just successfully defended her doctoroal dissertation Preparative Capillary Zone Electrophoresis as the final step to her Ph.D. in chemistry. Here she is pictured with her mentor and colleagues just after her defense. She has been researching in Dr. Norman Dovichi's group in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame doing a mixture of analytical and physical chemistry. After graduation Dr. Bonnie Huge will continue working with Dovichi (pictured far right) but her days as a student are over; this time she will be a postdoctoral researcher guiding new graduate students. Congratulations on the fruits of your hard work. Our department is extremely proud and happy to have you close by.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Chemistry Appreciation Luncheon

On Friday, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry hosted a luncheon to thank students for their service to the university and the department.  From left to right in the photograph are Pierre N’Guetta (research), Dr. Shahir Rizk, David Aupperle (research & tutor), Maggie Fink (research & work-study), Abigail Praklet (research), Joey Williamson (research), Dr. Gretchen Anderson, Evan Bickel (work-study), and Dr. Gopee Sreenilayam. There are at least five ways students can serve the department and university (see below) and students don't have to be a chemistry or biochemistry major to serve.
Tutoring: The Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) provides tutors to students taking freshman and sophomore chemistry courses. The chemistry tutors operate on the fourth floor of the library and typically provide help for a wide range of courses.
Supplemental Instruction: ACE also employs students to provide intensive support for a particular course by offering weekly group review or question-answer sessions. These students typically sit in on the course they are helping with to better understand the teacher's unique perspective and offer more detailed support than a general tutor.
Research: Several students help professors conduct research projects during the semester. This activity requires a bit of dedication because such positions are usually unpaid and the pressures of homework and exams in one's classes can severely limit a student's time in the research laboratory. However, research experience is a great line on one's resume when applying to graduate school or an industrial position after graduation.
Work-Study Positions: Instructors sometimes seek help in handling large classes or intensive laboratories and have been known to hire students to help grade quizzes or prepare reagents for experiments. Sometimes there are opportunities for webpage support/development, designing laboratory floor plans, or even help with chemical inventory.
LSAMP: Professor Grace Muna is one of the coordinators of a program (Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation) designed to engage minority students in STEM research, tutoring, and outreach to local schools.  This is a relatively new program to IU South Bend that began just this spring.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Student Outreach for National Chemistry Week

Students from the IU South Bend Biology and Chemistry Club kicked off National Chemistry Week (October 22-28) with a program at the River Park Public Library on Saturday October 21. The theme for National Chemistry Week this year was chosen by the American Chemical Society to be Geochemistry. This was a good choice because we all know that "Chemistry Rocks!". At the library, our college students helped children explore the chemistry of rocks and minerals with hands-on ACS-approved experiments and demonstrations. Thanks to the club and its dedicated members for providing this opportunity to the community.