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DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY | FALL 2017

The

CATALYST CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY ALUMNI MAGAZINE FALL 2017

University Distinguished Professor Vicente Talanquer explores chemistry education Page 16

Carolina Barillas-Mury College of Science Alumna of the Year Page 3


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

THE

CATALYST

CBC ALUMNI MAGAZINE

DEAR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS OF CBC@UA!

CAROLINA BARILLAS-MURY 2017 College of Science Alumna of the Year

Carolina Barillas-Mury, College of Science Alumna of the Year . . . . 3 Alumni News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Terry Holcslaw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 James Rohrbough . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Zachary Campbell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Thomas Gaj . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Alice Ferng . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Eman Akam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Vicente Talanquer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 2016–17 Student Awards . . . . . . . . 18 2016–17 Commencement . . . . . . . 19 Faculty and Staff Awards . . . . . . . . 20 Our Retirees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 New Faculty and Staff . . . . . . . . . . 20 In Memoriam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Careers in Chemical Sciences (CiCS) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Student Peer Mentors . . . . . . . . . . 22

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his past year has been a year of growth for CBC with six new faculty hires since June 2016. Michael Marty, Rebecca Page, and Wolfgang Peti signed on as faculty members last summer and have now established their labs and are training our CBC students. Michael is in renovated space on the fifth floor of the Marvel building, and Rebecca and Wolfgang are in renovated labs on the fifth floor of Biological Sciences West. In the past few months, we successfully recruited Thomas Gianetti and Nam Lee, both of whom joined CBC this Fall, and Thomas Tomasiak, who will start in January 2018.

This fall, we are pleased to honor Carolina BarillasMury, who has been selected as the College of Science Alumna of the Year. CBC alumni and friends who know Carolina are especially invited to attend this year’s Award Ceremony:

If you have started your own company, or are on the management team of a company, we hope you read about two CBC programs that provide an opportunity for you to formalize a working relationship with the CBC research and workforce enterprise. One is the CBC Industry Associates Program (IAP), and the other, the CBC Careers in Chemical Sciences (CiCS) program. More information about these two highimpact programs can be found in this issue of the Catalyst magazine and on our website.

Friday, Oct. 27, 2017 at 2:30 pm Student Union Grand Ballroom The ceremony is free, but an RSVP is required (URL below). Parking is available in the Second Street Garage with advance reservations. Carolina will also present a seminar “Plasmodium Evasion of Mosquito Immunity & Malaria Transmission” on Friday at 11 am in Biological Sciences East Rm 100, to which you are invited (no RSVP necessary).

We once again invite you to join us in pushing the boundaries of Chemistry & Biochemistry in the areas of research, teaching, and outreach by helping support CBC@UA! with your tax-deductible donation.

Industry Associates Program . . . . . 23

Carolina Barillas-Mury

Outreach Activities . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Student Adventures . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

The University of Arizona takes great pride in saluting alumni for their professional achievements, humanitarian and public service, advocacy for education, distinguished volunteerism and service to students and the University of Arizona.

Roger L. Miesfeld

Zhiping Zheng

Andrei Sanov

Department Head

Associate Head

Associate Head

CBC Scrapbook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

PhD Biochemistry, University of Arizona, 1992 Distinguished Investigator, NIH Head of the Mosquito Immunity and Vector Competence Section Sanofi/Pasteur Award, 2013 Member, National Academy of Sciences, 2014

Zhiping Zheng, Roger Miesfeld, and Andrei Sanov

Be sure to see the full PDF version of the Catalyst magazine posted on the CBC Alumni News website for more. cbc.arizona.edu/alumni_friends

Please reserve your space at the ceremony: Arizonaalumni.com/event/alumni-year-awards-ceremony-0 The University of Arizona is committed to a campus that is accessible, inclusive, and welcoming of its diverse community. If you have questions about access or to request any disability-related accommodations that will facilitate

your full participation at the awards ceremony, such as ASL interpreting, please contact Kristen Fought: kristen.fought@al.arizona.edu or (520) 626-3835


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THE

ALUMNI NEWS

CATALYST

CBC ALUMNI MAGAZINE

Jim Foster – PhD Chemistry, 1968 (5)

Tim Krupa – MS Chemistry, 1979 (1)

I made it to 75!

Bruce Mayall - MS Chemisry, 1971 (6)

I retired in 1966 from Medtronic PS Medical, where I developed and manufactured hydrocephalus shunts. I have two married sons, a granddaughter, and a grandson. I am actively involved in ACT for America. more online

Harold McNair – BA Chemistry, 1955 (1)

In 2016 I received the ACS Award in Chromatography, and in 2017 I was selected as a Fellow by the American Chemical Society.

David Bear – BS Chemistry, 1972

Robert Greene – BS Chemistry, 1958

I am 87 years old and am pushing for 90!

John Robert Jordan – BA Chemistry, 1958 (2)

Proud father and grandfather to son Jeffrey Jordan and granddaughters Mallory Jordan, Angela Jordan Muszynski, and Brett Jordan, all UA graduates!

James ( Jim) Fresco – PhD Chemistry, 1962 (3)

Since almost reaching 91 years it didn’t seem possible Arizona chemists from the late 1950s were still available to write stories of the past. I was happily surprised to read Ken Zahn’s biographical sketch. I remember vividly losing every chase up Mt. Baldy to Ken. more online

Larry ( J. Lawrence) Fox – PhD Chemistry, 1966

Our son, Kenneth A. Fox, MD, one of our two children born in Tucson, is now on the UA Medical School faculty where he is a pediatric cardio-thoracic surgeon. Ken met his wife during his residency in Tucson, and their oldest daughter was born in Tucson. more online

Charles (Dave) Green – PhD Chemistry, 1967 (4)

I was inducted into the Powder Coating Institute Hall of Fame in 2007. I became a 50-year, Emeritus Member of the American Chemical Society in 2013.

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DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY | FALL 2017

After retiring from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine after 33 years, my wife and I moved back to Tucson, where I now have a part-time faculty appointment in the Dept of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the UA College of Medicine teaching medical students. more online

Don Stevenson – PhD Chemistry, 1972

I retired at the end of 2014 but am working part-time as a consultant for Dover Chemical.

Richard (Rick) Yost – BS Chemistry, 1974 (7)

I am President Elect of the 7000-member American Society for Mass Spectrometry. I was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry this year!

Deepa Whipple – BS Biochemistry, 1997 (5)

I am happily married to Rusti, my bride of 44 years. I am the proud father of Jenni and Tim. I spent my career developing new drugs, devices, and the professional careers of my teammates. After 35 years, I have started a second career in Ag Biotech, which I am enjoying. more online

I was recently promoted to VP and relocated to our NYC office (from California).

Rogerio Sotelo-Mundo – PhD Biochemistry, 1999 (6)

Tomi Sawyer – PhD Chemistry, 1981 (2)

I am delighted to announce that identical twin granddaughters, Kristen and Elisabeth Sawyer, were born May 6, 2017, and both along with mother (Sarah) and father (Thomas) are doing well!

Nancy Gin – BS Chemistry, 1982; MD 1986

For the past six years, I have been the Medical Director for Kaiser Permanente Orange County, overseeing 1,200 physicians, two hospitals and 25 medical office buildings. I am forever grateful for my training in the UA Department of Chemistry and the College of Medicine.

Hilary Danehy – BA Biochemistry, 1987

I recently joined Intarcia Therapeutics as Associate Director of GxP Training.

Scott Hertzog – BS Chemistry, 1987 (3)

I have been a professor at CIAD (Research Center in Food & Development) since 1999 after graduating from Bill Montfort’s lab. I have received funding for an X-ray diffractometer suitable for protein and small molecules. more online

Matthew Lynn – PhD Chemistry, 2000

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I am an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chairperson of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf Department of Science and Mathematics at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, where I oversee deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing faculty members in the sciences. more online

Danny (DJ) Morales – BA Biochemistry, 2000 (8)

I was elected as a City Council member in Douglas, Arizona in 2016. In August 2016, I graduated as a Cochise County Sheriff Deputy. more online

Liliya Yatsunyk – PhD Chemistry, 2003 (9)

I am currently President and Chief Science Officer of Nutrition Science Solutions, LLC in the Austin, TX area. more online

I just celebrated three years as an Applications Specialist for CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, traveling the country and training researchers how take maximum advantage of CAS services, including SciFinder and STN.

This is my tenth year teaching General and Inorganic Chemistry at Swarthmore College. I also do research with undergraduates on unusual DNA structures implicated in cancer using spectroscopic and structural methods. In my free time I run (mostly half marathons) and rock climb.

Oliver Ileperuma – PhD Chemistry, 1976

Bruce Armitage – PhD Chemistry, 1993

Ware Flora – PhD Chemistry, 2004 (10)

Mark Dreher – MS/PhD Agricultural Biochem & Nutrition 1976/1979 (8)

I retired from the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka in 2014 after 44 years of service. Currently I am Emeritus Professor of Chemistry.

Michael Routh – PhD Chemistry, 1976 (9)

I have retired as CEO of GE Analytical Instruments. I am board director of 4 technology companies.

I am finishing up 20 years on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University. Time flies!

Woncheol Jung – PhD Chemistry, 1994 (4)

I am working as a Principal Researcher at Samsung Electronics in Korea.

I am Vice President – Global Research & Development for Archer Daniels Midland Company’s Wild Flavors & Specialty Ingredients, where I lead a global team working closely with commercial leaders to ensure R&D activities support ADM’s growth objectives. more online

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John Jordan and family

Jim Fresco

Dave Green

Tim Krupa

Tomi Sawyer’s granddaughters

Scott Hertzog

Woncheol Jung

Deepa Whipple

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Jim Foster with wife Sandra

Bruce Mayall

Rick Yost

Mark Dreher

Michael Routh

Rogerio Sotelo-Mundo

Matthew Lynn

Danny (DJ) Morales

Liliya Yatsunyk

Ware Flora


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THE

ALUMNI NEWS, CONT.

CATALYST

CBC ALUMNI MAGAZINE

Katherine Hanlon – BS BMB, 2008 (7)

I have just begun my tenure as the Director of Research at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina with a faculty appointment in the School of Pharmacy. Last year I received the Award in Pain from the American Pain Society and became a Rita Allen Foundation Scholar. more online

Andrew Wenger – BA Biochemistry, 2006 (1)

I graduated from medical school at Midwestern University, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in May 2017 and started residency in Emergency Medicine at Western Michigan University in June 2017. Daughter Isobel Brigid was born in September 2016.

Joon Kim - BS BMB & BS MCB, 2008

Channa De Silva – PhD Chemistry, 2007 (2)

I was promoted to Associate Professor of Chemistry with tenure at Western Carolina University in July 2016.

Steve Fernandes – MS BMB, 2007 (3)

Ahmed Badran – BS BMB and BS MCB, 2010 (1)

I hired on as a Federal Employee at Naval Research Laboratory with the title of Research Chemist. Currently I am “Chair” of MRS’ Sub-Committee on Government Agencies.

Adam Daly – PhD Chemistry, 2010

I am currently a Research Scientist at The Biodesign Institute. In 2015 I was honored as an Aspen Cancer Fellow, and I also was named a Carl L. Alden Scholar for Scientific Research Excellence.

After working for a biotech company for 2 years, I decided to go to medical school. While in med school, I met my wife, Michelle. I am now a Nephrology Fellow at the University of Nebraska Medical Center managing kidney-related conditions. more online

Shang-U Kim – PhD Chemistry, 2008 (9)

Sachin Kalarn – BS BMB and BS MCB, 2010 (2)

In 2014 I earned my MBA from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Presently I am employed at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and serve on the Executive Board of Global Biotech Revolution (GBR) in the United Kingdom. more online

I spent two years at Ohio State University Medical Center as a postdoc, after which I moved back to Korea. I am a principal engineer and a manager of failure analysis and material characterization lab in the department of quality assurance at Samsung Display. more online

I am currently an Ophthalmology resident at the University of Maryland focusing my studies on Glaucoma research and clinical practice. My current plans are to pursue a fellowship in Glaucoma after completing my Ophthalmology residency in another 3 years. more online

Wendy Ingram – BS BMB, 2007

Erika Offerdahl – PhD Biochemistry, 2008

Michael Ortega – BS BMB and BS MCB, 2010

I was awarded a two year Psychiatric Epidemiology Training Program Postdoc Fellowship in the Department of Mental Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins.

Patrick Vinck – BS BMB, 2007 (4)

Currently, I am the medical director of an innovative primary care model working to transform primary care delivery in the US. We care for vulnerable seniors in a team based model. more online

Angela Peiffer Folley – BS BMB, 2008 (5)

I married my high school sweetheart, Austin (also a 2008 Wildcat). We are currently living in Georgia. Nora Ann was born July 25 and is definitely loved by her 2 year old big sister, Elaina! more online

Kexiao Guo – PhD Biochemistry, 2008 (6)

I am working as a senior research associate at the Dept. of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University to continue my passion on cancer drug discovery and development. more online

I accepted a position as Associate Professor of Biochemistry at Washington State University in summer 2016. I presently serve as a Fellow for the Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE) Education Fellow for ASBMB.

In 2016, I became a pharmacy manager for King Soopers (a Kroger division) and welcomed my 1st child, a baby girl, with my wife Robin (Arizona Alum 2009).

Justin Crotty – PhD Chemistry, 2009 (10)

After graduating from The George Washington University Law School, I moved to Boston, where my practice focuses on representing universities before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. more online

I am working as Communicable Disease Epidemiologist at the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. My team and I study infectious disease trends, investigate outbreaks, and implement control measures to prevent more individuals from becoming ill. more online

Eric Hauck – BA Biochemistry, 2009

Erin Johnson Kaleta – PhD Chemistry, 2011

I am now Assistant Director of Clinical Chemistry and Infectious Disease Serology and Assistant Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ.

more online

Mounir Koussa - BS BMB & BS Chemistry, 2011 (3)

I got married in February, right after I received my PhD in cancer biology from the University of Colorado.

Femina Rauf – PhD Chemistry, 2011 (6)

Mary-Helen Wanat – BS BMB, 2011 (4)

I recently accepted a position as an Epidemiology Disease Investigator with Maricopa County Department of Public Health focusing primarily on Zika virus, which has allowed me to learn and work alongside CDC representatives. more online

Gabrielle Winston-McPherson – BS BMB, 2011

In 2015 I received a UNCF-MERCK graduate science research dissertation fellowship, completed my PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2016, and began a postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Chemistry at the University of Washington.

Kenneth Childers – BS Biochemistry, 2012 (7)

Since leaving CBC, I immediately went on to graduate school at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I am currently entering my 6th year as a graduate student and plan on obtaining my PhD by next spring.

Jennifer Collins – BS BMB, 2011

Founder of MEP Equine Solutions LLC, an NIH SBIR Grant award winner commercialized a smartphone-based fecal egg diagnostic and intestinal parasite management tool for veterinarians.

Sarah Nelson-Taylor – BS BMB and BS MCB, 2009

Diogenes (Dio) Placencia – PhD Chemistry, 2011 (5)

Recently, I joined the Fellow Program at the Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard, initiating my own independent research program focused on the creation of novel functionalities within the central dogma. more online I did a postdoc in the laboratory of José Luis Alonso in Valladolid, Spain. While there, I met and married Maravillas. Now I am back at the UA teaching in the innovative chemical thinking curriculum. Maravillas and I recently welcomed our first son into our home!

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DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY | FALL 2017

Feel Gu Kang - BS Biochemistry, 2013 (8)

I am a lieutenant in the US Navy. I recently graduated from Uniformed Service University of Health Science (USUHS), which is a tri-service military medical school. I just started a residency in Internal Medicine at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.

Amanda Roberts – MA in Chemistry, 2013 (9)

I am a 2nd year Graduate Research Assistant earning my PhD in Biomedical Sciences at the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) in Fort Worth, TX. My project aims to discover new molecular mechanisms responsible for glaucomatous trabecular meshwork damage in the eye. more online

I currently serve as the CEO of Confer Health, Inc. a 15-person biotech startup that I founded in Boston in late 2015. I got married to the woman of my dreams in April of 2017.

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Andrew Wenger

Channa De Silva

Steve Fernandes

Patrick Vinck

Angela Peiffer Folley

Ahmed Badran

Sachin Kalarn

Mounir Koussa (4th from left) and employees of Confer Health, Inc.

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Kexiao Guo

Katherine Hanlon

Joon Kim and bride Michelle

Shang-U Kim

Justin Crotty

Dio Placencia

Femina Rauf

Kenneth Childers

Feel Gu Kang

Amanda Roberts

Mary-Helen Wanat


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THE

ALUMNI NEWS, CONT. Luis Torres-Figueroa – MA Chemistry, 2013

I work for Western Emulsions as Technology and Quality Coordinator for their Tucson Plant. I’m in charge of the quality program and product testing, but now with more responsibilities, as I will also serve as a technical liaison between the plant, sales and customers. more online

Aaron Pejlovas – BS Chemistry, 2014 & MA Chemistry, 2017

I was married last September to the love of my life, Rhianna Hastings, who is also a CBC alumna. We purchased a house last November!

CATALYST

CBC ALUMNI MAGAZINE

Ambjorn Brynnel – BA Chemistry, 2016 (3)

I am now doing a Master’s in physiology at the UA, with hopes it will get me closer to being accepted to a great physical therapy school. My research involves studying the tension characteristics and binding proteins of the muscle protein Titin.

Nikki Changavalli – BA Chemistry, 2013, MA Chemistry, 2016 (4)

Andrew Dixon – PhD Chemistry, 2016

I am working in Dr. Jun Wang’s lab to further improve my knowledge in pharmaceutical research and to prepare myself for graduate school. more online

Kameron Rodrigues – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2014

Kylie Holliday - BS Biochemistry, 2016

I’m starting my PhD in Immunology home program within the Biosciences at Stanford University, where I was awarded a Stanford Graduate Fellowship. I’m interested in computational and systems immunology, which includes immunogenomics.

Sho Taniguchi – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2014

I was recently accepted into dental school at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and started in late July. My hope is to practice in a community health center after my anticipated graduation in 2021.

Joe Cada – BS Molecular & Cellular Biology, 2015 (1)

I moved to Scottsdale to pursue a career in dentistry and am preparing for the DAT. I am also in the process of becoming an officer in the National Guard. This past summer I competed in NPC fitness competitions, have entered into multiple shows in Arizona, and am preparing for a national qualifier. more online

Tyler Kennedy – BS Chemistry, 2016

I have been continuing my education across the street at the UA’s College of Medicine in pursuit of my MD. I have now finished my first year and the second is in full swing as we crash through stacks of material each week. more online

I currently am enrolled at Arizona State University, specifically at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in downtown Phoenix. I hope to apply my knowledge of biology and be able to help courts and individuals better understand science and how it relates to the law. more online

Nathan Napierski – BS Biochemistry, 2016 (5)

Yiming Huang – PhD Chemistry, 2015 (2)

Kelsey Coyle – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017 (6)

After graduation, I joined the group of Prof. Eilaf Egap as a postdoc at Emory University. Our group is in the process of relocating to Rice University (Houston, TX), and I am looking forward to new exciting challenges about to come. more online

I’m a former UA cheerleader, a chemistry TA for CBC, a bartender on 4th Avenue, and an avid seeker of adventure. I’m on a teeter totter between pursuing my PhD in Biochemistry and going back to school to be a Nurse Practitioner. more online I started a Master’s program in Medical Pharmacology with a focus in Perfusion Sciences. When not in class or in surgeries, I also work for Banner on the donor team, flying out to help with the dissection of lungs and hearts for transplants. more online

Destinee Ogas – BA Biochemistry, 2017 (7)

I just started in the Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology PhD program in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and am about to start my first of three lab rotations, after which I look forward to settling into a lab to complete my doctoral thesis. more online

Gabrielle Grinslade – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017 (2)

I am enrolled in the University of Arizona Master of Animal and Biomedical Industries program.

Alyssa Pires – BS Chemistry, 2014

Jordan Barrows – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017 (1)

In 2015, I moved back to my home country of Australia, where I am a Lab Chemist at an adhesive manufacturing company called Vivacity Engineering. I perform quality control on all products and am actively involved in new product development and testing. more online I am working at Silberline Manufacturing Company located in eastern Pennsylvania. As part of their research and innovation team, I work to provide both internal innovations and new products. I study goniospectroscopy (how your eye sees colors), polymers, and surface science. more online

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DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY | FALL 2017

I moved to the Big Island of Hawaii and started Pharmacy School at The Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

David Renner – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017 (8)

After graduation I quickly obtained a Research Technician position in Dr. Timothy Bolger’s lab in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Genetics. I want to apply to graduate school to pursue a PhD in Biochemistry. more online

I have a new job as a Research Scientist at the University of Washington in the Department of Biochemistry in Trisha Davis’ lab studying nucleation of microtubules.

Dagoberto Robles – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017 (9)

Ray Hau - BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017 (3)

I am currently obtaining my Master’s in Public Health at the UA and plan to continue my studies in hopes of entering medical school in the future. As a student of Epidemiology, my current interests lie in the spread of chronic diseases such as chronic pain and type 2 diabetes. more online

John Heydorn – BS Chemistry, 2017 (4)

Skyler Smith – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017 (10)

After earning my degree in 2017, I am continuing at the UA’s College of Pharmacy for a PharmD degree in 2021. I will be receiving a second degree in a few years following 2021.

