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Olivia DrakeOctober 4, 20162min
The Molecular Biophysics Program, the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry hosted the 17th Annual Molecular Biophysics and Biological Chemistry Retreat on Sept. 29 at Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown. The event included several talks by Wesleyan faculty and two student research poster presentations. Professor Anna Pyle delivered the keynote address titled "Structural and Mechanistic Insights into RNA Splicing." Pyle is the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the William Edward Gilbert Professor in the Departments of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and Chemistry at Yale University. Pyle studies the structure and function of large RNA molecules…

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Olivia DrakeJune 27, 20163min
Michelle Personick, assistant professor of chemistry, received the Victor K. LaMer Award from the American Chemical Society Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry. The honor, which comes with a $3,000 monetary award, was presented at the ACS Colloid and Surface Science Symposium June 5-8 at Harvard University, where she presented a plenary talk. The Victor K. LaMer Award is presented to the author of an outstanding PhD thesis in colloid or surface chemistry. LaMer was the editor of the Journal of Colloid Science (now the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science) from its founding in 1946 to 1965. In addition to his seminal…

Lauren RubensteinMay 24, 20168min
In its recent meeting, the Board of Trustees conferred tenure on four faculty members. They are Associate Professor of Government Erika Franklin Fowler, Professor of African American Studies Kali Gross, Associate Professor of English and American Studies Amy Tang, and Associate Professor of Chemistry Erika Taylor. They join eight other faculty members who were awarded tenure earlier this spring. One faculty member, Louise Neary, was promoted to adjunct associate professor of Spanish. In addition, six faculty members are being promoted to full professor: J. Kehaulani Kauanui, professor of American Studies and anthropology Matthew Kurtz, professor of psychology Cecilia Miller, professor of…

Lauren RubensteinMarch 23, 20161min
Two faculty members and three students have been awarded grants in the latest call for proposals from NASA's Connecticut Space Grant Consortium. Jim Greenwood, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, and Bill Herbst, the John Monroe Van Vleck Professor of Astronomy, professor of integrative sciences, were awarded $8,000 for a Faculty Collaboration Grant titled “Chondrule Formation Experiments.” This is to run high-temperature experiments on material that makes up meteorites in order to test a hypothesis that they put forward in a recent paper in Icarus this year. Seth Redfield, associate professor of astronomy, associate professor of integrative sciences, was awarded $1,500 for a STEM Education…

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Olivia DrakeMarch 11, 20165min
A PhD candidate in chemistry will spend two years in Germany working on microwave spectroscopy research. As a recipient of the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship, Dan Obenchain will continue his studies at the University of Hanover. He will start his fellowship in August 2016 after taking two months of intensive German language classes. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation brings young and senior scientists from around the world to Germany to conduct research in many different fields of science. "Thankfully, working at Wesleyan has given me many great opportunities to publish my work. The faculty of both the chemistry and physics departments have been very supportive throughout…

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Olivia DrakeMarch 11, 20162min
Four Wesleyan academic departments, from psychology to dance to chemistry to biology, are competing for grant funds through a new crowdfunding site specifically designed for research project fundraising. Experiment.com's Challenge Grant for Liberal Arts Colleges asked scientists to define a scientific research question for the crowd with a prize for the project with the most backers. The pilot launched on Feb. 24 and concludes March 25.During this 31-day period, the goal is to reach $4,000 in funding. If so, the team is granted the money. If not, they receive nothing and no one's pledges are charged. By backing a project, participants will receive updates, results and data from project creators. Wesleyan research include how the…

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Olivia DrakeJanuary 29, 20162min
Synform, a journal of chemistry, recently featured an interview with Associate Professor of Chemistry Brian Northrop through its Young Career Focus series. Within it, Northrop briefly discusses his research and his most important scientific achievements. "Currently, I think the greatest impact of my group’s research is more a matter of approach than a specific result. By this I mean that we approach research projects working across each of the ‘three M’s’ of chemistry: making, modeling and measuring. This complementary blend of synthesis, analysis, and theory provides my group with a deep, fundamental understanding of the chemical reactions and processes we…

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Lauren RubensteinNovember 10, 20154min
In this News @ Wesleyan story, we speak with Michelle Personick, a new member of Wesleyan's Chemistry Department. Q: Welcome! Please fill us in on your life before Wesleyan. A: I’ve lived in the Northeast for most of my life. I grew up in New Jersey and then moved a bit further north to go to college in Vermont. I did my graduate work at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, which is just outside of Chicago. It was fun to be a short train ride away from Chicago and to be able to experience a new city for a few years.…