Washington State University scientists have been awarded $1 million from the W.M. Keck Foundation to develop molecular machines that self-replicate, producing pounds of 100-percent pure material.
The two principal investigators for the Keck grant, James Brozik, the Donald and Marianna Matteson Distinguished Professor of chemistry at WSU, and Kerry Hipps, Regents Professor of chemistry, have decades of experience in molecular spectroscopy, single-molecule research and material science. Their team will include two postdoctoral fellows and two graduate students who will work full time on the interdisciplinary project for the next three years.
“This cutting-edge research is a prime example of the innovative work being done by our faculty in chemistry, as well as in units all across the WSU system, and contributes to our goal to be among the top 25 public research universities in the nation by 2030,” said Larry Hufford, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Tech red, an enigmatic technetium compound that has resisted characterization for half a century, has been identified using chemical detective-work and computer modelling. The molecule’s unusual chemistry may explain why it has proven so difficult to unmask.
‘There are only a handful of laboratories who can work with large amounts of technetium, and even fewer who have access to anything other than simple characterization techniques,’ explains John McCloy, who investigates radioactive materials at Washington State University.
Washington State University scientists have created an injectable dye that illuminates molecules with near-infrared light, making it easier to see what is going on deep inside the body.
The new dye will help medical researchers track the progression of a wide array of diseases, such as cancer.
Ming Xian, the Ralph G. Yount Distinguished Professor of chemistry, calls the new dye Washington Red. He and Wei Chen, an assistant research professor in the WSU Department of Chemistry, published a study detailing the dye’s unique properties and how it is made in Angewandte Chemie, one of the top chemistry journals in the world.
Aurora Clark, a WSU professor of chemistry, has been named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society.
Clark received the prestigious award for her service to the nuclear/inorganic and computational chemistry communities and for her innovative research, including the pioneering use of computer algorithms and network analysis to understand the behavior of complex solutions and their interfaces.
Five College of Arts & Sciences faculty, from four departments and two campuses, are among 12 faculty University-wide whose projects aimed at enhancing undergraduate learning will be funded by the Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Teaching and Learning Endowment.
The winning project proposals address teaching and learning issues and improvements, support WSU learning goals, such as critical thinking and communication, and reflect a commitment to resolve factors raised by recent degree assessments.
“Many of the projects detail teaching innovations designed to better support deep, life-long learning,” said Mary F. Wack, vice provost for undergraduate education. “Some tap into emerging or discipline-specific pedagogies. Others support further growth of unique projects already under way.”
The first impact of the grants will be felt by thousands of undergraduates as early as fall classes.
“As methods and results are shared with other WSU faculty and through academic publications, the ultimate impact of these WSU grants will be very far reaching,” Wack said.