For the next year I will continue working with the great people in Peter Cotty’s lab as a full time technician. During this time I will take my GRE, apply for graduate programs, and scout out labs that I might like to be a part of. more online

Lauren Koch – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017 (5)

I started my first rotation Summer 2017 at the University of Michigan through the Program in Biomedical Sciences. I spent my summer rotation in a lab studying telomeres, and have rotations lined up in labs that study Wnt signaling and long noncoding RNAs, to name a few. more online

Matthew Stagg – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017 (11)

I have moved to Macon, GA, where I am currently applying for early admission to Mercer University School of Medicine. I found a small internship with the athletic marketing team, which involves many sports events. more online

Gloria Le – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017

Ana Tellez Osuna – BS Chemistry, 2017 (12)

Since graduation, I received an internship at Icagen for a month, followed by a career opportunity with Ventana Medical Systems. I am performing research on their newest system, the HE-600, with another fellow CBCer who graduated in 2016!

After graduating I completed a summer internship at ASARCO Mission Mine, which was an awesome learning experience. I recently moved to San Francisco with my new husband, Brandon Cornali (MS Chemistry, 2016). My current aspiration is to be a Cosmetic Formulations Chemist. more online

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Elise Muñoz – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017 (6)

I moved to San Francisco where I am pursuing my PhD at UCSF through the TETRAD program—an umbrella biochemistry and cell biology program. more online

See more online for all the full stories! cbc.arizona.edu/alumni_friends

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Jordan Barrows

Gabrielle Grinslade

Ray Hau

John Heydorn

Lauren Koch

Elise Muñoz

Send your news to Olivia Mendoza at omendoza@email.arizona.edu to be included in next year’s magazine!

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Joe Cada

Yiming Huang

Ambjorn Brynnel

Nikki Changavalli

Nathan Napierski

Kelsey Coyle

Destinee Ogas

David Renner

Dagoberto Robles

Skyler Smith

Matthew Stagg

Ana Tellez Osuna and Brandon Cornali


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THE

CATALYST

FROM ATHLETE TO SCIENTIST

CBC ALUMNI MAGAZINE

Terry and Anita and their grandsons

By Terry Holcslaw | BS in Chemistry, 1968

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DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY | FALL 2017

THE CAREER OF A LAB RAT

By James Rohrbough | BA Biochemistry, 1995; PhD Biochemistry, 2007 Lt. Col. James Rohrbough

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ever in my wildest dreams growing up in small town northern Indiana did becoming a published medical scientist enter my mind. I was determined to be the best athlete I could be in all the sports in which I participated including baseball, basketball and football. This was my focus all through high school. I was thrilled to have a tryout with the Milwaukee Braves and the Chicago Cubs in the early 1960s while still in high school. I had a very successful baseball and basketball experience in high school and considered myself an athlete worthy of a college career.

Science courses, except physics, were my favorite classes in high school but not an obsessive passion like sports. Towards the end of my senior year, I did not know which university I could or would attend, but living close to Purdue University made it attractive. However, it was deemed better (by my father) to go out of state and away from home Terry and Anita

to learn to be on my own. It turned out that we agreed the University of Arizona would be fine. They had a great academic reputation, a great baseball and basketball program for which I could participate in, and it was far enough away that I could not come home very often, unlike Purdue University. So, off I went in the Fall of 1964, leaving family and girlfriend (who went to Purdue) behind. My freshman year in 1964 was eye opening for a small town out of state athlete attending a big university. My freshman year was loaded with difficult science courses, which I survived only by learning quickly how to study. I grudgingly gave up my journey to become a UA baseball and basketball player after my freshman year, knowing I had not the time for them as well as science-focused studies. I continued my science studies (biological sciences and chemistry courses) through the four years at the UA, truly enjoying the time there. What a great place to be in the 1960s! I have always valued my time, experiences and degree from the UA, a great educational foundation. My wife, Anita, who I married after my junior year at UA and who also attended the UA in the College of Pharmacy in my last year, was finishing her fifth and last year for a Pharmacy degree at Purdue when I

entered the Purdue Pharmacy Graduate Program in Pharmacology. Entering this well-known training program and being mentored by an outstanding and well-recognized scientist was the biggest serendipitous decision of my life. Receiving my Master’s and PhD degrees in Pharmacology in 1972 and 1974, respectively, opened up doors I never dreamed available to me, specifically, a rewarding career in academic medicine publishing many peer-reviewed papers, teaching medical and pharmacy students, and conducting important bench research. Then came the opportunity to use my background and experience to design and manage several world-wide cardiovascular clinical drug development programs as a Senior Scientist and Senior Director in the Pharmaceutical Industry. A bench pharmacologist becoming a senior clinical pharmacologist is most unique in the world of pharmaceutical clinical drug development. It was a wonderful and rewarding journey, indeed, but it all started at the UA. Since 2005, I have been co-owner and Senior Vice President of Business Development of a company (New Drug Development Services Inc.) that contracts to prepare clinical trial documents for pharmaceutical companies, large and small. For my career works, I recently received a Purdue College of Pharmacy Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2016. Now, on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, I spend time traveling with my wife, Anita, playing golf, enjoying our beaches, fishing and golfing with my two growing grandsons, and learning to play the piano.

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hemistry confused me in high school. I know I’m not the only one who can say that. After a year of it, I still couldn’t wrap my mind around what a mole was, aside from a small, subterranean mammal. My freshman year in 1990 at the UA started off with my first “real” chemistry class: Chemistry 101A with Dr. Harris. I was terrified. Fast forward about two weeks and suddenly, Chemistry started to make sense! I was no longer a stoichiometrically confused student. I was an atomic mass calculating, equation balancing chemist! Well, maybe not quite a chemist, but definitely on my way. Little did I know that 10 years later, I would be telling that story to my own students as they started their first “real” chemistry course at the US Air Force Academy. I grew up in Southern Arizona and knew from my very first field trip to the UA in 6th grade that I was going to be a Wildcat. I didn’t really know what college was or how to pay for it, but I knew it was in my future. I managed to secure a scholarship from Air Force ROTC, and medical school seemed like a logical path in my education. After my freshman year, I had to choose a major in line with Air Force requirements. Biochemistry looked like the most interesting major and fit with the courses I had already taken, so that was it. As I learned more about what being an Air Force officer was about, the Air Force went from being a method to pay for my degree to an exciting career that required that degree for entrance. The two proudest days of my young life were

the day I was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force, and the next day when I threw my mortarboard (and a few tortillas) in the air in McKale Center celebrating my Biochemistry degree. Medical school was an opportunity that never came to pass, so I began my career as a scientist at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, not really sure where my life was going to go. A call from the Chemistry Department of the US Air Force Academy (USAFA) changed that with an offer to sponsor me for a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry. Upon visiting USAFA in Colorado Springs and seeing mountains for the first time in almost 4 years, I was sold. I would attend grad school and teach Chemistry. Since my beloved alma mater did not offer a degree at the time that met Air Force requirements, I ended up on the beautiful campus of Utah State and earned my MS studying the effects of urban air pollution on human lung cells. I remembered those days back in Tucson in organic lab and realized I was a true “lab rat.” After completing my degree, I spent four amazing years teaching general chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry to future Air Force officers. When the USAFA Chemistry department offered to sponsor a PhD in order to bring me back as a senior faculty member later in my career, I knew there was only one place for me to go: home to Tucson and the UA. I began my PhD in 2004 working for Dr. Paul Haynes and later Dr. Vicki Wysocki

using tandem Mass Spectrometry proteomics to identify possible vaccine candidates for the mysterious desert disease known as Valley Fever. Working with the Valley Fever Center for Excellence under the direction of Dr. John Galgiani, my research produced 23 potential protein vaccine candidates. My Air Force career then took me to the high desert of Albuquerque to work for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the modern day descendant of the famed Manhattan Project. The role of DTRA these days is to look at ways to minimize the threat of all weapons of mass destruction. As a chemical and biological weapons expert, I got paid to blow things up! The job was fascinating and a ton of fun, but with a sobering reality behind it. I consider my work at DTRA as not just a service to my own country, but to humanity as a whole in reducing the threat of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. While living in Albuquerque, I met my beautiful future wife Stacey and convinced her to move to Colorado Springs with me as I returned to USAFA as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry for another four years. It was there that I finished my Air Force career and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after nearly 21 years of active duty service. Stacey and I decided to come back to Tucson, where she works as a pharmacist for the Tohono O’odham nation, and I have been exploring the mountain bike trails of Arizona. I am planning to return to the UA as a staff scientist working in the lab of Dr. Michael Marty and continuing my career as a “lab rat.”


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FULL CIRCLE

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DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY | FALL 2017

LOVING THE LAB

By Zachary Campbell | BS/MS Biochemistry, 2005; PhD Biochemistry, 2009

By Thomas Gaj | BS BMB, 2007

AAV-mediated delivery of Cas9 to the mouse nervous system (green: immunostaining for Cas9; blue:DAPI-stained nuclei)

Carmen, Bobby, and Zak

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f I had a time machine and could give myself one piece of advice when I was a graduate student, it would be this: a snow blower is worth every penny. Let me back up. When I was an undergraduate at the UA, I once asked Dr. Miriam Ziegler what a post-doc was. Without a hint of irony she responded, “That’s the time after you finish your doctorate when you go somewhere and freeze until you get a job.” This statement wound up being particularly prophetic as I conducted my post-doctoral work in Madison, WI. Having grown up in Nogales, AZ, Tucson was the furthest north I had ever lived for any length of time. After six of the coldest years of my life, I can comfortably say that any health benefits resulting from shoveling frozen water are greatly exaggerated. Part of the reason for my ignorance about winter relates to family history. My family initially settled in Bisbee, AZ in the late 1800s and for many years ran a stagecoach line between Nogales and Douglas. My mother Nancy attended the UA where she met a stunningly handsome man her father would lovingly describe as a filthy hippie. My father (El Guapo to his friends) was in fact an

Zak with mentor Thomas Baldwin

astute undergraduate interested in the physical and life sciences. Ultimately, both of my parents pursued careers as teachers in the Nogales public school system for a combined period of about 60 years. Their dedication impacted the lives of countless students. However, resources were incredibly limited and ridiculous student-teacher ratios made the job difficult. As a child, I watched my parents sacrifice so much to ensure their students enjoyed the benefits of an exceptional education. As an undergraduate, the single most transformative event of my professional life was having the good fortune to meet Dr. Thomas O. Baldwin. I first started working for Tom as a sophomore, but ultimately spent eight years working in his lab while earning my BS, MS, and PhD in Biochemistry. The positive influence that Tom has had on my life is indescribable. As a mentor, Tom was encouraging, patient, and incredibly supportive. The most important thing I learned from Tom is that all of us are in this together whether it’s research, teaching, or engagement with the lay public. We are an interdependent community, and we have to support one another. Science can be incredibly challenging, experiments often fail, and without friends, work can feel downright depressing. At the UA, whenever I was discouraged by negative results (which was often), I never had to look far to find someone who would help dust me off and point me in the right direction. That frequently took the form of an iced latte on University Ave. The collective shared experience in frustration that permeates

graduate studies formed the basis of many of my most treasured friendships to this day. After my post-doc, I sold the snow blower (happiest day of my life) and came back towards the sun. I accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Dallas. The transition has been a challenge but also an incredible adventure. My lab studies protein synthesis in sensory neurons that innervate the skin and promote pain behavioral responses following an injury. Our long-term goal is to develop nonaddictive pain killers that disrupt local protein synthesis in axons. We were recently awarded a $2 million, 5-year award from the National Institutes of Health in support of our work. It is a remarkable privilege to explore the frontiers of human knowledge for a living and help to train enthusiastic young scientists. Together with my beautiful wife Carmen (BS, BA, MD, all from the UA) and son Bobby (4 years old), we will be welcoming our second son in December. We still travel back to Arizona periodically to visit relatives and friends. Walking along the linoleum floors of Biological Sciences West, I feel immensely proud to show my son where I grew up intellectually and to see a few of the same wonderful people from my time in the Department. I hope that my son will come to realize the transformative power of education and the incredible debt that we owe our teachers and mentors. I sincerely hope to foster the kind of environment for my trainees and students that I enjoyed in Arizona and recall fondly.

I

grew up in Arizona in a suburb outside of Phoenix and came to the University of Arizona in the summer of 2003 to study biochemistry, though I originally wanted to be in astronomer (I changed my mind after discovering structural biology before freshman orientation). At the UA, I knew that I wanted to do research, so during my sophomore year I reached out to several faculty in biochemistry and chemistry whose work seemed interesting to me. I ended up with an offer to join Indraneel Ghosh’s lab in the Department of Chemistry. This

turned out to be the best decision of my early career. I became hooked on research in the Ghosh lab. This was my first real exposure to laboratory science, and I loved every minute of it. For the next three years, I worked on projects spanning the interface of chemistry and biology, and developed a strong interest in biomolecular engineering. I was fortunate enough to have joined an incredibly talented team of graduate students and post-docs who played an enormous role in my training and development as a young scientist. I also benefited tremendously from truly meaningful mentorship and guidance from Neel. After completing my degree at UA in 2007, I began my graduate studies in the Department of Chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. While at Scripps, I applied the principles of molecular engineering to genome editing—at the time, an emerging field that sought to make specific changes to the DNA of cells or organisms. Over the course of my PhD, I developed

several technologies capable of enhancing this process. In 2014, I joined David Schaffer’s lab at UC Berkeley, where I have worked to develop new approaches for treating nervous system disorders like ALS and Huntington’s disease by using genome editing to correct specific disease-causing mutations in the spinal cord and brain. Now, 10 years after leaving the UA, I have accepted an appointment as an assistant professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At Illinois, my lab will be focused on developing gene therapies for neurodegenerative disorders, as well as new methods for improving the safety and effectiveness of genome editing. I’m beyond grateful for the opportunities and experiences that I had at the UA, and I look forward to applying what I learned there to help me train the next generation of scientists and engineers.


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NEVER GIVE UP

DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY | FALL 2017

15 15

SUPPORTING REPRESENTATION IN SCIENCE

By Alice Ferng | BS BMB, 2009

By Eman Akam | PhD Chemistry, 2016

“N

ever give up”—throughout my life this is the catch phrase I would say to my friends in their lowest moments. These three words capture the spirit of perseverance and courage with which I choose to confront the many challenges I have faced throughout my life. Ever since I can remember thinking about a career, I wanted to be a surgeon. Although I had hobbies in many different disciplines and subjects, including programming, writing websites or silly programs into my friends’ TI-83+ calculators, playing musical instruments, or trolling my siblings (also CBC alumni), I became especially enamored with scientific research. One of my greatest mentors and inspirations was my high school biology teacher, Ms. Laurie Cale, who helped me discover my passion for scientific innovation and engineering through state and national science competitions and gene-silencing research at the UA. When I was applying for medical school, I discovered there was an option to combine my drive to further both scientific Alice with siblings Shiana and Jonathan

I

inquiry and medicine. My dream pivoted from practicing surgeon to academic physician as I pursued a dual-doctorate MD/PhD degree from the UA, where I continued conducting research in multiple interdisciplinary fields. My PhD was a period of self-rediscovery. With the support of my advisor and friend Dr. Zain Khalpey who encouraged me to innovate, I found myself growing human hearts in bioreactors—going as far as to design and build my own 3D bioprinter for stem cells and biologics. In my free time I worked for various innovative medical education platforms (Osmosis, Picmonic, Kenhub), built medical devices, and wrote mobile health applications. I competed in several hackathons during this time, and much to my surprise, won first place at some of them with projects such as creating a mental health app, autonomous virus-inactivating drone, and PTSD/ phobia treatment using virtual reality headsets. My participation in these types of events and projects revived and fueled a growing passion that brought me full circle with my past hobbyist programmer and engineer self who was captivated by mathematics and technology. After having pursued a singular career goal for much of my life, I found myself reflecting on the Buddhist principle of letting go of attachments and re-evaluating what it meant to “never give up.” Instead of using the phrase to pursue one specific career goal, I realized the phrase was more valuable when applied to believing in my own abilities and in-

stincts to find a rewarding career path. With the goal of becoming a medical technologist, my close friends, family, and amazing mentors helped convince me that I could make a drastic career change into engineering and making this leap was one of the toughest and most terrifying things I have done—to leave a prestigious and stable path in medicine for the emerging field of MedTech. Having had some time to acclimate, I am already happier and know that I made the right decision by listening to my heart. I am currently a systems engineer working on various industrial machines and devices (aerospace, military, medical), as well as a professor through the UA Department of Surgery. Other exciting roles include being the Chief Medical Officer of Autonomic Systems, a heart rate variability wearable device company, and an editor of MedGadget, an online blog that reports the latest and greatest upcoming medical technologies and research. In my spare time, I enjoy meditation, CrossFit, building things, and music. It’s been a wild ride, and I can’t wait to see where my perseverance and application of “never give up” will lead me next.

n May of this year, I had the honor of being invited to give the Keynote Address at the graduation celebration for McNair Scholars at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). This was a particularly significant event for me as I am an alumnus of the McNair program, and I owe a considerable part of my academic endeavors and successes to this program.

Dr. McNair became the second African American in space as he flew aboard Challenger for eleven days. Dr. McNair was on his second Challenger mission when the shuttle exploded during its launch. Following his untimely and tragic death, members of Congress provided funding to the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, with the mission to increase the number of individuals from underrepresented segments of society in academia.

I am currently a post-doctoral fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School working with Dr. Peter Caravan and Dr. David Sosnovik on development of Magnetic Resnance Imaging (MRI) contrast agents that target fibrotic diseases. I am fortunate to be funded through the NIH’s Ruth L. Kirschstein Institutional Research Training fellowship, an award that centers on academic-career training. As such, following this appointment I wish to pursue a faculty position that would allow me to focus on teaching and research. I hope to follow the example of the great mentors that I’ve had and do my part in fulfilling the mission of the McNair Scholars Program.

My introduction to the McNair Program was a serendipitous and momentous event in my life, perhaps as significant as completion of my PhD. For the first two years as an undergraduate at UNH, I worked as a receptionist in a building which—to my great fortune—housed the McNair Program offices. Through this position, I became conversant with Dr. Antonio Henley, then director of the McNair Program. At the time, I had a very limited notion of what graduate school and research were or what they entailed. I certainly had never imagined that I could pursue an academic career. Through my acquaintance with Dr. Henley, I was educated about the McNair Program and graduate school. Although I was still uncertain about pursuing a graduate degree, Dr. Henley encouraged me to apply to the program. As a sophomore at UNH, I applied to the McNair Program, became a McNair scholar, and began my very first research project in chemistry. I was profoundly affected by this experience.

The McNair Program was established in honor and memory of Dr. Ronald E. McNair, an astronaut on the space shuttle Challenger and a renowned laser physicist. Dr. McNair was noted for being a Presidential Scholar, a Ford Foundation Fellow, and a NATO Fellow. His many distinctions and accomplishments led to his selection by NASA for the space shuttle program. In 1984,

My involvement in undergraduate research solidified my desire to pursue a

PhD and has certainly shaped my career. I shared some highlights of my academic journey during my speech at UNH. I conveyed the joy, fulfillment, and freedoms that are part of conducting academic research. I also shared some hardships that I’ve faced in graduate school and ways that have helped me overcome them, particularly in relation to being a person with a background that is historically underrepresented in the field. I mentioned the importance of having support systems, which for me included the Program to Advance Women Scientists in Chemistry and Biochemistry (PAWS) at the University of Arizona, and the National Organization for Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE). These peer groups and the many official and unofficial mentors that I’ve had as a student were essential for my well being and academic achievements. In addition to my academic pursuits, I have resumed some long-neglected hobbies since graduating from the UA. Besides making simple jewelry and sculpting, I have begun painting fervently, and it has now become my favorite meditative hobby. I am also relishing the many hiking and camping oppurtunities that New England offers, and I make it a point to spend as much time as possible soaking up some sunshine.


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WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?

DANCING

By Vicente Talanquer, PhD| University Distinguished Professor

In a collaborative classroom, the students work in groups to help each other learn. I check on their progress and use their questions to explain chemical concepts more fully in class.

I

n a chemistry classroom….. Instructor: Which do you think will produce more energy during combustion, one mole of methane (CH4) or one mole of methanol (CH4O)?

Student 1: I think methanol, because it has oxygen in it, and oxygen is needed for burning. Student 2: I think methane is a better fuel because I heard it is like natural gas, and natural stuff is always better. Student 1: But methanol has more atoms and that’s more stuff to burn. Bizarre answers, aren’t they? I have always been fascinated by the different ideas that our chemistry students express about chemical substances and phenomena when allowed to speak freely. The concepts and ideas we are trying to teach them in the chemistry classroom seem so different from those they intuitively use to make sense of the world, that it is quite amazing that learning actually happens. My research focuses on exploring the naïve ideas and ways of reasoning that people spontaneously use to think about chemical entities and processes, to then use that knowledge to design educational materials and learning experiences that more effectively advance chemistry students’ understanding. My interest in chemistry education started many years ago when I was working at the National University of Mexico (UNAM), in my hometown of Mexico City. I had just finished a three-year post-doc at the University of Chicago working in the development of theoretical models for different nucleation processes (e.g., bubble formation, protein crystallization), when I was invited to be part of a team of writers for the natural science textbooks to be used across all elementary schools in Mexico. Through this project I had the opportu-

nity to interact with other scientists, teachers, psychologists, sociologists, and pedagogues, which critically questioned my naïve ideas about education, and made me realize how little I knew about both how people learn and how to create learning opportunities that are meaningful and productive for all types of students. When I joined the University of Arizona in the year 2000, my position in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry allowed me to focus my research efforts on chemistry education and simultaneously work with various colleagues

Educational written materials, and simulations and animations

across the College of Science in the development of an innovative secondary school science teacher preparation program. My work on both learning and teaching issues led me

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DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY | FALL 2017

to question the conventional approach to teaching chemistry at the college level, and soon I began developing and testing new educational approaches derived from my own research. In my educational work, I have challenged the traditional view of chemistry as a body of knowledge that is to be passively transmitted to students. Instead, I have proposed to conceptualize chemistry as a powerful and dynamic way of thinking that allows us to solve many relevant problems in different contexts. Chemical facts can be told by a clear lecturer and memorized through repetition by diligent students; but chemical ways of thinking have to be actively constructed by motivated students with the support of a teacher who can guide and challenge their ideas. In collaboration with John Pollard in the CBC Department, we have put these ideas into practice through the development of an innovative curriculum for general chemistry labelled “Chemical Thinking.” In this curriculum, students are regularly engaged in collaborative group activities where they are asked to analyze data, identify trends, generate models to explain the data, and use such models to build explanations and

make predictions. With the support of the instructor and several undergraduate and graduate learning assistants, students actively discuss and solve problems related to environmental, health, materials, and energy issues. Research findings from work conducted in my research group show that many students consistently rely on intuitive assumptions and simple reasoning heuristics to make judgments and decisions. They often use visual cues (e.g., number of atoms, different types of atoms) to guide their thinking, and assume that things happen as a result of the will or desires of atoms and molecules (e.g., they react because they really want to have a full shell of electrons). To change their ideas and strategies, they need multiple opportunities to compare and contrast their intuitive reasoning with more powerful chemical ways of thinking. A central goal of my investigations and educational development activities is to create research-based tools, from written exercises to interactive computer simulations, to help students become more aware of how they think and to recognize the advantages of looking at the world through chemical lenses.

