SALT LAKE CITY — Just five years ago, Hodan Abdi, a petite, 18-year-old Somalian, left an Ethiopian refugee camp and headed to the U.S. armed with only five years of formal education and English language skills she acquired while watching movies.
On Thursday, she will graduate from the University of Utah with a chemistry degree. Later this summer she will begin medical school at the University of Minnesota.
Curza is a pharmaceutical startup company focused on small-molecule therapeutics. The company is in the early stages of developing two novel classes of antibiotics. Curza's technology originates from the laboratories of Ryan Looper, in Chemistry, and Dustin Williams at the University of Utah. CARB-X - the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator - is funding Curza of Salt Lake City to support the development of a new class of antibiotics to treat a broad spectrum of life-threatening Gram-negative bacteria that are resistant to existing antibiotics.
In 1991, University of Utah chemist Joel Miller developed the first magnet with carbon-based, or organic, components that was stable at room temperature. It was a great advance in magnetics, and he’s been exploring the applications ever since.
Twenty-five years later, physicists Christoph Boehme and Valy Vardeny demonstrated a method to convert quantum waves into electrical current. They too, knew they’d discovered something important, but didn’t know its application.
Now those technologies have come together and could be the first step towards a new generation of faster, more efficient and more flexible electronics.
Cindy Burrows has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Willard Gibbs Medal of the Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society. This is one of the most prestigious honors in chemistry, its purpose "To publicly recognize eminent chemists who, through years of application and devotion, have brought to the world developments that enable everyone to live more comfortably and to understand this world better." Medalists are selected by a national jury of eminent chemists from different disciplines, the nominee being a chemist who, because of the preeminence of his/her work in and contribution to pure or applied chemistry, is deemed worthy of special recognition. This award has been given since 1911, and only one previous Utah chemist (Henry Eyring, 1968) has received it. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Burrows on this impressive recognition!
Shelley Minteer, a USTAR Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering, is flipping the switch on ammonia production. She recently published a new process to make ammonia – a valuable chemical and widely used fertilizer – in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.
Transition metal silicides, a distinct class of semiconducting materials that contain silicon, demonstrate superior oxidation resistance, high temperature stability and low corrosion rates, which make them promising for a variety of future developments in electronic devices. Despite their relevance to modern technology, however, fundamental aspects of the chemical bonding between their transition metal atoms and silicon remain poorly understood. One of the most important, but poorly known, properties is the strength of these chemical bonds -- the thermochemical bond dissociation energy.
Chemistry Professor Vahe Bandarian is exploring the biosynthetic pathways that are involved in the production of modified nucleic acids, such as those found in RNA.
In fact, RNA is among the most highly modified biological molecules, with more than 100 modifications observed to date. While most modifications entail simple transformations, some are so-called hyper-modified bases where multiple steps are involved. Recent studies point to links between RNA modifications and cellular processes, some of which underlie diseases.
Matthew S. Sigman, Distinguished Professor and Peter J. and Christine S. Stang Presidential Endowed Chair of Chemistry, is helping the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) develop highly efficient next-generation battery technologies for energy storage.
Sigman and U of U colleague Shelley Minteer, along with University of Michigan chemists, are participating in the Department of Energy’s Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, to develop a better type of battery architecture for grid energy storage called redox flow batteries.