I love to dance. There is something liberating about letting yourself go to the beat of danceable music (for a dancing lover, not all music is created equal). Salsa and merengue music do the trick the best for me, although I am not that picky when it comes to jumping onto the dance floor. It helps that I am good at it (no room for modesty here). It may be in my genes or in my blood or in the air I breathed while growing up (just to demonstrate that everybody has naïve ideas about how things work). I was born and raised in Mexico from Spanish parents who flew from a civil war. They left in tears but brought their music along. So, I grew up listening to flamenco and other types of Latin music, watching my mother and sister dance with each other or acting as dancing surrogate for my father who was, literally, a log. I miss dancing more, though. Old age has its tolls.

Regina Artigas de Talanquer (mother) and Vicente Talanquer


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2016–17 STUDENT AWARDS UNDERGRADUATE AWARDS College of Science Outstanding Senior Jordan Mark Barrows Chemistry and Biochemistry Outstanding Senior Jordan Mark Barrows CBC Outstanding Juniors Ramya Ramesh - Biochemistry Leo Hamerlynck - Chemistry CBC Outstanding Sophomores David Lasansky - Biochemistry Kathryn Kuna - Chemistry CBC Outstanding Freshmen Steven Fried - Biochemistry Sadie Keesler - Chemistry Chemistry and Biochemistry Excellence in Research Celina Nguyen - Biochemistry Chemistry Excellence in Research Joey DeGrandchamp ACS Hach Scholars Karey M. Armenta Fall 2016 Sona N. Avetian Spring 2017 Abigail G. Rasmussen 2016-17 ACS Undergraduate Award in Analytical Chemistry Joey DeGrandchamp Charles Hoyt Scholars Jordan Mark Barrows Sona N. Avetian

CBC Outstanding Thesis Elise Noelle Muñoz CBC Outstanding Student Peer Mentors Gloria Thien Huong Le Neal Patel Ronald Gonzalez Wildcat Spirit Awardees Sona N. Avetian John E. Heydorn Stephanie J. Navarro

GALILEO CIRCLE SCHOLARS Graduate Students Robb E. Bagge Matthew Bienick Calley Eads N. Malithi Fonseka Jeffrey Ivie Kendall Sandy Michael Ryan Williams Victor & Patricia Hruby Scholar

Yueyan (Frida) Zhang Undergraduate Students Alexander Paul Aydt Jordan Mark Barrows Elizabeth Rachelle Brooks Dez Coleman Norma O. Burton Ball Scholar

Rushabh Kumar Daulat Joey DeGrandchamp Steven Fried R  obert & Lesley Goldfarb Excellence in Science Scholar

AZ Society for Coatings Technology Scholar 2016-2017 Michael Manchester

Pearce Haldeman Gloria Thien Huong Le Elise Noelle Muñoz Celina Nguyen

Royal Society of Chemistry Certificate of Excellence Award Todd Lewis

Kwonneung Park G  ilbert R. Escalante Memorial

Excellence in Biological Sciences Scholars Steven Fried Adam Knox David Lasansky Tala B. Shahin Michael A. Wells Research in Biological Sciences Scholars Jessy Forelli Steven Fried David Lasansky Tala B. Shahin

Michael Cusanovich Scholar

Scholar

Dagoberto Robles Tala B. Shahin Matthew Stagg Ben Zaepfel

GRADUATE AWARDS Carl S. Marvel Scholar Nicholas Pavlopoulos David O’Brien Graduate Fellows David Smith Yueyan (Frida) Zhang

2016–17 COMMENCEMENT

Victor P. Thalacker Chemistry Graduate Fellows Lindsay Guzman David Smith

H.J. & Signe Bonnevie Scholars Helen Barto Samantha Macklin-Isquierdo Riley Matulewic

Herbert E. Carter Scholar Jonathan Sanchez

Paul G. & Elise M. Koch Memorial Scholar Charis Springhower

Dr. Wayne Cody Scholar in Medicinal Biological Chemistry Michael Remesic Lela E. Booher Memorial Scholar Kate Parent John Hostetter Scholar Rami Musharrafieh Second Year Excellence in Graduate Research Matthew Bienick First Year Excellence in Graduate Research Steven Petritis Outstanding Graduate Students Outstanding Scholarship Nicholas Pavlopoulos Outstanding Teaching Ying Hou Outstanding Service Katherine Rose Leight

SPECIAL RECOGNITION Molecular & Cellular Biology Outstanding Senior Ben Zaepfel College of Science Teacher Preparation Program Outstanding Senior Abigail Grace Rasmussen College of Science Teacher Preparation Program Outstanding Sr. Fall 2016 Karey M. Armenta Honorable Mention Fall 2016 Outstanding Seniors Abdullah Aleem - Biochemistry Karey M. Armenta - Chemistry Arnold & Mabel Beckman Foundation Scholar Ben Zaepfel Charles, Charles Jr., & Anthony Vomaska Scholars Samantha Macklin-Isquierdo Riley Matulewic

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DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY | FALL 2017

Van De Verde Undergraduate Research Scholar in Science Charis Springhower Vanice, Glen W., & Keith Reid Memorial Scholars Alexander Paul Aydt Gloria Thien Huong Le Laura & Arch Brown Scholar Riley Matulewic James & Grace Logie Scholar Alejandro Villalobos ASBMB 2017 Honor Society Jordan Mark Barrows Gloria Thien Huong Le Alec Perrera Skyler Smith Connor White CBC Undergraduate Poster Fair Senior Thesis 1st: Jordan Mark Barrows 2nd: Lauren Koch

T

he 2016–2017 CBC Awards and Commencement Ceremony was held on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at the Student Union Memorial Grand Ballroom from 8:30 am to 10:30 am. The 520 guests included 2016-2017 CBC graduating students, student award recipients, student ambassadors, faculty, staff, family members, and friends of the department. The program began with Dr. Roger Miesfeld, CBC Department Head, who welcomed everyone to the event, followed by the Keynote speaker, Brittany Forte, a CBC Alumna who is a PhD Candidate at the University of Arizona in Cancer Biology. Dr. Andrei Sanov presented the undergraduate awards; Dr. Nancy Horton, Director of CBC Graduate Studies, presented the Graduate student awards; College of Science Dean, Dr. Joaquin Ruiz, presented the Galileo Circle Scholars; the calling of the CBC Graduates was given by Drs. Roger Miesfeld, Andrei Sanov, and Zhiping Zheng. Jordan Barrows, the CBC/Chemistry Outstanding Senior, provided the closing remarks. Jordan was introduced by his Research Mentor, Dr. Daniela Zarnescu.

Skyler Smith, Rishab Srivastava, Matthew Stagg, Nathan Weintraub

Celina Nguyen, Dr. John Jewett, Matthew Stagg

The 2017–18 CBC Awards Commencement Ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 10, 2018 at the Student Union Memorial Grand Ballroom from approximately 8:30 to 10:30 am. Keith and Christine Olson

Biological Sciences Advanced 1st: Adam Knox 2nd: Elise Noelle Muñoz Biological Sciences Emerging 1st: Eli Soyfer 2nd: Austin Rodrigues

CBC Galileo Circle Scholars

Gabrielle and Michelle Grinslade

Physical Sciences Advanced 1st: David Lasansky 2nd: Jeffrey Dubose Physical Sciences Emerging 1st: Steven Fried 2nd: Nathaniel Futral Biological, Engineering, Chemical Undergraduate Research Conference Sona N. Avetian Anvi Bhakta Seneca Blank Emily Galloway Lucas Harrell David Lasansky Michael Manchester Joseph Montoya Abigail O’Conner

Mehrdad Shadmehr, Mahsa Ghaffari, Iman Daryaei

Peter Lenharth (center back) and family

Joey DeGrandchamp, Celina Nguyen, Jordan Barrows


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FACULTY AWARDS FOR 2017 Craig Aspinwall UA Honors Professor for 2017-18 Amy Graham Distinguished Achievement in Science Education, UA CoS Lani (Tori) Hidalgo Distinguished Early Career Teaching Award, UA CoS Dennis Lichtenberger 2017 Fellow, American Chemical Society

CBC ALUMNI MAGAZINE

STAFF AWARDS FOR 2017 Douglas Loy Inventor of the Year, Tech Launch Arizona Michael Marty 2017 Bisgrove Scholar John Pollard 2017 Galileo Circle Copernicus Award, UA CoS Andrei Sanov 2017 Fellow, American Physical Society Elisa Tomat Innovation in Teaching Award, UA CoS

Megan Cunnington College of Science Star Award for July, 2017 Peggy Humbert College of Science Classified Staff/AP Excellence Award Olivia Mendoza Outstanding Organization Advisor of the Year, ASUA

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DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY | FALL 2017

IN MEMORIAM PEOPLE WE LOST IN 2016-2017 George Douglas Burney, BS Chemistry, 1952; d. Aug 10, 2017 M. Keith DeArmond, PhD Chemistry, 1963; d. Apr 10, 2017 Preston Heinle, BS Chemistry, 1947; d. May 4, 2017 Charles Wood Howard, BA Chemistry, 1962; d. Nov 28, 2016

George Burney

Preston Heinle

Charles Howard

Harry North, BS Chemistry, 1951; d. Apr 28, 2017 George Owens, BS Chemistry, 1950; d. Jan 4, 2017 Connie Sue Pitman, BS Chemistry, 1978; d. Feb 9, 2017 Robert Posner, BA Chemistry, 1960; d. May 19, 2017

RETIREES 2017 Richard Glass Margaret Gomez Anne Padias

Harry North

Richard Glass

Margaret Gomez

CORNELIUS “CORNY” STEELINK

Anne Padias

Professor Emeritus October 1, 1922 – November 12, 2016 Cornelius “Corny” Steelink, professor emeritus in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Arizona, and a lifelong advocate for civil and individual rights, died in Los Angeles on November 12, 2016, following surgery to combat congestive heart failure. He was 94.

NEW FACULTY AND STAFF Casie Barnett, Accounting Assistant, Senior Sara Gallagher, Laboratory Coordinator Thomas Gianetti, Assistant Professor Tiesha Glover, Administrative Associate

Casie Barnett

Sara Gallagher

Thomas Gianetti

Tiesha Glover

Christine Gronowski, Academic Advisor I Rachel Hellmann Whitaker, Instructor Alexis Henderson, Office Specialist Nam Lee, Associate Professor Suchi Perera, Instructor Jennifer Rascon, Program Coordinator

Christine Gronowski

Rachel Hellman Whitaker

Alexis Henderson

Nam Lee

Hannah Shoulders, Office Specialist Amy Tary, Manager, Grants and Contracts

Suchi Perera

Read more online about our new faculty and staff. cbc.arizona.edu/alumni_friends

Jennifer Rascon

Hannah Shoulders

Connie Sue Pitman

Amy Tary

Born October 1, 1922, in Los Angeles, Steelink was the son of immigrants who exposed him to unorthodox ideas. His mother was Russian and his father was Dutch, and both were ardent activists in the labor movement of the early 1920s. Steelink was a conscientious objector during World War II, and was sent to a service camp for COs in the California mountains that was run by the American Friends Service Committee. Three years after the war ended he met Jean Wiley on a civil rights picket line in Los Angeles, and he proposed to her on bended knee a year later; she married him on the condition that he join the ACLU. The couple built a home in 1954 in the first inter-racial cooperative housing project in Los Angeles, and together they founded the northeastern chapter of Southern California’s ACLU affiliate. In 1957 they moved to Tucson where they founded Arizona’s ACLU affiliate. In the late 1950s Steelink became a professor of chemistry at the University of Arizona and conducted research into innovative uses of natural products. Between 1958 and 1960, the Steelinks adopted two girls of mixed race, Kaye and Laurie Steelink, and Jean earned a BA in sociology at the University of Arizona. The Steelinks hosted countless ACLU

meetings in their home during the years that their daughters were maturing. Two years after Jean Wiley Steelink’s death, in 2001, Steelink married Joanne Whittington, and the couple split their lives between Tucson and South Pasadena where they maintained homes. Steelink received a BS in chemistry at Cal Tech in 1944, an MS in chemistry at USC in 1950, and a PhD in chemistry at UCLA in 1956. He was a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Arizona from 1957–1989. He was Professor Emeritus at the University of Arizona from 1989 until his death. Cornelius Steelink is survived by his wife, Joanne Whittington Steelink; his daughters, Kaye Wingfield (Frank) and Laurie Steelink; granddaughter, Erika Wingfield; his stepchildren, Ruth, David, and Blair Whittington, and their spouses and children. A Celebration of Life with family, friends and acquaintances was held on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at the Unitarian Universalist Church on 22nd St. in Tucson. Charitable contributions may be made to these organizations, which Cornelius supported throughout his life: The Arizona Civil Liberties Union and the American Friends Service Committee.

Read more online about those we’ve lost. cbc.arizona.edu/alumni_friends


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CAREERS IN CHEMICAL SCIENCES

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BC@UA aspires to build on our recognition as a top department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at a research public university. As such, CBC@ UA focuses on fostering a vibrant community of scholars who conduct cutting-edge research to advance knowledge and technologies that benefit society. Moreover, we strive to provide rich and varied learning opportunities that prepare students for careers in academic and non-academic settings. Careers in Chemical Sciences (CiCS) was conceived to specifically prepare PhD level students for post-graduate careers. The three CiCS program objectives are: 1) expand awareness of students to post-graduate career options in industries and organizations who hire PhD level scientists, 2) prepare students for successful interactions with potential employers, and 3) connect industry to the strengths of CBC@ UA and the readiness of our students. The CiCS Program offers two events each year: • a Fall career workshop event • a Spring employer networking event In addition to these two events, the CiCS Mentoring Program matches experienced mentors from non-academic professions (private industry, government, business, law, etc.) with graduate student and post-doc mentees in a one-on-one setting for guidance and advice to help navigate career transitions. As students approach their final years of study and prepare for their first post-graduate role outside the university setting, access to scientific professionals in non-academic roles for guidance and advice can be extremely valuable in identifying relevant oppor-

tunities and positioning themselves for successful navigation of the hiring and onboarding processes. The CiCS Mentoring Program serves to provide a framework for these interactions. In turn, it is expected that CBC graduate students and post-doctoral fellows participating in the CiCS Mentoring Program will have greater confidence in their career direction, identify more opportunities of interest, be better prepared for pursuing available roles, and successfully secure jobs of choice. Currently there are 20 pairs of matched CiCS mentors and mentees in fall 2017. We are increasing connections between CBC and industry to create a pipeline of job opportunities for our students and to increase the number of Industry Associates Program (IAP) partner companies. For more information about the CiCS program and how you might contribute as a company sponsor mentor, visit the CiCS web page.

cbc.arizona.edu/cics

CBC ALUMNI MAGAZINE

STUDENT PEER MENTORS CBC Student Peer Mentors serve to support and encourage new First Year and Transfer Students. Peer Mentors help new students throughout the academic year. Through one-on-one and group meetings, they share their experience and wisdom as University of Arizona Chemistry and/ or Biochemistry students. Our mentors provide a listening ear to incoming Freshmen and Transfer Students; properly refer new students to campus resources; and encourage and facilitate student involvement in clubs, undergraduate research, seminars, helpful courses, and other activities that add value to their education. Peer Mentors are thoughtful facilitators who provide access to people and resources, and serve as role models and advocates while at the University and in CBC. There is an annual award for the Outstanding Peer Mentor. It is given to mentor(s) that are recognized for their contributions with academic and professional development, nominated by their peer mentee.

“When I first started at the UA, I was assigned a CBC Mentor who helped me learn how to be a successful biochemistry student in regard to GPA maintenance, campus involvement, and even employability skills. Now I am a mentor for two CBC students and I hope to assist them in their transition and make a memorable difference in their lives.” —Bianca Reilly, Biochemistry Class of 2020

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INDUSTRY ASSOCIATES PROGRAM

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he Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is excited to develop closer relationships with small businesses and large corporations that seek ways to interface with leading academic researchers and highly trained students in the fields of nanomaterials, synthetic organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, biochemistry, protein structure and function, computational biophysics, and drug design.

IAP PARTNER COMPANIES

These corporate relationships are fostered through our Industry Associates Program (IAP), which provides an opportunity for companies such as yours to become partners with a top tier Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at a world class Research I University located in beautiful Tucson, Arizona. An annual gift of $5,000 initiates an IAP partnership. A primary benefit of an IAP partner company is a close relationship with our Careers in Chemical Sciences (CiCS) program, which helps prepare graduate students and post-docs for non-academic careers through workshops, networking events, and a one-on-one mentoring program with working professionals. In addition, IAP partner companies enjoy preferred technical access and consultation services with our CBC scientific staff in the Research Support Services (RSS) unit, featuring expertise in 10 specialized areas of chemistry and biochemistry including analytical services and research design. Up to six employees will become University of Arizona Designated Campus Colleague (DCC) associates of CBC, which includes online access to all electronic journal subscriptions and library databases. To join our growing list of IAP partner companies and begin to build your company’s relationship with The University of Arizona, visit the IAP web page: cbc.arizona.edu/iap.

CONTACT

Roger L. Miesfeld, PhD Professor and Department Head Director, Industry Associates Program Tel. 520.626.2343 rlm@email.arizona.edu

cbc.arizona.edu/iap


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OUTREACH ACTIVITIES ALPHA CHI SIGMA By James Stanfill, President AXS (Alpha Chi Sigma) is the nation’s only professional fraternity of the chemical sciences. The Beta Tau chapter at the UA was founded in 1967 with assistance of Prof. Carl S. Marvel and since then has provided chemistry education to the local Tucson community and has supported UA undergrads/ grad students in their educational journey. Activities include: judging local science fair projects, providing demo shows/science presentations to various age groups (including adults!), staffing CBC recruitment and orientation events, and offering tutoring for passing classes or oral exams. more

CBC ALUMNI MAGAZINE

See more online cbc.arizona.edu/alumni_friends

PROGRAM TO ADVANCE WOMEN SCIENTISTS The Program to Advance Women Scientists (PAWS) has had another great year! The mission of PAWS is to empower women in the sciences through education, leadership, mentoring, and support. We hold seminars, professional development workshops, and outreach events. more

BIOCHEMISTRY CLUB By Arielle Tran, President

CHEMISTRY CLUB By Leo Hamerlynck, President The Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS), or the Chemistry Club, is a recognized chapter of the American Chemical Society focused on scientific outreach in our local community. We seek to get local students interested and involved in chemistry (and other STEM fields) by putting on “magic shows” where we demonstrate captivating chemical and physical reactions while educating the students on the science behind every demo. more

STUDENTS’ RESEARCH, INTERNSHIPS, CONFERENCES, STUDY ABROAD, AND MORE See more online for the student stories! cbc.arizona.edu/alumni_friends

By Melissa Fairley, President; Lindsay Guzman, Social Chair

PAWS

Alpha Chi Sigma

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DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY | FALL 2017

From undergraduates to students at the middle and high school level, the UA Biochemistry Club continues to provide exposure to research and learning opportunities in science at all levels. The ongoing activities of the club not only facilitate rich experiences for all club members to develop professional and leadership roles, but also inspire an early scientific interest in youths within the community. more

Kathia Antillon – Study Abroad in Spain Chris Blackstone – International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy Anne Cambrelin – FRONTERA Internship Grant Collins – UA Cheerleading Breanna Gushiken – Gallagher Theater Leo Hamerlynck – Research Experience, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Katrina Konopka – World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan Samantha Macklin – Spain, England and France Klariza Ochoa – Tucson Youth Football and Spirit Federation Cheerleading Miguel Pacheco – ASUA Senate

Samantha Macklin and Caitlin Lujan

Leo Hamerlynck

Kathia Antillon

CBC UNDERGRADUATE AMBASSADORS

Lucas Grijalva and Breanna Gushiken

By Olivia Mendoza, Ambassador Program Coordinator, Senior The CBC Ambassador program is now in its 12th year and is thriving. While the CBC Ambassadors are the department representatives for recruiting events, such as Meet Your Major fairs, and meeting with potential CBC students, they also engage in many departmental activities from new student orientation to poster fairs and outreach activities. more

Alec Perrera & Gloria Le – Experimental Biology Conference Juan Sanchez – Patient Experience Internship, Banner University Medical Center James Santasiere – West Coast Paintball Players League Tournament Tommy Szeto – Atlantis Project Pre-Medical Fellowship, Spain Sujin Seo – Tucson Botanical Gardens Honors Internship Megan Yousefelahi – Patient Experience Internship, Banner University Medical Center Ben Zaepfel – Beckman Scholars Symposium

Anne Cambrelin Grant Collins

Katrina Konopka Megan Yousefelahi

James Santasiere, Jameson Lee, and Jessica Diesing

Alec Perrera and Gloria Le

Ben Zaepfel Klariza Ochoa Chemistry Club

CBC Ambassadors

Miguel Pacheco

Sujin Seo

Tommy Szeto (top left) and Atlantis Project


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CBC ALUMNI MAGAZINE

CBC SCRAPBOOK

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DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY | FALL 2017

ICE CREAM SOCIAL

SALSA CHALLENGE

PICNIC 2016

Onur Oncer, Metin Karayilan, and Tristen Kleine

Ana Tellez Osuna, Lindsay Guzman, Varuni Livera, Malithi Fonseka, and Zeinab Mokhtari

Katia Davila, Sara Herman, Megan Cunnington, Kara Saunders, Amanda Johnson, and Emma Harrell

Yang Zhou, Saghar Molazude, Anthony Ho, and Maj Krumberger

Olivia Mendoza, Marta Schoenle, Miguel Pacheco, Megan Cunnington, Christine Gronowski, ellie Warder, and Deborah Woods

Charis Springhower and Emma Harrell

BLASTOFF REUNION

Brain Bus, presentation by Dr. Lynne Oland, from Neuroscience

RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM Biochemistry Club at Reunion

Lab Tour with Dr. Paul Lee

Dr. Victor Hruby & Dr. Victor Thalacker Dr. Rebecca Page and Christopher Smith

Dr. Katie White, Dr. Joann Johnson, Dr. Larry Reed, Connor White, and Pradipta Das

BECUR

Nicholas Ziolowski

Dr. Pascale Charest and Shannon Collins

Calley Eads, Jeff Ivie, Sara Zachritz, Angel Garlant, Dr. Bret Maughan, and Nathan Bamburger Dr. Robyn McKee and Udeep Chawla

Reunion Lunch

CBC POSTER FAIR

Pablo Hernandez, Nathan Weintraub, and Dago Robles

Yueyan (Frida) Zhang, Nicholas Pavlopouos, and Katrina Konopka Taylor Gee

Matthew Bienick

WELCOME BACK CBC STUDENTS

2017 CBC Poster Fair Winners

Edmond Song and Fabiola Vazquez

HOLIDAY GREETINGS FROM CBC! CBC BREAKFAST Tyler Herman, James Keener, and Jake Croft

Matthew O’Mara and Myla Hooker

White Coat Ceremony

Charly Amling, Dr. Neel Ghosh, Dr. Craig Aspinwall, and Dr. Rebecca Page

Sadie Keesler, Amanda Johnson, and Jessica Wales Connor White

Gabrielle Grinslade, Grant Collins, Steven Fried, Kelsey Coyle

Olivia Bernal, Makayla Rascon, and Taylor Cephers


NONPROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID TUCSON AZ PERMIT NO. 190 PO Box 210041 Tucson AZ 85721-0041

DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY | FALL 2017

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ALUMNI NEWS MORE Harold McNair – BA Chemistry, 1955

In 2016 I received the ACS Award in Chromatography, and in 2017 I was selected as a Fellow by the American Chemical Society.

CBC@UA!

Robert Greene – BS Chemistry, 1958

Harold McNair

I am 87 years old and am pushing for 90!

John Robert Jordan – BA Chemistry, 1958

Proud father and grandfather to son Jeffrey Jordan and granddaughters Mallory Jordan, Angela Jordan Muszynski, and Brett Jordan, all UA graduates!

To view and download the expanded version containing more exciting CBC Alumni News visit

cbc.arizona.edu/alumni_friends

James ( Jim) Fresco – PhD Chemistry, 1962

After seeing Steelink’s History of the Chemistry Department I concluded my past in the Department had been scrubbed. Since almost reaching 91 years it didn’t seem possible Arizona chemists from the late 1950’s were still available to write stories of the past. Thanks to the on-line 2016 Catalyst I was happily surprised to read the biographical sketch by Ken Zahn. I remember vividly losing every chase up Mt. Baldy to Ken. Congratulations, Ken, for a life well-lived.

John Jordan and family

Larry ( J. Lawrence) Fox – PhD Chemistry, 1966

Our son, Kenneth A. Fox, M.D., one of our two children born in Tucson, is now on the UA Medical School faculty. He is a pediatric cardio-thoracic surgeon and had spent 10 years at UA during his Residency and met his wife. Their eldest daughter was also born in Tucson. So, we now have a more active relationship with UA.

Charles (Dave) Green – PhD Chemistry, 1967

SUPPORT AND FUNDING

Please consider making a taxdeductible donation today to help make a difference:

I was inducted into the Powder Coating Institute Hall of Fame in 2007. I became a 50year, Emeritus Member of the American Chemical Society in 2013.

Jim Foster – PhD Chemistry, 1968 I made it to 75! SUBSCRIBE TO RECEIVE MONTHLY ISSUES OF THE

• CBC Department Fund to support student activities, staff awards, and faculty enrichment

CATALYST E-NEWSLETTER

• CBC Outreach Activities to support UA student outreach to K-12 classes and community events

cbc.arizona.edu/alumni_friends/newsletters or text CBCATUA to 22828

• CBC Graduate Student Scholarships to provide enhanced research opportunities for students • CBC Undergraduate Support to provide funding for the May CBC Commencement Event Find out more about supporting CBC@UA! cbc.arizona.edu/alumni_friends/guide-giving

Jim Fresco

PLANNED GIVING Remembering CBC@UA in your will or estate plan is an ideal way to plan for your future and realize immediate tax benefits. For information on how to make your planned gift, contact Cheryl Tomoeda at cherylt@email.arizona.edu or (520) 621-1787.

The CATALYST Editor-in-Chief: Olivia Mendoza Associate Editors: Ellie Warder and Roger L. Miesfeld Design/Production: Lisa Stage

Contributors: Eman Akam, Zachary Campbell, Melissa Fairley, Alice Ferng, Thomas Gaj, Lindsay Guzman, Leo Hamerlynck, Terry Holcslaw, James Rohrbough, James Stanfill, Arielle Tran, Vicente Talanquer. Cover photo, page 16 photo courtesy University Information Technology Services. 520.621.6354 | alumni@cbc.arizona.edu | www.cbc.arizona.edu/alumni_friends | Chemistry and Biochemistry at The University of Arizona on Facebook

Bruce Mayall - MS Chemisry, 1971

A few years after graduating from the UA I went to ASU to obtain a background in chemical and bioengineering, which I used in the medical device industry. After 14 years in R&D (cardiac catheter development) at what is now Edwards LifeSciences, a medical device company, I went to Medtronic PS Medical, developing and manufacturing hydrocephalus shunts. In 1966 I retired from Medtronic after 8 years. I’ve always had an interest in ragtime music which was reinforced by the 1970s movie The Sting. Since 1998 I’ve hosted piano concerts in my home, hiring and becoming friends with professional musicians. The focus is on ragtime with a little jazz and boogie woogie mixed in. These concerts have been far more successful than I could have anticipated. (Although there are 3 pianos in the house, somewhat surprisingly, I do not play.) These concerts have provided the impetus to visit some of the pianists and their families in Italy and Switzerland and have helped form many solid friendships among both the musicians and concert guests. Following retirement I became involved in a new national organization, ACT for America. In 2008 I founded and led the Mission Viejo chapter, which has grown to over 500 members (750,000 members in 1200 chapters nationally) and am still actively involved. Through this organization I’ve learned a great deal about the background of the attacks on 9/11 and have met many leading figures who are fighting to expose and eliminate a significant threat to America’s culture and safety. I am a significant donor to that activist organization that has helped pass over 80 laws to protect America from civilizational jihad.

Dave Green

Jim Foster with wife Sandra

Bruce Mayall


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Michael Routh – PhD Chemistry, 1976

In 2006 I established The Nicholas and Kathleen Memorial Foundation, a 501c(3) tax-exempt entity, to honor the memory of my parents while providing a means for supporting numerous charitable and public service organizations. I have two sons, both married, and a granddaughter and grandson. One of my sons lives across the freeway from me with his family and the other lives in Oregon where he has set up his own business making high-end, custom beds and picture frames. Once a year I travel to Washington, D.C. for the ACT for America national conference and once a year to Sacramento for the West Coast Ragtime Festival, the largest in America. My wife, Susana, and I have an active life and, God willing, will continue to do so.

Tim Krupa – MS Chemistry, 1979

David Bear – BS Chemistry, 1972

After retiring from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine after 33 years as Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology, my wife and I moved back to Tucson and I recently received a part-time faculty appointment in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine where I will be involved in genetics and genomics education for medical students.

Don Stevenson – PhD Chemistry, 1972

Mark Dreher

I am happily married to Rusti, the love of my life and my bride of 44 years. I am the proud father of Jenni, Tim, and the proud “father” to our son, Caleb, Jenni’s husband. I spent my career developing new drugs, devices, and the professional careers of my teammates. After 35 years, I have started a second career in Ag Biotech, and I am enjoying my new adventure. Who’d a thought about a second career at my age? I am delighted to announce that identical twin granddaughters, Kristen and Elisabeth Sawyer, were born May 6, 2017, and both along with mother (Sarah) and father (Thomas) are doing well! For the past six years, I have been the Medical Director for Kaiser Permanente Orange County, overseeing 1,200 physicians, two hospitals and 25 medical office buildings. My roots will always be Tucson, and I am forever grateful for my training in the UA Department of Chemistry and the College of Medicine.

Scott Hertzog – BS Chemistry, 1987

Oliver Ileperuma – PhD Chemistry, 1976

I retired from the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka in 2014 after 44 years of service. Currently I am Emeritus Professor of Chemistry.

Tim Krupa

Nancy Gin – BS Chemistry, 1982; MD 1986

Richard (Rick) Yost – BS Chemistry, 1974

I am currently President and Chief Science Officer of Nutrition Science Solutions, LLC After Arizona, I started my career as a research scientist in enteral and elemental nutrition, and medical food product development at McGaw Laboratories and as an Assistant Professor in Food and Nutrition at North Dakota State University leading research on sunflower seeds, dry edible beans and emerging grains. During my subsequent 30+ year career in a number of food, agricultural and pharmaceutical companies, I held key roles in over 150 new healthy product development projects and food-based clinical trials. My publications include over 50 research journal articles, book chapters or books including the Handbook of Dietary Fiber and editing and contributor to the 2nd edition of the Handbook of Dietary Fiber and the Complex Carbohydrates in Foods books. I served as a member of the 1997 Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Carbohydrate and Human Nutrition, a Fellow in the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy and Resources for the Future Leadership Program in Washington DC, and Vice Chair and Chair of the Almond Board of California’s Nutrition Research Committee. I am currently President and Chief Science Officer of Nutrition Science Solutions, LLC in the Austin, Texas area. I have two books to be published in 2017 in the Springer/Nature’s Nutrition and Health Series entitled Dietary Fiber in Health and Disease (September 16) and Dietary Patterns and Whole Plant Foods in Aging and Disease (December 11).

Michael Routh

Tomi Sawyer – PhD Chemistry, 1981 (2)

Hilary Danehy – BA Biochemistry, 1987

Mark Dreher – MS/PhD Agricultural Biochem & Nutrition 1976/1979

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I have retired as CEO of GE Analytical Instruments. I am board director of 4 technology companies.

I retired at the end of 2014 but am working part-time as a consultant for Dover Chemical. I am President Elect of the 7000-member American Society for Mass Spectrometry. I was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry this year! Rick Yost

DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY | FALL 2017

Tomi Sawyer’s granddaughters

I recently joined Intarcia Therapeutics as Associate Director of GxP Training. I just celebrated three years as an Applications Specialist for CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, traveling the country and training researchers how take maximum advantage of CAS services, including SciFinder and STN.

Bruce Armitage – PhD Chemistry, 1993

I am finishing up 20 years on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University. Time flies!

Scott Hertzog

Woncheol Jung – PhD Chemistry, 1994

I am working as a Principal Researcher at Samsung Electronics in Korea.

Deepa Whipple – BS Biochemistry, 1997

I was recently promoted to VP and relocated to our NYC office (from California).

Woncheol Jung

Rogerio Sotelo-Mundo – PhD Biochemistry, 1999

I am a professor at CIAD www.ciad.mx (Research Center in Food & Development) since 1999, after graduating from Bill Montfort´s lab. About six years ago, I resumed research in protein crystallography and now my students are collecting data at Stanford University synchrotron. I have received funding for a X-ray diffractometer suitable for protein and small molecules. I am happy to host Wildcat colleagues on their way to San Carlos Beach!

Matthew Lynn – PhD Chemistry, 2000

Thinking back across my formal academic training, the one aspect about myself that I was always aware of was that I had dual interests in chemistry and language. I completed quite a few years of coursework in French during my high school and undergraduate careers and had penpals across the world so that I could put my language skills to good use. As a graduate student in Dennis Lichtenberger’s group at the UA and then as the department’s UNIX system administrator, I dove into learning programming languages related to computational chemistry and website and database management. Then in the summer of 2006 while I was still living and working in Tucson, I received a copy of the upcoming fall schedule of courses at Pima Community College. I had always had an interest in learning American Sign Language,

Deepa Whipple

Rogerio Sotelo-Mundo


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ALUMNI NEWS MORE

Matthew Lynn

so I signed up for an evening ASL 101 course. At the time I was not certain how far I might proceed in learning the language. Perhaps I would teach science at the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind or perhaps I might become a interpreter with a strong understanding of scientific vocabulary and concepts. I successfully completed my class in the fall and enrolled in ASL 102 for the following spring, not knowing that a homework assignment I would soon have was going to change the trajectory of my professional career in a life-altering way. Near the end of my Spring 2007 sign language class, my teacher assigned a final project that required me to develop and deliver a five-minute presentation entirely in ASL on the topic of a famous deaf person. Assuming that there must be a well-known deaf chemist, I searched online to see what I could find. Very quickly I found information in Chemical & Engineering News about Sir John Cornforth, an Australian-born scientist who was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1975 for his work on the stereochemistry of enzyme-catalyzed reactions. The same article described the recently established Laboratory Science Technology (LST) program at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), one of the constituent colleges of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), in Rochester, New York. As part of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society initiative in the 1960s, NTID was established by the federal government to serve as an institution dedicated to training deaf and hard-of-hearing persons for careers in technical fields. Being completely unaware of NTID or RIT, I checked out their website and discovered that they were in the process of searching for a tenure-track chemist. I applied, interviewed, was offered the job, sold my house in Tucson, moved across the country, bought a house in Rochester, moved into my new house, and started work as an assistant professor all in the span of about 12 weeks in summer 2007. I began Fall Quarter 2007 as a full-time faculty tutor for deaf and hard-of-hearing students enrolled in mainstream baccalaureate chemistry courses at RIT and also as a classroom instructor of organic chemistry in the associate-level LST program. As I taught and tutored, I used ASL all day and fell in love by being totally immersed in the environment. When I walked into my classroom on the first day, I looked up to find an autographed photo of John Cornforth and his wife at the front of the room. I am not really a believer in destiny, fate, or karma, but seeing the image hanging on the wall helped me to see a connection and allowed me to sense that I had found “my” place. Over the years, I have continued to teach and to tutor and have been involved in computational chemistry projects, mentoring deaf and hard-of-hearing students in research problems through collaborations with experimental chemists. In 2013 I was awarded tenure and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor. At the same time, a retirement wave was sweeping through the college and I offered to serve as chairperson of the NTID Department of Science and Mathematics, a role in which I am now starting my fifth year. I oversee approximately 25 deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing faculty members in biology, chemistry, health science, mathematics, and physics. Over the past four years I have run numerous faculty searches for tenure-track and lecturer faculty to find replacements for my retired colleagues. The LST program is under my purview and I regularly work with students to find internship experiences at companies and universities across the country as required by our associate-degree program. More and more institutions are recognizing the vital need to diversify their workforce and are welcoming deaf and hard-of-hearing students into their labs for “co-ops” and for permanent jobs. The key to our success in placing students in these work experiences is our ongoing collaboration with organizations to let them know that we are available to support them. We are also completing a nearly one-million dollar renovation of half of our laboratory classroom space and for the first time will have dedicated research labs for faculty

DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY | FALL 2017

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and students to use. I am also heavily involved with curricular matters to develop additional pathways for our students to transition smoothly into Bachelor of Science programs within the greater university. On the cultural side, in the past two years I have been fortunate enough to chaperone a group of approximately 20 students through a 12-day study-abroad experience in Japan and I also wandered through Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay with a retired deaf colleague. I recall an undergraduate advisor telling me that I had too many interests and that I would need to focus on one in order to find my path. I get that most jobs are generally not advertised as requiring interests in molecular orbital theory, group theory, computer programming, communicating in several languages, and travel. While I certainly agree that trying to decide on an undergraduate major by imagining a career that combines science, language, research, and culture may not be the best way for everyone to proceed, I consider myself extremely fortunate regarding where my personal and professional interests have led me. Being patient, open-minded, and accepting of change have brought me to Rochester where I work with a fantastically dedicated group of faculty and with students who, despite their relative adversity, demonstrate skills and talents equal to those of the hearing majority. I contribute to the preparation of our next generation of scientists and I serve as a bridge between hearing and deaf cultures. Every day I am thankful for these opportunities.

Danny (DJ) Morales

Danny (DJ) Morales – BA Biochemistry, 2000

I was elected as a City Council member in Douglas, Arizona in 2016. In August 2016 I graduated as a Cochise County Sheriff Deputy at the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center in Tucson, and shortly thereafter I was appointed Mayor Pro Tempore by Mayor Uribe. I received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal from the United States Navy for service while stationed at NOSC Phoenix at Luke Air Force Base. I transferred from NOSC Phoenix to NOSC Tucson as a Navy Reservist in April 2017.

Liliya Yatsunyk – PhD Chemistry, 2003

This is my tenth year teaching General and Inorganic Chemistry at Swarthmore College. I also do research with undergraduates on unusual DNA structures implicated in cancer using spectroscopic and structural methods. In my free time I run (mostly half marathons) and rock climb.

Liliya Yatsunyk

Ware Flora – PhD Chemistry, 2004

Dr. Ware Flora is Vice President – Global Research & Development for Archer Daniels Midland Company’s Wild Flavors & Specialty Ingredients. Ware joined ADM in 2014 and leads a global team working closely with commercial leaders to ensure R&D activities support ADM’s growth objectives. Focus areas include natural flavors, natural colors, functional extracts and ingredient delivery systems.

Andrew Wenger – BA Biochemistry, 2006

I graduated from medical school at Midwestern University, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in May 2017 and started residency in Emergency Medicine at Western Michigan University in June 2017. Daughter Isobel Brigid was born in September 2016.

Ware Flora

Channa De Silva – PhD Chemistry, 2007

I was promoted to Associate Professor of Chemistry with tenure at Western Carolina University in July 2016.

Steve Fernandes – MS BMB, 2007

In 2014 I earned my MBA from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Presently I am employed at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and serve on the Executive Board of Global Biotech Revolution (GBR) in the United Kingdom. I was Idea Challenge Director, Gap Summit 2017, Global Biotech Revolution, UK held at Washington, DC June

Steve Fernandes


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ALUMNI NEWS MORE 6-10, 2017. In 2017 I was the 1st Place Innovation Cup Winner: Merck Serono Innovator Award (Immuno-Oncology), Darmstadt, Germany.

Wendy Ingram – BS BMB, 2007

I was awarded a two year Psychiatric Epidemiology Training Program Postdoc Fellowship in the Department of Mental Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins.

Patrick Vinck – BS BMB, 2007

Patrick Vinck

Currently, I am the medical director of an innovative primary care model working to transform primary care delivery in the US. We care for vulnerable seniors in a team based model. I graduated from the biochemistry program in 2007. I then went to medical school at the UA and completed residency in Phoenix, Arizona. I worked in the Montfort lab and cherish the memories and experience I had there. He and the whole team played a transformative role in my life. I always will be grateful to the Montfort lab and the department of Biochemistry for the opportunities they afforded me.

Angela Peiffer Folley – BS BMB, 2008

Angela Peiffer Folley and family

After earning my BS in Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics in 2008, I married my high school sweetheart, Austin (also a 2008 Wildcat grad in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering). We moved to Ohio for his medical school where I worked for a microbiology lab at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus before deciding I wanted to do something else. I received my Master of Education and 7-12th grade teaching certificate in science from Ohio State and taught 2 years of high school chemistry and physical science and coached cheerleading. We then moved to Texas for my husband’s residency and I taught HS math for another 2 years while also coaching the school’s Varsity cheerleading team. We are currently living in Georgia while my husband serves as an Emergency Medicine physician for the United States Army. We just added a new Wildcat to our family! Nora Ann was born July 25th and is definitely loved by her 2 year old big sister, Elaina! Life is busy so I’m staying home right but working on the side for a non- profit company called Cheer For A Cure and will hopefully someday get back to teaching and coaching which I love! Beardown!

Kexiao Guo – PhD Biochemistry, 2008

Kexiao Guo

When I was a graduate student at UA, I did my research on oncogene transcriptional regulation and cancer drug discovery under the great mentorship of Dr. Laurence Hurley. Dr. Hurley’s lab got me trained not only in the basic science of cancer biology, but also on cancer drug discovery and development. After I graduated with my PhD, I went to St.Jude Children’s Research Hospital to start my postdoctoral training. St.Jude Children’s Research hospital is famous in the world in pediatric cancer diagnosis and treatment. Before I came to St.Jude, I never realized there are so many kids having been diagnosed with cancer. In the hospital, you’ll see kids in different ages, even babies or toddlers, with their parents from all around the world who came to St.Jude for treatment. You’ll definitely feel it is really a mission for us as cancer research scientists to find a way to cure cancer. My research at St.Jude involved with high-throughput screening and cancer drug discovery and development to find novel radiosensitizers to enhance the cancer therapy and decrease the toxicities associated with it. Currently, I am working as a senior research associate at the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer biology at Duke University to continue my passion on cancer drug

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discovery and development. We’re developing radiosensitizers by targeting specific cellular signaling pathways to sensitize tumor cells remarkably to radiotherapy during treatment. These radiosensitizers will improve the effectiveness of the current standard radiotherapy and also decrease the side effects associated with radiotherapy. The radiosensitizers we’re developing now potentially will revolutionize the radiotherapy and benefit lots of cancer patients in the near future. I really miss the time at UA and Tucson. I wish to visit Tucson again to see my old friends one day.

Katherine Hanlon – BS BMB, 2008

I have just begun my tenure as the Director of Research at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina with a faculty appointment in the School of Pharmacy. After completing my BS I went on to earn a PhD in Pharmacology in 2012 at UA’s College of Medicine under the direction of Dr. Todd Vanderah, where I focused on opioid and cannabinoid pharmacology. My post-doctoral fellowship in tumor immunology was at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in Manhattan. From there I took a tenure track faculty position at the University of New England COM in Biddeford, Maine where I discovered a love for teaching biochemistry (second only to research, of course) and started my lab. My work focuses on the function of and targetable mechanisms employed by macrophages in biological microsystems including tumors and dorsal root ganglia. Last year I received the Award in Pain from the American Pain Society and became a Rita Allen Foundation Scholar for my work on neuro-immune communication in the dorsal root ganglia (a major goal of this project is to identify novel non-opioid targets for the treatment of pain). I was then awarded 2017 faculty of the year by my students, which was a really nice way to cap my time at UNECOM. In addition to my academic role, I am an associate editor-in-chief of the Journal of Pain Research and I sit on the scientific advisory board at Exeligen Scientific. Now at Presby, I will continue teaching biochem in the School of Pharmacy, continue my macrophage work, and take on some administrative responsibilities at the College level. It’s been quite a twist for someone who originally planned life as a physician but then became enamored by the science behind life- and it’s all thanks to UA biochem!

Katherine Hanlon

Joon Kim - BS BMB & BS MCB, 2008

After graduating from UA, I worked for a biotech company called Caris MPI, now Caris Diagnostics in Phoenix, AZ. I worked on developing prostate and colon cancer screening assays that are more sensitive and specific than the assays available in the market at the time. After two years working for the company, I felt the need for higher education. I completed medical school at A.T. Still University – School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona and Internal Medicine Residency at Verde Valley Medical Center in Cottonwood, AZ. I loved fluid and electrolyte management the best during my training. So, I’m now a Nephrology Fellow at the University of Nebraska Medical Center managing kidney related conditions. The service is very busy, but I’m very happy with my work experience. During medical school, I met my beautiful and supportive wife, Michelle Benson, now Michelle Kim. She works as an auditor. So, she keeps her company and me on track. In reflection to undergraduate years, I surrounded myself around very intelligent and motivated group of students, staffs and faculties of Biochemistry Department who showed me perspectives that I never knew. They inspired and motivated me to pursue bigger and better things. Undergraduate was not “fun,” per se, but was constant euphoria from overcoming challenges and learning ways to solve problems.

Joon Kim and wife Michelle

Shang-U Kim – PhD Chemistry, 2008

After receiving a PhD degree from Polt lab, I spent two years at Ohio State University Medical Center as a postdoc, where I enjoyed publishing some papers in JACS, JPC A, and PLOS ONE. Then, I moved back to Korea with my family, and started my brand-

Shang-U Kim


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ALUMNI NEWS MORE new career at Samsung Display. Currently, I am a principal engineer and a manager of failure analysis and material characterization lab in the department of quality assurance. My company produces OLED displays for all Samsung Galaxy and other brands’ smartphones. My job is to provide the mechanisms and solutions how to figure out the abnormal defects in OLED displays by utilizing various analytical tools, such as SEM, FIB, TEM, XPS, FT-IR, DSC, TGA, and other applications.

Erika Offerdahl – PhD Biochemistry, 2008

I accepted a position as Associate Professor of Biochemistry at Washington State University in summer 2016. I presently serve as a Fellow for the Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE) Education Fellow for ASBMB.

Justin Crotty – PhD Chemistry, 2009

Justin Crotty

While a graduate student studying under Bill Montfort, I got interested in science as a business and the legal framework that supports it. From 2009 until 2012 I attended The George Washington University Law School. In 2012 I became a member of the Virginia Bar and entered private practice in Alexandria, VA. I began practice by helping companies understand the scope of their competitors’ patent rights and advising them as to how to avoid infringement. I’ve since relocated to Boston and now my practice focuses on representing Universities before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. I’m very satisfied to work in a challenging and rapidly developing field and I find it very rewarding to help educational institutions and their partners secure their rights and develop their inventions.

Eric Hauck – BA Biochemistry, 2009

Founder of MEP Equine Solutions LLC an NIH SBIR Grant award winner commercialized a smartphone-based fecal egg diagnostic and intestinal parasite management tool for veterinarians. This on-site veterinarian based test kit uses smartphone technology to provide rapid, quantitative fecal egg counts in livestock, horses, and companion animals, and aggregates anonymous data for parasite trends. The technology was recently licensed by Zoetis Inc., the former animal health division of Pfizer.

Sarah Nelson-Taylor – BS BMB and BS MCB, 2009

I got married in February, right after I received my PhD in cancer biology from the University of Colorado.

Ahmed Badran – BS BMB and BS MCB, 2010

Ahmed Badran

I didn’t know it at the time, but one day late in the spring semester of my junior year at Tucson High Magnet School would define the trajectory of my career till this very moment. Margaret Wilch, the first person that ignited my passion for molecular biology, was leading a lab in honors biology class where students were taught how to purify genomic DNA from strawberries. We learned that, following extensive human selection, strawberries had evolved to harbor many copies of their DNA. The end result of this exercise was a spindly mucus; hardly eliciting any level of excitement from any of the students (myself included) despite the magnitude of what we had just achieved. But that wasn’t the end of the lab. The next exercise was even more boring at the outset: the students were given tubes of DNA and bacteria, told to mix them together, and put everything on an agar plate. That was it for now, we would see the fruits of our lab during the next time we had biology class. The next day I learned that we had introduced a small piece of DNA into the bacteria, and that DNA encoded for a very special protein: the green fluorescent protein. When the bacteria later grew on the plate, they were glowing green! That’s when I knew I wanted to become a molecular biologist.

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In the six months that would follow, I would engage regularly in scientific discussions with Ms. Wilch, and later enroll in her foundational course titled Honors Research Methods. Ms. Wilch would introduce me to the second defining character of my scientific career, Dr. Indraneel Ghosh. I remember this day vividly: after exchanging greetings in his office in the Carl Marvel Building, Dr. Ghosh showed me images of a wide array of fluorescent proteins that scientists had engineered to encode all the colors of the rainbow! He described the efforts in his lab to use these tools to create sensors capable of quickly detecting specific DNA sequences: once these sensors found the desired sequence, they would turn on the fluorescent proteins. I was immediately hooked and joined the Ghosh lab. In the Ghosh lab, I became intimately familiar with the various techniques at the disposal of a molecular biologist, developed coherent hypotheses, designed appropriate and controlled experiments, and lead independent research projects. Outside the Ghosh lab, I found a strong undergraduate presence focused on research at the University of Arizona; specifically lead by Dr. Carol Bender and the superb Undergraduate Biology Research Program (UBRP). These factors largely influenced my decision to enroll as an undergraduate at the University of Arizona. The next four years would provide a solid foundation in the scientific method as catalyzed by these numerous mentors, preparing me for my future research in graduate school and beyond. Under Dr. Ghosh’s guidance, I pursued a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, completing it in May 2010. Immediately thereafter, I started as a graduate student at Harvard University under the tutelage of Dr. David Liu, and was awarded my Ph.D. in Chemical Biology in 2016. Recently, I joined the Fellow Program at the Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard, initiating my own independent research program focused on the creation of novel functionalities within the central dogma. My time at the University of Arizona has prepared me for this trajectory, thanks in large part to the strong undergraduate research culture, the availability of spectacular resources at the disposal of students, and the constant guidance and support of faculty and program directors. I consider myself to have been among a fortunate few that have benefited from a coalescence of people and resources at this university, and am forever indebted to those whom have supported and trained me.

Adam Daly – PhD Chemistry, 2010

After graduating from five and a half great years in Dr. Stephen Kukolich’s laboratory, Adam was hired as a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of José Luis Alonso in Valladolid, Spain. Their group had recently received a grant to construct a high frequency spectrometer capable of providing data to Spain´s extraordinary astronomy-astrobiology community. Within two years, the laboratory was producing and publishing important data at high frequencies to support not only the Spanish community but also NASA´s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. During this time Adam met and married Maravillas in Valladolid. During the one year collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Adam was invited to work as a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech to continue work on large amplitude motion of molecules in space plus two additional projects: reactive atmospheric molecules and infrared studies of molecules on Titan. The two years spent in Pasadena, CA were an amazing collaboration of some of the best spectroscopists in the world. Adam has returned to the University of Arizona to teach in the innovative chemical thinking curriculum and is reliving some of the glory days by working with undergraduate and graduate students in the Kukolich laboratory to help produce the next generation of high resolution spectroscopists. Adam and Maravillas recently welcomed their first son into their home!

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ALUMNI NEWS MORE Sachin Kalarn – BS BMB and BS MCB, 2010

Sachin Kalarn

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Femina Rauf – PhD Chemistry, 2011

I am currently a Research Scientist at The Biodesign Institute. In 2015 I was honored as an Aspen Cancer Fellow, and I also was named a Carl L. Alden Scholar for Scientific Research Excellence.

I am currently an Ophthalmology resident at the University of Maryland focusing my studies on Glaucoma research and clinical practice. After graduating, I initially took a year off to work as a medical scribe at Northwest Medical Center in Tucson before completing my four years of medical school at the University of Arizona Tucson Campus. I then took another year off working as a the clinical research coordinator for the Dept of Ophthalmology at the University of Maryland. Soon afterwards I matched at the same program and just recently completed my internship in Internal Medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center. My current plans are to pursue a fellowship in Glaucoma after completing my Ophthalmology residency in another 3 years. On the side, I am very passionate about developing innovative and cost effect methods of bringing affordable healthcare to all people. In the past I have worked on projects to mobilize ocular screening to catch preventable causes of blindness in an expanding population of diabetes and glaucoma. I will continue to pursue these project in my future career but have decided to focus on my residency program for the time being. For those who are willing to collaborate, I would love to have an open discussion to this complex problem.

Mary-Helen Wanat – BS BMB, 2011

Michael Ortega – BS BMB and BS MCB, 2010

Gabrielle Winston-McPherson – BS BMB, 2011

In 2016, I became a pharmacy manager for King Soopers (a Kroger division) and welcomed my 1st child, a baby girl, with my wife Robin (Arizona Alum 2009).

Jennifer Collins – BS BMB, 2011

Since graduation I have pursued a career in insurance and finance and experienced the responsibility of managing every aspect of a small business. I credit both the academic and extracurricular opportunities offered through the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry with preparing me to lead a team and to problem solve creatively in the business world. I have recently accepted a position as an Epidemiology Disease Investigator with Maricopa County Department of Public Health focusing primarily on Zika virus, and which has allowed me to learn and work alongside CDC representatives. It is amazing to find that my laboratory skills and biochemistry knowledge instilled by empowering UA staff and mentors are still sharp. Although I took a sojourn away from the scientific community, it has been valuable and gratifying to bring my acquired ability to dialogue with the public as a result of my business experience, along with my my previous chemistry background, to MCDPH to assist with disease surveillance. I look forward to my future in Public Health and wish my classmates from 2011, my dear mentors, academic family, PIs and advisers all the best. In 2015 I received a UNCF-MERCK graduate science research dissertation fellowship, completed my PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2016, and began a postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Chemistry at the University of Washington.

I am working as Communicable Disease Epidemiologist at the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. My team and I study infectious disease trends, investigate outbreaks, and implement control measures to prevent more individuals from becoming ill. I always think fondly of my undergrad time at UA, especially in my research lab with Dr. Roger Miesfeld—I’m still trying to stop Ae. aegypti from causing disease!

Kenneth Childers – BS Biochemistry, 2012 (7)

Erin Johnson Kaleta – PhD Chemistry, 2011

I am a lieutenant in the US Navy. I recently graduated from Uniformed Service UniI am a lieutenant in the United States Navy. I recently graduated from Uniformed Service University of Health Science (USUHS), which is a tri-service military medical school. I will be starting a residency this summer in Internal Medicine at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.

I am now Assistant Director of Clinical Chemistry and Infectious Disease Serology and Assistant Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ.

Mounir Koussa - BS BMB & BS Chemistry, 2011

I currently serve as the CEO of Confer Health, Inc. a 15-person biotech startup that I founded in Boston in late 2015. I got married to the woman of my dreams in April of 2017.

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Femina Rauf

Mary-Helen Wanat

Since leaving CBC, I immediately went on to graduate school at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I am currently entering my 6th year as a graduate student and plan on obtaining my PhD by next spring. Kenneth Childers

Feel Gu Kang - BS Biochemistry, 2013

Amanda Roberts – MA in Chemistry, 2013

I am a 2nd year Graduate Research Assistant earning my PhD in Biomedical Sciences at the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) in Fort Worth Texas. My project aims to discover new molecular mechanisms responsible for glaucomatous trabecular meshwork damage in the eye. My principal investigator is Dr. Colleen McDowell and the research is funded by National Institute of Health. My career goals are to earn my PhD in Biomedical Sciences at UNTHSC, become an independent research scientist specializing in health disparities, and promote science education in the community.

Feel Gu Kang

Luis Torres-Figueroa – MA Chemistry, 2013 Mounir Koussa (4th from left) and employees of Confer Health, Inc.

Diogenes (Dio) Placencia – PhD Chemistry, 2011 (5) Dio Placencia

I hired on as a Federal Employee at Naval Research Laboratory with the title of Research Chemist. Currently I am “Chair” of MRS’ Sub-Committee on Government Agencies.

In March 2017, my position at the company I work for, Western Emulsions, was transitioned/changed into a new position. From being a lab technician, I now am the Technology and Quality Coordinator for the Tucson Plant. With the move, I have been given the opportunity of managing and implementing new processes and changes for production and operations, as well as managing and verifying that the production lab and the main lab are fully operational. I’m still in charge of the quality program and product testing, but now with more responsibilities, as I will also serve as a technical liaison between the plant, sales and customers. In addition, I will be conducting train-

Amanda Roberts


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ALUMNI NEWS MORE ing for operations personnel in proper sampling and testing procedures. It is a great opportunity that I have in my hands, and I see myself growing as an individual, and in my professional career. When I stay late at work, I have captured amazing sunsets like the one in the picture attached. It has become a great hobby. I’m having the time of my life!

Aaron Pejlovas – BS Chemistry, 2014 & MA Chemistry, 2017

I was married last September to the love of my life, Rhianna Hastings, who is also a CBC alumna. We purchased a house last November!

Alyssa Pires – BS Chemistry, 2014

I am enrolled in the University of Arizona Master of Animal and Biomedical Industries program.

Kameron Rodrigues – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2014

I’m starting my PhD in Immunology home program within the Biosciences at Stanford University, where I was awarded a Stanford Graduate Fellowship. I’m interested in computational and systems immunology, which includes immunogenomics.

Sho Taniguchi – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2014

I was recently accepted into dental school at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and started in late July. My hope is to practice in a community health center after my anticipated graduation in 2021.

Joe Cada – BS Molecular & Cellular Biology, 2015

Joe Cada

I can’t believe it has already been over 2 years since I completed my Bachelor’s of Science in Molecular & Cellular Biology back in May 2015! Though I changed my major from Biochemistry to Molecular & Cellular Biology during my junior year, I remained very much involved in CBC and considered it my “home” department. I was a peer mentor, student ambassador, and undergraduate researcher in CBC. Some of my best mentors were in CBC including my research mentor, Dr. Pascale Charest; favorite chemistry teacher, Dr. Lani Hidalgo; and favorite biology teacher, Dr. Lisa Elfring. All of these individuals and more helped me get to where I am today, which ironically, is at Arizona State University, specifically at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in downtown Phoenix (still bearing down, though!). How did I end up in law school? Well, following my graduation from UA, I worked as a Research Specialist in a Pathology lab at UA’s College of Medicine. I worked on projects investigating the causes of a rare genetic mutation and potential treatment therapies thereof. Although I enjoyed research and science, I found myself more drawn to a career outside of the lab where I could interact with people more and still be able to utilize the critical and analytical thinking abilities I developed as a science major. Thus, law school seemed like a potential fit as I also really enjoyed writing and logical reasoning (I minored in Philosophy as well). I took the plunge and went for it, and have been loving it ever since. With a STEM undergraduate degree, I am eligible for the patent bar and have the option of becoming a patent attorney available to me. However, I am leaning more towards health law and regulation as it still utilizes my knowledge of biology and science, but is a little bit less “techy” than patent law. Whatever law I ultimately decide to practice, I hope to apply my knowledge of biology and be able to help courts and individuals better understand science and how it relates to the law.

Yiming Huang – PhD Chemistry, 2015

After graduating from UA, I joined the group of Prof. Eilaf Egap as a postdoc at Emory University (Atlanta, GA). I have worked on a variety of research projects at the inter-

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face of synthetic organic chemistry, polymer and material science, and biomedical engineering. Evolved from the fast-paced setting and demanding tasks in this young group, I have built abundant new skill sets based on those I acquired from UA. Currently, our group is in the process of relocating to Rice University (Houston, TX) and I am looking forward to new exciting challenges about to come. I would really like to take this chance to express my gratitude to my advisor at UA, Prof. Dominic McGrath. While working at Emory, I realized again how much I have learned from him – not only chemical knowledge, but also critical thinking, attention to details, and the pursuit of excellence as well. My further accomplishments would not be possible without his great mentoring.

Ambjorn Brynnel – BA Chemistry, 2016

Yiming Huang

I am now doing a Master’s in physiology at the UA, with hopes it will get me closer to being accepted to a great physical therapy school. My research involves studying the tension characteristics and binding proteins of the muscle protein Titin.

Nikki Changavalli – BA Chemistry, 2013, MA Chemistry, 2016

Hello again CBC! I first joined UA in 2009 as an international student for pre-Pharmacy. It was in my sophomore year that Dr. Michael Koerner inspired me to pursue Chemistry as a career path. In his O-Chem class, I realized that it’s neither Biology nor Physics but Chemistry that is the source of all matter. With lots of guidance from Dr. Doug Loy and my lab mates, I completed my Bachelors and Masters degree at CBC. During my four years, Dr. Loy helped me understand that it is only through research, making mistakes and learning from them, we can develop new ideas. I really appreciate the opportunity he gave me to work in his lab. In 2015, I moved back to my home country of Australia for more job opportunities. I attended many interviews and even got accepted into some companies. I declined a lot of potential jobs because I insisted on having a research aspect to my role. I kept myself busy for almost six months with a sales job after which I got my golden ticket in early 2016. I received an offer to be a Lab Chemist at an adhesive manufacturing company called Vivacity Engineering. Coincidentally, I also had the experience in the epoxy-amine research at UA in Dr. Loy’s lab! I have been working here for over a year now. I perform quality control on all products and am actively involved in new product development and testing. This is my dream job, and I couldn’t be happier. It was worth the wait! I couldn’t have done it without all my professors, Lori Boyd and Olivia Mendoza, Dr. Loy, our lab group and my CBC mates. I miss you, CBC!

Andrew Dixon – PhD Chemistry, 2016

I received my degree during Summer 2016 for my work with Dr. Andrei Sanov studying small organic radials and ions using photoelectron imaging spectroscopy. After a short time working with Dr. Vanessa Huxter and her group, I took a position with Silberline Manufacturing Company located in eastern Pennsylvania. Silberline has been in the business of effect pigments since 1945, providing metallic functional coatings and the aesthetic ‘pop’ that you see on food labels, cars, and plastics. That pop is from a complex interaction between lighting, the observer, and the metallic effect pigment. Without it colors appear matte and surfaces lack contour; visual cues that you probably take for granted when observing the world around you. As part of the research and innovation team, I work to provide both internal innovations and new products. I study goniospectroscopy (how your eye sees colors), polymers, and surface science. I work to bring this knowledge to our production teams to better understand our processes. The group size and environment in a family-owned company gives me much of the same freedom and independence that I enjoyed in graduate school, while the location in PA has placed me much closer to my family.

Ambjorn Brynnel

Nikki Changavalli


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ALUMNI NEWS MORE Kylie Holliday - BS Biochemistry, 2016

I have recently moved to Scottsdale, Arizona to pursue a career in dentistry. I am currently shadowing Dr. John Badolato in north Scottsdale, while preparing for the DAT. I am also in the process of becoming an officer in the National Guard. Knowing that I will soon be apart of our nations military is humbling. I am extremely grateful for everything this country has provided my family and I and I cannot wait to give back. Throughout the summer I have also competed in NPC fitness competitions. I have entered into multiple shows in Arizona and I am currently preparing for a national qualifier in December.

Tyler Kennedy – BS Chemistry, 2016

Since graduating in 2016, I have been continuing my education across the street at the UA’s College of Medicine in pursuit of my MD. I had about two months of sweet freedom before I jumped back into intense studying, albeit with a few less lab reports (thank goodness). I have now finished my first year and the second is in full swing as we crash through stacks of material each week. Our current section is particularly heavy with biochemistry, and it is honestly a relief to return to my roots that I developed in the CBC program! During the summer between these first two years, I was fortunate enough to work in Payson, AZ doing a rotation in internal medicine and pediatrics. The experience I gained in that short month was incredible and I was reminded every day what an honor it is to be a healthcare professional. My time working with Dr. Judith Hunt and her colleagues reaffirmed my desire to go into pediatrics and to work to support those in the disability community. Moving forward, I hope to advocate for those who are often overlooked or considered burdensome, and to be a resource to families trying to navigate the healthcare system. I’ve found incredible support for this endeavor at UACOM and am happy to call myself a Wildcat for life!

Nathan Napierski – BS Biochemistry, 2016

Nathan Napierski

I’m an Alumnus of the University of Arizona and a former UA cheerleader, I’m a chemistry teacher assistant for the UA department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, I’m a bartender on 4th Avenue, and I’m avid seeker for adventure. I graduated with my BS in Biochemistry and MCB last year and since I’ve done research for the department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, gone to music festivals, worked a lot, and traveled. If you’re asking why I’m not in a graduate program, I have the answer! Before I set out for the career that I want to dedicate my life to, I needed some time to explore myself and give clarity to the question, “what makes me happy?” I’m on a teeter totter between pursuing my PhD in Biochemistry and going back to school to be a Nurse Practitioner. I’m excited to be back in the department. Feel free to say hi if you see me!

Kelsey Coyle – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017

Kelsey Coyle

After graduating this past May, I started a Master’s program in Medical Pharmacology with a specialized focus in Perfusion Sciences. I am currently taking graduate coursework while also being clinically trained to become a perfusionist. A perfusionist works in the operating room during open-heart surgeries and operates the heart-lung machine while the heart is on bypass. When not in class or in surgeries, I also work for Banner on the donor team. We go on trips and fly out to help with the dissection of lungs and hearts for transplants. It is exciting to be able to see the process full-circle. I am extremely thankful for my time with CBC. Being surrounded by a group of staff, faculty, advisors, and students that support you along the biochemistry path is something I truly appreciate.

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Jordan Barrows – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017

Hello, CBC current students, staff, and faculty, and fellow alumni as well! Having just graduated with my BS degree from UofA this past May, I do not yet have many new developments to report, but I am very excited for what is to come. I just started in the Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology Ph.D. program in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and am about to start my first of three lab rotations, after which I look forward to settling into a lab to complete my doctoral thesis. During my time at Hopkins, I am also hoping to get involved in pedagogical training through the Johns Hopkins Teaching Academy in the hopes of better preparing myself for a future in academia. Although it’s missing the mountains of the West Coast, Baltimore is already starting to feel like home, and I can’t wait to see what the next several years have in store. I would like to give a huge thank you to the CBC department for giving me the research and academic training I needed to get to this point. I already look back fondly on all of the memories I made in Tucson, and there is no doubt that I am only in the position I am today as a direct result of all of the help and support I received while I was there.

Jordan Barrows

Gabrielle Grinslade – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017

I have a new job as a Research Scientist at the University of Washington in the Department of Biochemistry in Trisha Davis’ lab studying nucleation of microtubules.

Ray Hau - BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017

Throughout my four years at the University of Arizona, I slowly developed a passion for pharmaceutical sciences. As a result, it was a no-brainer to join a drug development and discovery laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Jun Wang. I worked tirelessly to produce for me to make i optimal results to further the study of Influenza antivirals. Dr. Jun Wang’s lab was able to discover many promising antiviral candidates for various Influenza subtypes. I am proud to be a part of these types of discoveries that can benefit the human population. Soon after graduating with my degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology, I decided to take a short break before re-engaging myself in the world of research. During my time off, I felt compelled to re-join Dr. Jun Wang and further improve on my knowledge in pharmaceutical research to prepare myself for graduate school. Currently, I have preoccupied myself with various research projects in Dr. Jun Wang’s lab, including developing Influenza antivirals and more recently, discovering new Zika and Dengue antivirals. There are similarities between the different viruses; however, they are also significantly different in other aspects. It has and will continue to be a challenge to optimize our research to combat future global outbreaks of Influenza, Zika, or Dengue. All the experience and knowledge that I have obtained through my studies in the CBC and MCB departments and hands-on lab work have prepared me to be successful. I was able to learn quite a lot from my courses, which somewhat prepared me for laboratory research. There was still a lot to learn, but I had become familiar with many techniques such as Western blotting, protein synthesis and purification, enzyme kinetics, and many others in my coursework. There are still many techniques I have yet to learn, but I hope to continue pursuing my goals of attending graduate school and furthering my education in pharmaceutical sciences. I thank everyone in the CBC and MCB departments at the University of Arizona for providing the knowledge that was necessary to get where I am today.

Gabrielle Grinslade

Ray Hau

John Heydorn – BS Chemistry, 2017

After earning my degree in 2017, I am continuing at the UA’s College of Pharmacy for a PharmD degree in 2021. I will be receiving a second degree in a few years following 2021.

John Heydorn


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ALUMNI NEWS MORE I came to the University of Arizona in 2013, initially planning to go the pre-pharmacy route and apply to pharmacy school. Along the way, I discovered my passion for Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology. I had no idea how much CBC would help to identify my interests and shape my future. I joined Dr. Roger Miesfeld’s research lab my junior year, and had the most fulfilling research experience I could have imagined. As a result of my amazing experiences through CBC, I realized that graduate school was the right path for me, and applied to PhD programs across the country. It was through my CBC coursework that I identified my interests in a broad spectrum of biochemical and molecular topics. Specifically, I find myself drawn to many research labs that address the topics discussed in Nucleic Acids (BIOC 466) with Dr. Nancy Horton. Without this coursework, I would not be prepared for my upcoming coursework and possible labs to join. I started my first rotation Summer 2017 at the University of Michigan through the Program in Biomedical Sciences. I spent my summer rotation in a lab studying telomeres, and have rotations lined up in labs that study Wnt signaling and long noncoding RNAs, to name a few. If not for the research experiences and classwork that I completed through CBC, I would not be nearly as well prepared for my future as a rotation student and PhD candidate. I cannot thank CBC enough for the amazing advising, academics, professors, and experiences I’ve had. Thank you, CBC!

Gloria Le – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017

Destinee Ogas – BA Biochemistry, 2017

Involvement in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department has been one of the best decisions I made for my academic career! The degree program gave me a competitive edge while looking for employment here in Tucson. My CV overflowed with leadership, research, and volunteer experience. Since graduation, I received an internship at Icagen for a month, followed by a career opportunity with Ventana Medical Systems in June 2017. I will be performing research on their newest system, the HE-600 with another fellow CBC’er who graduated in 2016! Alumni from this department are everywhere, and I look forward to meeting many more in the future. Elise Muñoz

Elise Muñoz – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017

I was born a Wildcat. I started going to UA basketball games with my grandparents before I could even walk and grew up listening to countless stories of my parent’s glory days as UA students. I grew up in Nogales, AZ, not too far from Tucson, and still remember all the fieldtrips we took as elementary school students to visit the UA. I think I always knew deep down that I would end up a Wildcat, but in high school I played around with some other ideas. I – like many high schoolers – wanted to go out-of-state for college and try something new. At the time, I didn’t see the UA for all that it could be, simply because it was in my backyard. Looking back at it now, I am so fortunate and overjoyed that I didn’t get my way as a high school senior. I ended up going to the UA and have never once regretted it. Although I may have been confused about where I wanted to go to school growing up, I never doubted that I would pursue a degree in science and the UA played a major role in that as well. As a junior in high school, I had the opportunity to participate in the Keep Engaging Youth in Science (KEYS) research program at the U of A, where for the first time in my life I was able to do hands-on “real” science. After working in the lab for a summer, I decided there and then that I had found something I wanted to pursue – scientific research. In high school, I loved chemistry and my chemistry teacher, Mrs. Valenzuela. She played the biggest role in my decision to pursue a degree in Biochemistry. I honestly had no clue what biochemistry was as a high school senior, but she convinced me

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to give it a try. She was right. I loved it! Over my four years at the UA, I also realized some other interests and pursued majors in Applied Mathematics and Molecular and Cellular Biology as well. With the help of the CBC advising office, I had the opportunity to work in a number of research labs at the UA as I pursued my interest in research. Three out of my four years as a student were spent in the lab of Dr. Daniela Zarnescu focused on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Those years were so influential to my desire to be a scientific researcher and I owe a lot to the motivational people I had the opportunity to work with. The UA opened so many doors for me and I have so many amazing mentors to thank for that. I not only had the opportunity to do all the science I wanted to do, but I also enjoyed so many other things as a UA student. I had my Zonazoo pass every year and missed a total of maybe three basketball games in four years. I participated in an amazing student-run club called Camp Wildcat where I was able to be a camp counselor for Tucson’s youth and meet some of my best lifelong friends. I found all the free food on campus and took advantage of all the perks of being a UA student. I really don’t feel like my time at the UA is over yet, as I only graduated a few months ago. I took some time off of science this summer and took some trips with my friends, explored Yosemite National Park, and backpacked for seven days across Zion National Park. Just a week ago, I moved to San Francisco where I will be pursuing my PhD at the University of California –San Francisco through the TETRAD program – an umbrella biochemistry and cell biology program. For now, I am still just getting situated in a new city and coming to terms with the fact that I am not returning to the UA this year. I am excited and equally nervous for this next chapter of my life, but I am so happy that my previous chapter was spent as a UA Wildcat! Beardown!

Lauren Koch – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017

Lauren Koch

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Destinee Ogas

I moved to the Big Island of Hawaii and started Pharmacy School at The Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

David Renner – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017

The CBC Department at the University of Arizona quickly took me in and made me feel at home after I switched my major from Engineering to Biochemistry and MCB. The advising staff made the transition easy and clearly laid out the new path I needed to take to graduate in four years, helping me each year thereafter. After graduating from the University of Arizona I quickly obtained a Research Technician position in Dr. Timothy Bolger’s lab in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Genetics, in which I completed my senior thesis. I have since contributed to a publication and plan on contributing to more and continuing my research. Next, I want to apply to graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in Biochemistry. My future career goals are to perform research for commercial firms involved in drug discovery or development. I hope to contribute to molecular and cellular based medicines and to use the knowledge and confidence I have gained from the UA to further science.

David Renner

Dagoberto Robles

Dagoberto Robles – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017

I am currently obtaining my Master’s in Public Health at The University of Arizona. I plan to continue my studies in hopes of entering medical school in the future. As a student of Epidemiology, my current interests lay in the spread of chronic diseases such as chronic pain and type 2 diabetes. I am also working at research lab that studies chronic pain through the UA Department of Pharmacology. I plan to use my background in science and my current studies in public health to become a well-rounded doctor in the future.

Skyler Smith – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017

In an odd turn of events, I found myself graduating from the University of Arizona in the summer of 2017, nearly 4 hours from Flagstaff where I first started my undergrad. I had dropped everything and transferred to the UA at the end of my sophomore

Skyler Smith


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ALUMNI NEWS MORE year in a naïve flurry of rash decisions that couldn’t have worked out better in the end. In the two years I spent at the University of Arizona I built invaluable friendships and gained experience that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. For the past year and a half I have been working Dr. Peter Cotty’s lab at the USDA-ARS combatting aflatoxin contamination through the implementation of atoxigenic fungi as biocontrol agents. Our lab not only helps the agricultural industry here in the states, but also contributes to a global effort to combat aflatoxin contamination in many developing parts of the world. So now I’ve got this BS in Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Bio, and just like any other fresh new graduate will tell you, the question of “What’s next” becomes quite the hot topic. For me, what’s next is a nice yearlong break from homework and the burden of maintaining a rigorous work-life balance that comes with being a student, but it’s not like I’m just sitting here watching the grass grow either. For the next year I will continue working with the great people in Cotty Lab as a full time technician, something that I thoroughly enjoy because the work is interesting and I get the opportunity to contribute to a much bigger humanitarian effort. In my free time I will also be working towards the completion of my independent research project and manuscript in the hopes that we may be able to publish a paper. It’s not all about research though, and having some fun is part of any good gap year. I will also be taking plenty of time to hike, camp, and continue my pursuit of music by writing more songs and building on my own guitar style. During this time I will also be taking my GRE, applying for graduate programs, and scouting out labs that I might like to be a part of. I am quite interested in the agricultural applications of biochemistry and molecular biology, particularly in the realm of genetic engineering, as well as structural biology and its implications in pharmacology. I don’t know exactly what the future has in store for me, but I am excited to finish my manuscript, begin my journey as a graduate student, and grow as a musician.

Matthew Stagg – BS Biochemistry and BS MCB, 2017

Matthew Stagg

Following graduation, I moved to Macon, GA, where I am currently applying for early admission to Mercer University School of Medicine. The location was already convenient by proximity to my hometown of Warner Robins, so I enjoy trips back home when time allows, but the school certainly played a role in my returning home. Due to a gap year between graduation and medical school, I’m interviewing with various internships and occupations in middle GA. Medical school applications are the primary priority right now, but I also aim to secure financial independence as a personal goal. That being said, football gave me a love for manual labor; I find myself in forests, yards, etc. doing a lot of landscaping or repair work as a small income source. I also found a small internship with Mercer University’s athletic marketing team. My work with Mercer involves many sports events and more manual labor, typically involving football this time of year, so I enjoy the work. It’s a strange feeling being so unaccomplished in the adult world, and I am eager to begin either professional studies or real, consistent work, but this time is equally exciting with many doors prepared to open. They might just need a little elbow grease to get there. Thanks for everything CBC; I certainly miss Tucson!

Ana Tellez Osuna – BS Chemistry, 2017

I’d like to start by saying that I wouldn’t trade my four years at the University of Arizona for the world. During my time at Arizona, I learned so much and made friendships and memories to last me a lifetime. When I joined the Chemistry & Biochemistry department, I was welcomed with open arms and before I knew it, I had made a second family at my home away from home. Whether it was my advisors or my professors, everyone was always happy to help. My classes, labs and research experience

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challenged me and made me grow not only academically but also as a person. They shaped me into the Chemist I am today but more than that, I learned how to succeed and handle any situation that comes my way. My experience at the University of Arizona helped shape me into the person I am today. These are memories I will cherish forever. After graduation, I had a summer internship at ASARCO Mission mine as a Metallurgical Engineer where I learned how to carry out general milling operations, lab operations and metallurgical projects as well as get a Research and Development Lab started. I’m very thankful for my internship and experience at ASARCO this summer. It was an awesome learning experience and I was always happy to go to work. My next steps in life take place in San Francisco, California where I have moved with my husband, Brandon Cornali. We recently got married at the end of August and are happily enjoying the city with our puppy. Here, I aspire to be a Cosmetic Formulations Chemist.

SUPPORT AND FUNDING

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today to help make a difference: • CBC Department Fund to support student activities, staff awards, and faculty enrichment • CBC Outreach Activities to support UA student outreach to K-12 classes and community events • CBC Graduate Student Scholarships to provide enhanced research opportunities for students • CBC Undergraduate Support to provide funding for the May CBC Commencement Event Find out more about supporting CBC@UA! cbc.arizona.edu/alumni_friends/guide-giving

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Ana Tellez Osuna and Brandon Cornali


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NEW FACULTY AND STAFF MORE

NEW FACULTY AND STAFF MORE

Thomas Gianetti, Assistant Professor

Sara Gallagher, Laboratory Coordinator

Rachel Hellmann Whitaker, Instructor

Jennifer Rascon, Program Coordinator

Thomas Gianetti was born in Marseille, south of France, where he did his initial education. After high school, he moved to Lyon where he graduated from CPE Lyon, an engineering school in France, with a bachelor and master degree in chemistry and chemical engineering. He then pursued his PhD studies at the University of California, Berkeley, on early transition metal imido complexes under the guidance of Profs. Robert Bergman and John Arnold. His PhD work focused on the reactivity of low valent niobium complexes, spanning from selective semi-hydrogenation of internal alkynes to C-F bond activation of fluoroarene and benzylic CF3 groups. At Berkeley, he met his wife Amelia, and they now have a 7 year old daughter, Daisy, and 4 year old son, Lucian. He then moved to Switzerland as post-doctoral fellow at the ETH Zürich with Prof. Grützmacher. He developed a new class of transition metal amide olefin complexes that are able to utilize the oxidizing power of the environmentally unfriendly gas, N2O, leading to the formation of N2 as the only byproduct, for the valuable chemical processes of alcohols dehydrocoupling and phosphane oxidation. Throughout his career, Thomas has developed strong expertise in the fundamental understanding of inorganic species and their application as catalysts to tackle chemical and societal problems such as energy challenges and removal of environmentally dangerous chemicals.

Sara Gallagher started in January as a new laboratory coordinator for the University of Arizona’s Chemistry & Biochemistry (CBC) prep-room. She graduated from the UA in May 2015, with her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, with a focus in Environmental Engineering applications. Throughout her educational and professional career, she has gained experience in academic laboratory support, wastewater treatment mitigation research, and large chemical formulations and in-process QC for a medical devices company. She is excited to return to the UA and use her academic and industrial knowledge to improve the undergraduate teaching lab experience.

Rachel Hellmann Whitaker is an alumna of the University of Arizona, class of 2003. She completed her graduate and postdoctoral work at the University of Illinois, U-C in biochemistry and chemistry, respectively. Dr. Whitaker was awarded “Most Inspiration Professor” and “Most Involved Professor” by students within the Department of Chemistry and Physics at Coastal Carolina University. Her latest publication was accepted at the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry June 2017 entitled “Characterization of tRNALeu binding interactions with Cu2+ and Pb2+ and their biological implications.”

Jennifer Rascon is native to Arizona who has worked at the University of Arizona for 11 years. She is married with 2 kids, 3 dogs, 2 cats and a bird.

Dr Gianetti arrived at CBC@UA in September 2017. His work at UA will target​​ the synthesis of novel organometallic species, throughout ligand design, that tackle the most challenging reactions of our century. His chemistry lies at the interface between organic and inorganic chemistry with application in catalysis toward small molecule activation.

Christine Gronowski is the newest addition to the CBC advising team. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science in Science Education, Christine spent 11 years in a high school classroom teaching general biology, anatomy and physiology, and AP biology.  She combined her passion of life science with the joy of working with students and has been hooked ever since!  Wanting a new challenge she has returned to her alma mater as an academic advisor to continue the rewarding work that comes with supporting students.  When not working , Christine loves to be outdoors whether camping, fishing, or spending time with her dogs.

Casie Barnett, Accounting Assistant, Senior Casie Barnett is graduating this December with a Bachelors of Science in Finance from the Eller College of Management. She was born and raised in Tucson, has a cat named Nala, and is looking forward to the birth of her niece in October.

Tiesha Glover, Administrative Associate Tiesha Glover grew up in New York City and recently decided to settle in Tucson following a 20 year Air Force career. Living in Tucson has afforded her the opportunity to try new adventures such as hiking, whitewater rafting, and horseback riding. She enjoys cultural events and  looks forward to taking advantage of the many festivals and shows that the city hosts. Until then she is happy to simply enjoy the year-round beautiful weather. Christine Gronowski, Academic Advisor I

Alexis Henderson, Office Specialist Alexis Henderson is a Tucson native and loves being outdoors. She spends most of her free time with her family, her dog named Bane, or planning my upcoming wedding (Fall 2017). In addition to working here, she is also a student in Eller. Go Cats! Suchi Perera, Instructor Suchi Perera completed his undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. Thereafter, he came to the US and carried out his Ph.D. research in Chemistry under Prof. Michael F. Brown. The five years he spent as a graduate student in the Brown laboratory helped him learn and grow so much as a scientist, as a person, and as an educator. During that time he was honored as a Galileo Circle Scholar and received a Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF) fellowship. His broad areas of interest entail both inorganic chemistry and biophysical chemistry. He has enjoyed himself greatly as a student of chemistry and look forward with great enthusiasm to embarking on his teaching career. He is very excited about sharing his passion for the central science with the future leaders in science and technology from the University of Arizona.

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Hannah Shoulders, Office Specialist Hannah Shoulders moved to Tucson when she was younger and grew up on Davis Monthan Air Force Base. She graduated from the University of Arizona this past December with a degree in Care, Health and Society. She will be pursuing a Masters in Human Relations at NAU online beginning in the fall, but will always be a Wildcat at heart. Bear down! Amy Tary, Manager, Grants and Contracts After 3 years of expanding her research administration and contracting skills, Amy Tary is excited to be back at CBC to work together with faculty to energize our research enterprise. As a dedicated fan of the world of Game of Thrones, she is a loyal supporter of House Stark and an advocate for direwolf preservation. Outside of Westeros, Amy enjoys good books, good wine and long walks with her dog Wookie.

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IN MEMORIAM MORE George Douglas Burney BS Chemistry, 1952; d. Aug 10, 2017 George Douglas Burney, 87, passed away on August 10, 2017 in Caliente, Nevada. He was born on July 27, 1930 in Winslow, Arizona to Dean Maben and Ludie Speer Burney. George attended and graduated from high school in Winslow, AZ. He then attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in 1952, and later a degree in Electrical Engineering from Air Force Institution of Technology in 1969, had continued on working on a Master’s degree. He married Nancy Eva Jean Stout on December 28, 1950 in Winslow, Arizona. He served in the US Air Force for 28 years ending his career as a Colonel, retiring from working at the Pentagon. He served as a squadron commander in the Vietnam War during two tours of duty. He was an Elder in the Tempe Church of Christ. George has traveled across the world including Europe and the Far East. He worked at Copper Basin Bible Camp in Prescott, Arizona. He taught weekly Bible Lessons for 20 years at home and at Church. He enjoyed hiking, woodworking, teaching and being a Christian man. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Nancy Eva Jean Stout Burney, 4 children: Barbara Ann Rohde of Panaca, NV, Beverly Jean (Ed) Montgomery of Peoria, AZ, Betty Ellen ( Jeffery) Schoen of Chandler, AZ, and Becky Lynn (Rick) Rettelle of Mesa, AZ, 5 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dean Maben and Ludie Speer Burney, and a brother Bill Burney.

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the small town of Clarkdale and was Clarkdale High School Valedictorian for the class of 1942. He moved to Tucson and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from the University of Arizona in 1947.

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He met his future wife, Margaret Parknavy, at a square dance and they married 6 months later on November 7, 1953 at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church in Phoenix, Arizona. Preston earned a living as a chemist at Motorola for 36 years while raising his four children in the Catholic faith. He served for 25 years as choir director at Saint Thomas the Apostle until converting to the Protestant faith in 1978. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 44 years. An intelligent, loving man, devoted husband who loved singing in various languages, reciting Ogden Nash poems, studying the Bible and science and having never said an unkind word about anyone. Preston is survived by his 4 children, Mary Anderson, Anna Rodriguez, Margie Messana and Andrew Heinle; by his 5 grandchildren, David Jacobs, Anthony Rodriguez, Genevieve Null, Vito Preston Messana and Matthew Messana; and 4 great-grandchildren. On May 4, 2017 at the age of 92, Preston came into the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Charles Wood Howard BA Chemistry, 1962; d. Nov 28, 2016 Charles Wood Howard, MD, 83, a brilliant healer, scholar and wit, passed away November 28, 2016 in his home in Scottsdale, Arizona of natural causes. Dr. Howard was born August 11, 1933, in Abbeville, Louisiana to Ambrose “John” Marshall and Loula (LeBlanc) Howard. He later attended the University of Arizona, graduating with a BS in Chemistry and the University of Colorado Medical School.

Preston Heinle BS Chemistry, 1947; d. May 4, 2017

After completing his residency at Santa Monica Hospital, he later moved and made his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. He served as Chief of Staff at Scottsdale Memorial Hospital (now Scottsdale Honor Health) in 1975 while simultaneously nurturing and healing many patients in his private practice, positively impacting the lives of thousands of people. He continued to practice general and sports medicine for 40 years, fulfilling his calling to deliver expert medical care to community members of all ages, showing his patients care, understanding and they in turn the same to him.

Preston Joseph Heinle, son of Carl Heinle and Grace Warren, was born at his childhood home on December 5, 1924 in Clarkdale, Arizona. Preston grew up in

Lovingly referred to as “Chuck,” Charles was a person of many talents. Among his passions were photography, golfing, puzzles and mind teasers, journaling and traveling, and all things scientific and artistic. Chuck believed in pursuing

M. Keith DeArmond PhD Chemistry, 1963; d. Apr 10, 2017 M. Keith DeArmond earned his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Arizona in 1963. He died April 10, 2017 in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

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adventure, discovering the many corners of our astounding world and most notably forging remarkable emotional bonds here on Earth.

Harry graduated high school, Phoenix, Arizona and from University of Arizona. He enlisted in the US Army and served with 104th Infantry Division during WWII. Honorably Discharged as a Wounded Purple Heart Veteran, he was later Honored by Holocaust Center of Northern California for helping the liberation Nordhausen Concentration Camp.

Chuck’s impact on the ones he loved will resonate well into the decades. He shared drink and laughter with countless friends and colleagues. He imparted kind, fatherly words and gestures of love to his children and grandchildren who will forever remember his story telling and anecdotes peppered with his keen wit. Chuck was a man abundant in cleverness and loved to make others laugh. For all the brightness he brought to their lives, his family and friends are eternally grateful.

Harry met his beloved wife, Marlo. He was employed as a chemist for Tracerlabs of Richmond, later serving as a Radiological Health Inspector for (then) US Atomic Energy Commission and as Nuclear Health Physicist for US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Harry was appointed lead investigator to the Presidential Commission to investigate the Three-Mile Island incident. Retiring from his distinguished federal career, he worked for the State of California as radiological health inspector.

In the later part of his life, he was looking forward to starting a new life in Tubac, Arizona near the people he loved with his new love. He is survived by his former wife, Ann Hardesty Howard, the mother of his children: daughters, Cassandra Smith (Tim), Kimberly Howard Arana (Hector) and Keely Howard Soto (Ben) and his son, Charles L. Howard (Ariadne); many grandsons and a granddaughter: Gabriel, Daniel, Nathaniel, Adriel, Marisa (Arana); Benjamin, Chaz, Derek (Soto), Landon and Alan (Howard); as well as three great grandchildren: Nicolas, Dominique, and Ariana (Arana). He is also survived by his second wife, Gwen A. Howard and step-children: John Bradway, MD (Lynn), Ann Bradway-Gemoll (Ron) and Margo Mann Sbrocco (Brian); many step-grandchildren and a step-great grandson. His patients and family will miss his conversation, his hugs, his wisdom, and his comforting presence in their lives. Chuck’s family asks that any desired donations be directed to The Little Sisters of the Poor (http://littlesistersofthepoor.org/), whom he served for many years.

Throughout his life, he focused his passion for all things “auto and mechanical”—the pride and joy, a 1956 Austin Healy. Harry had an insatiable appetite for literature of all genres, an eclectic taste in music, and “fixing anything and everything” for family and friends for sheer joy of challenge and generosity. Harry, with Marlo, were “regulars” at Throckmorton Theater Comedy Night, routinely teased endearingly by comedians, including Mark Pitta and Mort Sahl. A regular at Marin Joe’s, Harry’s ritual was steak and a dry martini, or two! Harry bestowed upon his family, friends, and strangers, kindness, generosity, and always patriarchal voice of reason. His true passion above all else, was simply being amidst his family. Harry was known as an ambassador of good will, voice of reason, loyalty, generosity, graciousness, curiosity, natural and abiding spiritual quest of joyful living through gratitude. Donations in his memory may be made to Hospice By the Bay or Throckmorton Theater, Mill Valley. ­—Marin Independent Journal, Apr. 28–Apr. 30, 2017

Harry Simpson North, Jr. BS Chemistry, 1951; d. Apr 28, 2017

George Owens BS Chemistry, 1950; d. Jan 4, 2017

Harry North, born July 8, 1925 to Faith Morse North and Harry S. North, Sr., of Phoenix, Arizona, died peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving caretaker, Loata Verata and the energetic embrace of family. His loving and devoted wife, Marlo, predeceased him April 28, 2016. Harry is survived by three sons and their spouses, Marc and Cathy of Napa, Harry III and Deborah of Occidental, Mason and Marlene of Dixon; grandchildren Matthew North, Kirsten Root, Heidi Hecht, Carrie Aguirre-North, Lindsey North, Savanah North, Andre North, Michael North; and eight great-grandchildren.

George was the youngest of three boys born to Thomas and Edith Owens of Tempe, Arizona. His father was a farmer during the Great Depression and George witnessed the toll those years took on him. His two brothers chose to become farmers, but George pursued academics. For two years, he attended Phoenix Junior College while working on the family farm. He then graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in chemistry. Later, he earned a master of science in chemistry. He worked for US government contractors in the nuclear industry, first as a nuclear chemist and later as a manager of health, safety, and environmental programs. His career led him and his family (wife and three children) to live in several different states and even Canada. One of his early assign-


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ments resulted in his being on the maiden voyage of the first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus.

ment and taught numerous chemistry labs over the years. She was a valued and respected colleague and beloved instructor.

George personified the saying, “still waters run deep.” During his working years, he became an accomplished furniture builder and also enjoyed oil painting. He loved fishing, in particular fly-fishing; he learned to tie flies while living in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Both sons, Stuart and Kirk, caught the fishing bug from him. He participated with his sons during their Boy Scout years, and was later an active member of Big Brothers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. George and his daughter, Lyn shared a love of reading and often exchanged book suggestions.

Connie was a life-long science fiction fan, particularly of Star Wars, and enjoyed going to conventions, traveling, and spending time with family. She was a long-time member of Circle Drive Baptist Church where she taught Sunday School, played hand bells, the flute, and sang in the Living Christmas Tree for a number of years. She most recently attended Vista Grande Baptist Church. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

In 1990 George and his wife, Marcella, retired to Ashland from the Tri-Cities, Washington. In Ashland, duplicate bridge, golf, and volunteering filled some of his time. He volunteered at Britt, OSF, and the Oregon Cabaret Theatre, as well as providing volunteer income tax preparation services. His longest volunteer stint, twenty years, was as an Ashland Police Volunteer. George is survived by his wife of 65 years, Marcella, of Ashland; his son, Kirk (Susan Conner) of Gaithersburg, Maryland; his daughter, Lyn (David Oas) of Talent, Ore.; and his brother, Warner. George and Marcella have four grandchildren, Lauren, Alison, Derek, and Leland. He was preceded in death by his son, Stuart, and one brother, Thomas Jr. His family will miss his kind and intelligent, but unassuming, presence in their lives. Memorial contributions may be made to Signature Hospice, 834 S. Front St., Central Point, Ore. 97502. Connie Sue Pitman BS Chemistry, 1978; d. Feb 9, 2017 Connie joined her beloved parents and her Lord, Jesus Christ, on February 9, 2017. She was born in Torrington, Wyoming on December 28, 1955 to Harold Roe Pitman and Nora Jane Pitman (both deceased). Connie is survived by her siblings: Larry Pitman (Lisa), David Pitman (Lora), Patricia McDaniels (Bruce), and Christina Knowles (Randy) all of Colorado Springs. She is also survived by 12 nieces and nephews and 12 great-nieces and nephews. Connie graduated from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona with a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry. She subsequently received a degree in the Disposal of Hazard Waste Materials. She started her career as a chemist at Clinton Corn Processing in Clinton, Iowa before her thirty-two-year long career at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs where she was the lab coordinator for the Chemistry depart-

Robert Posner BA Chemistry, 1960; d. May 19, 2017 Dr. Robert B. Posner died one day after his 79th birthday on May 19, 2017. He was surrounded by his loving family and died peacefully at Hospice of the Valley in Scottsdale, Arizona. Robert was a native Arizonan, born in Tucson in 1938. His family was deeply connected to the Temple Emanuel community during his youth. Robert received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in zoology from the University of Arizona, a medical degree from the University of California at Los Angeles, a master’s degree in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health, and completed his residency in psychiatry from Johns Hopkins University. He was a psychiatrist in Phoenix for more than 30 years, helping thousands of patients during that time. Robert is the loving son of Beatrice and Louis Posner, and later Adelyn Posner after the premature passing of his mother. Robert is survived by Ellen, his wife of 46 years, his daughter Jana, his son Daniel and wife Julie, and his grandchildren, Benjamin and Siena. Robert lived a rich and fulfilling life surrounded by life-long friends and family. He will be remembered as a person of deep compassion and empathy, wisdom, patience and humor. He was an Arizonan to the core, who relished the sunshine and heat and was eternally hopeful in the face of decades of futility by the state’s sports teams. He enjoyed classical music, “artsy” movies, tastefully dirty jokes, quiet evenings with friends and family, walking his dogs, playing cards with his grandkids, and long listening sessions with anyone who wanted to talk. Robert battled prostate cancer for many years before complications from the illness led to his death. His family is grateful for the attention and dedication the medical community showed to Robert during his illness. The family would welcome donations to the American Cancer Society , www.cancer.org. —The Arizona Republic, May 24, 2017

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OUTREACH ACTIVITIES MORE ALPHA CHI SIGMA by James Stanfill, President AXS (Alpha Chi Sigma) is the nation’s only professional fraternity of the chemical sciences. The Beta Tau chapter at the UA was founded in 1967 with assistance of Prof. Carl S. Marvel and since then has provided chemistry education to the local Tucson community and has supported UA undergrads/ grad students in their educational journey. Activities include: judging local science fair projects, providing demo shows/science presentations to various age groups (including adults!), staffing CBC recruitment and orientation events, and offering tutoring for passing classes or oral exams. Additionally, AXS acts as a social fraternity in the sense that we are all friends, with a common bond of chemistry, who go out to dinner together, attend sporting events, host board game nights, and are just generally “brothers” we can relax with.

CHEMISTRY CLUB by Leo Hamerlynck, President The Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS), or the Chemistry Club, is a recognized chapter of the American Chemical Society focused on scientific outreach in our local community. We seek to get local students interested and involved in chemistry (and other STEM fields) by putting on “magic shows” where we demonstrate captivating chemical and physical reactions while educating the students on the science behind every demo. In the past year we’ve worked hard to maintain existing programs while cultivating new ones. As usual, we held our two biannual magic shows at the UA in the fall and spring—and had great turnout at both! We assisted Empire High School in judging their science fair, and we partnered with AXS, the chemistry fraternity, to run interactive demos with chromatography and non-Newtonian fluids at Science City for the Tucson Festival of Books. Last year, we partnered with the College of Science 100% Engagement Initiative in pioneering a new program known as STEMcats: a collaborative, recurring program where we worked with the Eckstrom-Columbus Library to provide chemistry lessons to the kids there. This program was highly successful, and we hope to continue it this year and in the future.

At the end of last year, a group of our hardest-working volunteers attended the ACS Conference in San Francisco, where we were able to network, learn about cutting-edge research, and present our club and learn about others’. Already this year, we’ve been modernizing and streamlining our approach to our magic shows, working with the Department to create a web form to allow community members, such as teachers or librarians, to request our magic shows more easily than ever before, and our schedule is already packed. We look forward to another great year of outreach!

PROGRAM TO ADVANCE WOMEN SCIENTISTS by Melissa Fairley, President; Lindsay Guzman, Social Chair The Program to Advance Women Scientists (PAWS) has had another great year! The mission of PAWS is to empower women in the sciences through education, leadership, mentoring, and support. We hold seminars, professional development workshops, and outreach events. PAWS was first established in the CBC department during the Fall of 2015, and we are rapidly growing with members across departments at the UA. For professional development, we hold monthly seminars featuring faculty from different departments across UA. In addition, we hold an annual public speaking workshop; this past year renowned speech coach Kathryn Kellner was our featured speaker. PAWS was also very active in outreach this past year. We held a booth in the Science City at the Tucson Festival of Books. PAWS also started an annual visit to Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS) at Mansfeld Magnet Middle School where we do demonstrations and talk about different science opportunities. We also participated in two Expanding Your Horizons conferences, where we performed demonstrations and hands-on activities for women and minorities. PAWS is looking forward to more growth and opportunities this year. To learn more about PAWS, please visit our website at sites.google. com/site/pawsuofa, or email us at paws.cbc@gmail.com.


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BIOCHEMISTRY CLUB by Arielle Tran, President From undergraduates to students at the middle and high school level, the UA Biochemistry Club continues to provide exposure to research and learning opportunities in science at all levels. The ongoing activities of the club not only facilitate rich experiences for all club members to develop professional and leadership roles but also inspire an early scientific interest in youths within the community. In the spring of 2017, the Biochemistry Club hosted their eighth annual, regional Biochemistry, Engineering, and Chemistry Undergraduate Research Conference (BECUR) where students from Arizona universities and high schools presented their outstanding research to judges at the graduate level. This conference featured a guest speaker from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. James H. Berger, who presented his research on the significance of replication initiation and replisome assembly on understanding how cells regulate and initiate replication of their genomes. The winners of the poster competition received travel grants to the 2018 ASBMB Conference, where they will participate in the national ASBMB Undergraduate Poster Competition. In addition, the Biochemistry Club carries on their outreach during the summer at the University of Arizona by holding a week-long summer camp, BlastOff!, which gives underserved middle school students the opportunity to engage in science at many different facets alongside college students. This past summer, a total of seventeen middle school cadets participated in complex activities that closely relate to real-world science. At the end of the camp, the cadets take part in a poster conference where they showcase their work to parents and UA students and staff. In efforts to continue the expansion of more outreach events, the club began partnering with a local high school science class at San Miguel High school, a secondary school renowned for their valuable work-study program which allows students to seek professional development at higher institutions. In collaboration with the Chemistry club and the San Miguel science instructors, the UA Biochemistry club has helped develop “Saturday Science” days. These “Saturday Science” days encompass lab sessions that are crafted by university instructors and undergraduates to enable a learning environment for the San Miguel students. The goal is to give the high school students an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of science outside of the text-book approach. It is due to the hard work of members, officers, and undoubtedly, the support from donors and

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institutions that allows the Biochemistry club to pursue and undertake the vast amount of outreach activities they are involved in. Ultimately, the Biochemistry Club continually demonstrates that science can be an interconnecting force that stimulates minds and motivates many in the community to work together..

CBC UNDERGRADUATE AMBASSADORS by Olivia Mendoza, Ambassador Program Coordinator, Senior The CBC Ambassador program is now in its 12th year and is still thriving. While the CBC Ambassadors are the department representatives for recruiting events, such as Meet Your Major fairs, and meeting with potential CBC students, they also engage in many departmental activities from new student orientation to poster fairs and outreach activities. The Ambassadors are honored at an appreciation gathering in early spring and at the Annual CBC Awards & Commencement program held in May. These students are usually juniors and seniors who are Chemistry and Biochemistry majors with a high level of academic achievement and some independent research experience. The CBC Department is very proud to have the Ambassadors as part of the CBC Community.

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STUDENT ADVENTURES RESEARCH, INTERNSHIPS,

CONFERENCES, STUDY ABROAD, AND MORE Kathia Antillon Study Abroad in Spain This past summer I had the amazing opportunity to go on a Study Abroad to Alcalá de Henares, Spain with the University of Arizona. My advisor had told me about the possibility of going on a Study Abroad to Spain my freshman year and since then, I have been saving and preparing for this trip. Visiting Spain has been my dream ever since I saw Cheetah Girls 2, so I was really excited for the trip and knew that Barcelona was a city I needed to visit. Arriving in Spain was different from what I was expecting. In the preparation meetings leading up to the trip, they had told us a little about what to expect from the people and the culture, but experiencing it myself was very different. Some things, like the very prevalent smoking by seemingly everyone, I never got used to, but after a little while it was easier to adjust to the later eating schedule and the foods that were typically served there. Some of my favorite experiences in Spain were the classes I took and the trips we took as a U of A class. These offered me a different perspective of Spain I wasn’t expecting, and I am very thankful for them. My classes covered the entire history of Spain, from the Phoenicians to Contemporary Spanish History. Through these classes I gained a fuller understanding of Spanish history and how the empire it was in the past has shaped its current government and culture. I appreciated knowing the history and background of different places, because it made visiting them on our class trips so much more meaningful. I could

Kathia Antillon

recognize certain Muslim or Jewish influences on the Spanish architecture or artwork, and it made me really happy to be able connect what I was learning in class with the beautiful places we were visiting. Each of class trips we took involved a tour of the major city landmarks as well as free time to explore the city on our own. I loved these trips as they offered me the chance to see and explore the ancient Muslim city of Alhambra in Granada and Ieronimus, the bell tower tour of one of the cathedrals in Salamanca. I am thankful for these excursions, because I would not have thought to visit Avila, Burgos, or Cordoba and explore their history without their being on our itinerary. My favorite cities that we visited as a class were Salamanca and Granada. In Salamanca, the history and pride that the city has with both of its cathedrals and its nearly 800 year old university make it the perfect blend of a college town and historical city. In Granada, the cultural influences of the Muslim people can be clearly seen in the architecture and street markets, and I loved that I could be a part of the mix of cultures that had been a part of Granada’s history for centuries. Another city I enjoyed visiting was Barcelona. The absolute beauty of the city blew me away, and I filled up my phone’s storage taking pictures of the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, as well as the other landmarks I visited. The works of Gaudi are seen throughout the city, and it was an absolute treat to see how his style influenced the architecture of the city. This trip to Spain has truly opened my eyes to all of the beauty the country has to offer in its cities, but also the struggles and shortcomings it has had in its past. I am truly thankful for this amazing experience and my understanding of what it means to be a Spaniard grew throughout the month I spent there. I await the opportunity to return once more so that I can visit the cities I missed on this trip and continue to learn more about Spain.


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Chris Blackstone International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy

know it was amusing. The day concluded with a pleasant evening rainfall.

Having grown up in a hometown nestled in a river valley amid the westernmost reaches of the Appalachian Mountains running their diagonal out of West Virginia and through southwestern to north central Pennsylvania, and then moving to my first permanent residence away from home in a city tucked neatly between the Rincon, Catalina, and Tucson mountains, the flatness of the American Midwest always strikes me. If not for the intellectual excitement associated with attending a conference (here, the International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy), the uninterrupted straight lines of the horizon in every direction in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, might have even unnerved me. It occurs to me now the curiosity of having a symposium on spectroscopy—a field which could be described simply and practically (but rather incompletely) as a process of peak-hunting—in a place so devoid of peaks.

Wednesday was a bit different from the first two days. Just as the first two days, there was a breakfast centering on eggs, meat, potatoes, coffee, and Molly Hatchet’s “Flirtin’ with Disaster,” and there were several interesting presentations on various applications of spectroscopy—including one which the speaker said was motivated by wanting to study the wine he was drinking with a friend—but my networking efforts took an unexpected turn. I chatted both interestingly and humorously with Steve Gibson and his high resolution photoelectron imaging group from Canberra, Australia, over a doughnut and some lemonade in the afternoon, clarifying some questions I had about the presentation Gibson’s student gave shortly beforehand, and then moving on to some lighter topics. (We told jokes.)

After a jet-lagged night’s sleep following my Sunday evening arrival, a breakfast of eggs, bacon, potatoes, coffee, and 80s music had me ready for the first official day of the conference, which opened with a plenary session covering a range of spectroscopic methods and systems. In the afternoon—I remember most distinctly—I learned during Peter Bernath’s talk on the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment that wildfires could be tracked by detecting the HCN they evolve, and that peat fires evolve especially large amounts of it. As a man who enjoys an occasional scotch, and who prefers them smoky, this new information stuck with me a little bit more than it may have otherwise, I confess. On a less scientific note, that evening at a mixer with the companies sponsoring the symposium, I bowled my absolute worst games. The conference’s second day started with power ballads over a breakfast not dissimilar from the first (but this one with sausage instead of bacon), and proved an outstanding networking day, as I spent most of my next two meals with graduate students and their PIs whose interests aligned considerably with my own: photoelectron spectroscopists from Caroline Jarrold’s group at Indiana University and some of Mathias Weber’s group at JILA. I also got to learn about some of the latter group’s work with carbon dioxide during one of the mini-sessions, and commiserated (of course) about various research struggles with all parties present. That evening there was a barbecue, and I heard a story about a notorious professor some years ago at the symposium host University of Illinois. I will leave that story untold here, but

This was not an unusual exchange, but that evening spent with the Jarrold and Weber groups on what turned out to be Karaoke Night, I did something I had never done before, and arm wrestled both professors.

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CONFERENCES, STUDY ABROAD, AND MORE Once the talk was over, and I had breathed my heaviest sigh of relief, I went to a get a celebratory meal with my conference buddies (and it was divine), delayed only a bit by discussions with a few other students who were especially interested in my work. An ongoing conversation with a student from the group of Richard Mabbs (who did his postdoc with Andrei Sanov, my own advisor) has proved especially useful in improving my spectral resolution. Due to difficulties finding an appropriate flight, I was unable to attend any of the goings-on of the fifth and final day of the symposium, but the first four were remarkably productive and rewarding. By way of summary, all-told I ate ten doughnuts and attended tens of talks, and left at once exhausted and intellectually invigorated, with new ideas and directions and motivations of my work here in Tucson. I look forward to going back again next year.

I assure you, dear readers, it was not my idea. Following the arm-wrestling, the karaoke began, and while Weber and I did not participate, everyone else at our table did. One of Weber’s students, it turned out, was trained in opera, and Jarrold was herself very active in musical theatre once upon a time. They performed a rather excellent duet of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.” Two other students sang a duet of “My Heart Will Go On,” but replaced “heart” with “mass spectrometer” to great effect in a bar now full of other spectroscopists, with whom such a hopeful sentiment would resonate (pun probably intended). My talk was scheduled at the very end of the conference’s fourth day, and as such demanded all of my charisma to keep the audience engaged. I fear little was on my mind besides my talk, and so much of the day before that escapes my memory, though during that morning’s plenary session, I did have the opportunity to applaud a friend as she received the Rao Prize she had won the previous year. Shortly before the talk, I realized I had forgotten to review some work I had done on the system I was studying, and was unprepared to answer a question I was certain to get (I didn’t get asked that question at all, it turns out), and called Yerbolat back in the lab to send me the Excel sheet in which I had the information, receiving it just in time. The talk itself went well, and I would be happy to talk about the work with anyone who asks (and many who don’t), and my jokes landed at a solid 50 percent rate, which is pretty good, considering my jokes.

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Anne Cambrelin FRONTERA Internship I am a senior studying biochemistry at the University of Arizona. This summer, I had the experience of a lifetime as a part of the FRONTERA (Focusing Research on the Border Area) Internship. I learned a lot about border region communities and what makes them prone to health disparities. One of the most impactful experiences for me was visiting the Tohono O’Odham reservation at the beginning of the summer. My group was hosted by the Southeast Arizona Area Health Education Center (SEAHEC), which organized visits to the museum there, as well as visiting the only clinic on the reservation. We learned about the rich history and culture of the people on the reservation—their woven and patterned hand baskets, tools they used to harvest fruit from saguaro cacti, and some traditional practices within the tribe. We also learned about the health disparities that afflict their population due to lack of resources and nutrition. On the reservation, which is the size of the state of Connecticut, there is only one grocery store and one clinic that does not have an operating room. We followed a doctor at the clinic, who talked to us about rural medicine and some of the issues that this community faced. For instance, many of the patients from the reservation that need surgery are sent to Tucson Medical Center instead, which is a couple hours away. I was blown

away by the incredible art and beautiful culture of the Tohono O’Odham people, but shocked to learn about the medical and nutritional issues that affect a large portion of the population on the reservation, which made me think about my role in changing that. I also had the opportunity to complete various service and health outreach activities in communities along the border. In Nogales, Arizona, my classmates and I went around neighborhoods door-to-door to ask community-members questions about their knowledge on mosquito-borne illness for SEAHEC’s “Fight the Bite” campaign. Inhabitants on the border are susceptible to diseases coming from across the border (on either side), and mosquitoes often spread these diseases. Therefore, our job was to complete surveys around the community and report our findings back to SEAHEC to potentially launch educational programs to teach people how to protect themselves. In Nogales, Mexico, my group partnered with health professionals from Secretaria de Salud to administer vaccinations to pets in an urban community, which had reported multiple cases of fiebre manchada, a zoonotic disease. We walked along dirt roads in 110-degree weather, explaining our mission to the inhabitants of the underdeveloped neighborhood. In visiting this community, we prevented additional outbreaks of dangerous illnesses in a population that would otherwise avoid this sort of preventive care due to the increasing militarization of the border and lack of access to health services. Ultimately, my exposure to community health outreach broadened my scope on medicine, allowing me to consider larger issues affectAnne Cambrelin ing people, including living conditions and environmental factors. Moreover, it allowed me to observe first-hand how physicians can have a direct impact on their communities by bridging the gap between underserved populations and access to medical health care and resources.


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I was also very fortunate to be matched with an incredible mentor: an ObGyn at the Banner University Medical Center. In following this physician in her clinical consults, I encountered women from a wide spectrum of backgrounds. For instance, one patient came in for a checkup concerned that her fetus would develop a neurological disorder after a choroid plexus cyst was found during her first ultrasound, but could not get another ultrasound given the cost. Another patient was a Somali refugee, who wanted information about IUDs after having her twelfth child, communicating with us via a medical translator on speakerphone. I also had the opportunity to scrub in on a few of this physician’s C-section procedures. The unwavering strength that these women demonstrate, despite the obstacles that they faced, continues to humble me and motivate me in my endeavors to pursue medicine. Under this physician’s guidance, I conducted a study on physician and patient adherence to the recommended postpartum diabetes screening for women with gestational diabetes. I did an oral presentation of my findings at the end of the FRONTERA internship ceremony and presented a poster at the UROC symposium. The experiences that I accumulated through the FRONTERA internship will stay with me as I apply to medical school and beyond. It was a privilege to visit the beautifully diverse communities of the border and learn about the challenges that they are faced with, as well as how I can help. Moreover, the connections that I made with my mentors, classmates, and faculty have taught me more than I could have ever expected.

Grant Collins UA Cheerleading To go from being a student to a student-athlete is a major lifestyle change, one that I experienced during my tenure at the University. It was during my sophomore year that I joined the University of Arizona cheer team. As a part of this team I have represented the University at events all over Tucson, as well as at events in Phoenix and in two other states. As a team, we cheer at football games, men’s and women’s basketball games and women’s volleyball games. In order to represent the University, we practice six hours each week and weight lift for an additional four and a half hours per week. We are a partner stunting team, meaning that at each game I throw my partner into the air where she stands on my hands for the crowd to see. This was a sport that I picked up in a matter of a few practices before

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STUDENT ADVENTURES RESEARCH, INTERNSHIPS,

CONFERENCES, STUDY ABROAD, AND MORE Lucas Grijalva and Breanna Gushiken

Grant Collins and Wilbur

my first game last year, as I was a late addition to the team. Since then I have continually worked to learn new skills and perfect my technique. While this is not something I thought I would be a part of, I have loved each and every moment representing the school I love. Along with my role as a cheerleader, I am also a double major in biochemistry and molecular/cellular biology. Life, and these amazing processes that allow for it, has fascinated me since I was very young. I have continued to be amazed as I progress through my courses for both of my majors. To further my scientific knowledge, I have also participated in research in Dr. Jacob Schwartz’s lab where I was a part of ALS research. My project involved adapting protocols used by members of our lab and another lab in order to be able to utilize a new model organism, fruit flies. I found that my cheerleading experiences were helpful in my lab work as it taught me the value of relying on team members and trusting that everyone is both capable and committed to the task at hand. It also provided an outlet for the frustrations that inevitably accompany any sort of research. While my research has been heavily focused on my biochemistry major, teaching has become my way to get involved with the Molecular and Cellular biology department. I have spent time preceptoring introductory biology lab where I have learned the challenges that teachers face and how to overcome these challenges to facilitate learning. These experiences have allowed me to become an instructor for the lab I have spent so much time with. Since I got my first taste of teaching, I knew it was something that I wanted to pursue; however, my goal after I obtain my undergraduate degree is to attend medical school to become a surgeon.

Breanna Gushiken Gallagher Theater

Before I began to work for the Games Room and the Gallagher Theater, I had been an avid billiards player. I played quite frequently in the Games Room during my freshman year, and I competed briefly in the ACUI Collegiate 9-Ball Championships. With second place in the women’s division, I advanced on from the regional qualifiers representing the University of Arizona. However, I ended up dropping out shortly before nationals began. Up until that point, billiards had really become a priority for me and my stress levels had reached an all-time high. I had decided it was in my best interest to take a break off from school. For the year that I was gone, my interest in billiards never changed. So naturally, when I first walked back into the Games Room after a year of hiatus, I found the atmosphere just as intoxicating as it had always been; the dim lighting, the lively customers, and of course the billiards tables worked in tandem to draw me in again. I decided to apply for the open position that was available, and I did not regret it for even a moment after getting hired. Because I already enjoyed billiards, the environment had suddenly become even more inviting in the sense that I could now welcome others into a space that offered all the things that I loved. I became very active in my Games Room position, and very early on I began to help incorporate new programming ideas for the space. A few months in, I also started participating in a student engagement council that worked actively to promote large, late night events on campus for the student populous. My contributions in both areas allowed me to gain recognition with my co-workers and supervisor, and it was recommended I take a leadership course that would aid me in becoming a student lead in my workplace. I became a student lead for the engagement spaces located in the Student Union Memorial Center: the Games Room and the Gallagher Theater. As a student lead for engagement spaces, I perform many tasks relating to providing programming for students that

venture to both spaces. I have helped revise tournaments that the Games Room hosts, researched potential prospects, performed outreach to vendors, and aided in the implementation of new events for both spaces. Additionally, I oversee and support other student staff in the spaces. I assist the other student leads and the supervisor in scheduling, coordinating meetings, and generating reports and procedures for the staff to use. Although I am heavily involved with my work, my future goals still consist of pursuing a career in Chemistry. However, I have picked up a business minor in hopes of exercising the management skills I have acquired as a student lead in a lab setting. I believe it would be highly rewarding to be able to use my favorite subject while also engaging the interests of others.

Leo Hamerlynck Research Experience, University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign This summer, I spent 10 weeks at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as part of their Chemistry Department’s 3M REU. During that time, I spent 40 hours a week working in the lab of Dr. Renske van der Veen, a second-year associate professor, with the grad student Tyler Haddock, who had just finished his first year. The experience of working in a relatively new research lab was an interesting and eye-opening change of pace from the research I do here at the University of Arizona, where I work on solar cell research in the lab of Dr. Neal Armstrong, who has been with the University for over 30 years. Leo Hamerlynck


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I ended up spending a lot of the summer working with the experimental setup, trying to get fine control over the temperature of the system and aligning and focusing lasers with Tyler on the femtosecond spectroscopy setup. In the end, I wasn’t able to get a spectrum of iron triazole, though we did manage to scan rhodamine B, a dye with a long excited state lifetime useful for calibrating the instrument. While I wasn’t able to collect a lot of data, I still learned a lot – probably more than I would have otherwise – about the instrumentation and methodologies involved. I greatly value my experience at UIUC this past summer, and thank the many faculty who worked to make this program happen.

Katrina Konopka World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan On the 4th of July, I was fortunate enough to be one of 20 females in the country receiving an email inviting me to compete in World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan for swimming. The team had been selected by USA Swimming at Phillips 66 Nationals in Indianapolis, IN in June. The selection requirements included being a top two college age swimmer in an individual event. I was invited to compete in the 50 m freestyle, as well as the freestyle relays. I was incredibly honored to be selected and was so excited to represent the US in another international competition. Upon invitation to the team, we were each sent an outfitting box and travel details. After another month of training, I was headed to Tucson International Airport as a Taipei bound athlete. On August 15th, I boarded my first overseas flight to Taipei. I had met up with my teammates from across the country in

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The focus of the van der Veen group is on femtosecond-resolved transient absorption spectroscopy, in which pulsed lasers are used to probe the time-evolution of ultrafast dynamics. This means that processes that normally occur too fast to observe, such as the complex relaxation pathways of excited electrons, can be exquisitely determined with time resolutions as low as a few femtoseconds. My project focused on the study of spin-crossover materials, which are metal complexes that have two stable electronic configurations, or spin-states, that the material can switch between in response to pressure, temperature, and light. This bistability makes them potentially very useful in switching, memory, and sensing, so it’s important to understand the materials as much as we can. The goal of my project was to probe iron triazole, a temperature-dependent spin-crossover material, with transient absorption spectroscopy.

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Caroline Baldwin (UNC), Claire Rasmus (Texas A&M), Veronica Burchill (UGA), Katrina Konopka

the San Francisco Airport. The other athletes on the team were from a wide range of universities, from Stanford to Penn State. It was an incredible experience being able to compete with many of the people I compete against on a regular basis. While we are typically against one another, the most amazing feeling was how we all came together as one team to represent the US to the best of our ability. After a long day of travel, we finally arrived in Taipei, and were headed to the athlete village. The athlete village is an area of the city that housed every athlete competing in the games. The World University Games hosted over 20 different sports competing from over 100 different countries. In the village there is a true sense of comradery as we were housed with Canadians, as well as all of the athletes in other sports from the US. The village also had a massive dining hall for all of the athletes, coaches, and support staff. Everyone housed in the village was able to eat every meal there, from 5 am until 1 am. We had a few days to get acclimated to the new atmosphere and form team bonds before we were headed into competition. While we spent a majority of our time in the village, they ensured that we were able to learn a bit about Taiwanese culture. The volunteers working the event taught us a few words in their language that we could use throughout our time there. We also learned to write our names in Chinese, decorate our own fans, and dance with traditional Taiwanese dancers. While it was so much fun learning about the culture, we were incredibly excited to start competing. The first day of competition, I was selected to race on both the preliminary and final 4x100 m freestyle relay. Walking out on the deck from the ready room, hearing your team chanting USA from the stands is the most surreal feeling. It

is always a dream come true to represent the USA. Our team was nervous but full of excited energy! As we stepped up on the blocks, we were between the Japanese and the Russian relays. After a hard battle, we finished third, bringing home the first relay medal for the US for the week. I then had a few days off before competing again. During my break, I was able to relax, cheer on my team, and train. Finally, it was my turn to compete again in my individual event. The 50m freestyle was my first international individual event. As I stepped up to the blocks, the crowd was going crazy. The energy from the spectators was unreal. The locals were asking for autographs, screaming your name, and sending good vibes and energy to all of the competitors. They truly made the meet special as they were so loud, welcoming, and having a great time whether they were athletes, swimming fans, or just excited to have visitors. In my first individual event, I was able to bring home a bronze medal. The feeling of seeing the US flag fly for you across a still pool is something of a dream. It is a feeling that I will never forget, and I could not be more thankful for. It is something I was able to accomplish while at the University of Arizona and I cannot wait to see what else I will be able to achieve while I am here.

Samantha Macklin Spain, England and France It has always been a goal of mine to spread my wings past Tucson, and experience more of the world, with aspects like different languages and other cultures. During the summer of Samantha 2016, I was able to do just that. Macklin and Caitlin Lujan

I participated in the Honors Trip, taught by Dr. Meg Lota Brown (who is an amazing and inspiring professor), that was taught at two main locations: London, England and Paris, France. I had never left North America before, and when I found out I was accepted to the program, I was beyond excited! Once in London (the first destination), I was deeply curious and ready to learn. One of the

first things I noticed as soon as I stepped off the plane was that people in England walked on the opposite side of the walkway, and although I had known this before, it was different to experience. The taxi ride to the hotel was exhilarating, not only because I’m used to driving in the opposite lane, but the drive was risky, with the driver cutting off and switching lanes rapidly – I would soon learn that this is how things were paced in London. The cultures I learned about and experienced throughout my trip were phenomenal – there were many cultural differences I was unaware of. In Paris, people kept to themselves more, something that I found to be very different from the American norm. In London, I navigated the Tube alone to see the BBC Proms 1 Performance where the repertoire included Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture (which is one of my all-time favorite compositions), which was one of the best experiences of my life. Also in London, we visited the oldest surgical room in Europe, which is located in an attic, and is very small and charming- it is amazing how far our technology has come! The afternoon we arrived in Paris, we took a boat tour along the Seine River, and I took a photo of the glittering Eiffel Tower. I was able to practice using French (my minor) at restaurants, and in the city- I even had to ask directions from a passerby when we got lost. The topic that I presented on for the class was the Notre Dame Cathedral, which is absolutely extraordinary, and we all climbed the stone steps to the top! We visited multiple museums, including the National Portrait Museum (London), the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay (Paris). We also took trains outside the cities we were residing in, and visited Stratford-Upon-Avon (Shakespeare’s Birthplace), Cambridge, Bath and Stonehenge (a weekend-trip that was independent from the trip), Versailles, and Chartres. I would strongly recommend the Honors Trip or any study abroad experience that you can participate in, because it changes your life in so many wonderful ways and opens your eyes to more than you can imagine. It was an experience of a lifetime, from eating a crepe outside the Notre Dame Cathedral to finding the cutest café in an alley in London!


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Miguel Pacheco ASUA Senate

I am a Sophomore here at the University of Arizona, and I am currently a Chemistry major. I plan on getting my BS in Chemistry and then finding a career in Forensics. About fourteen years ago, my parents put me in cheerleading and I fell in love. I cheered on a team through the Tucson Youth Football and Spirit Federation (TYFSF) called the Sahuarita 49ers up until my eighth-grade year and then continued to cheer at San Miguel High School.

Last Fall, I was thinking of how I could give back to the students and faculty that have helped me through the rough times in my undergraduate career, so Miguel Pacheco I decided to run for ASUA Senate. I wanted to bring a scientific perspective to Senate, because I felt the UA should be doing more to help STEM students find their direction--which I know was not easy for me. I sought the endorsements of the CBC Department and both the Chemistry and Biochemistry Clubs, and with their help, I won the election.

Klariza Ochoa

While I haven’t served for much time as Senator for the College of Science, I’m pleased to say that at our first meeting, I helped pass a resolution expressing the Senate’s solidarity with Muslim students at the UA, condemning the recent acts of intimidation and vandalism that have occurred at the Islamic Center of Tucson. I also hope to work with faculty to organize an event where students give lab tours and presentations about their research, so that the public can be reminded of the importance of funding scientific research amid threats of budget cuts to organizations like the NIH and NSF. I’m not sure I’ll run for public office after graduation, but I will certainly continue to be an advocate for science through teaching and research.

Practices start in July and the season ends in November, so I do coach during the first semester of the school year. Managing to be a full-time student and being a coach isn’t the hardest thing I have had to do, but it is still a challenge. My other coaches are super helpful and know that school comes first. If I have to miss a practice because of homework or tutoring, the coaches are completely understanding. I do also work after my classes to for school so from school, I go to work, then I go coach. During the fall semester I am very busy, but I still manage to get my work done. Although cheer is a big factor in my life, school always comes first and I know I have to work hard towards my degree and balance out my school life with my coaching life.

Alec Perrera & Gloria Le Experimental Biology Conference by Dr. Chad Park, Faculty Advisor for the Biochemistry Club, ASBMB Chapter This past April, seven UA undergraduate researchers joined up with other scientists from our institution along with their faculty adviser, Chad Park, and journeyed to Chicago for the

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Klariza Ochoa Tucson Youth Football and Spirit Federation Cheerleading

After I graduated high school, I got asked to be an assistant coach for the 49ers. TYFSF is a nonprofit organization so as a coach, I am a volunteer. I have been the assistant for about 2 years now and I love it so much. I enjoy coaching the younger the girls because it’s incredible to see their improvement over the season and how much they love cheering. I know how important it is to have a coach who you look up to, and I hope I can be that coach for my team.

DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY | FALL 2017

Gloria Le and Alec Perrera

CONFERENCES, STUDY ABROAD, AND MORE Experimental Biology 2017 national conference. This umbrella event hosts several American scientific societies including American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). All of the undergraduates traveling with the Biochemistry club were members of the ASBMB student chapter and were awarded travel grants from either national agency to defray their costs. Awardees were selected based on their poster presentations during the annual Biology, Engineering, and Chemistry Undergraduate Research (BECUR) conference hosted by the Biochemistry club. In some cases, additional funds came from the university club association, ASUA. The students presented their individual research work as well as the outreach efforts from the Biochemistry club. Our outgoing VP, Alec Perrera won first prize in his category during the undergraduate poster competition. He and our outgoing President, Gloria Le, were inducted into the ASBMB honor society and ran a panel on “Outreach for Student Chapters.” In addition to enjoying the spring time weather and the food in the Windy city, the students got a chance to talk science with peers, mentors, and future employers. In 2018, the Experimental Biology conference moves to nearby San Diego and we hope to send even more students to attend.

Juan Sanchez Patient Experience Internship, Banner University Medical Center I have the habit of putting others first and making sure they are well taken care of, no matter what situation that may be. Life is like a rollercoaster, it has its highs and lows, and sometimes we need a hand to get through those lows. I know I am still developing as a person and am still learning the intricacies of life. It is the compassion and empathy that I have towards others, especially towards children, that will help shape me into an exemplary physician. My professional goal in life is to become a pediatric oncologist and to provide children and their family with the needed support. I have been hard at work to develop the skills I will need as a physician, such as when working with customers during difficult situations and most recently, attending to patients at Banner University Medical Center through the Patient Experience Internship.

This past semester, I conducted my rounds in the orthopedics wing along with three other interns, and it was quite the experience. Basically, my role is to check up on the patients and make sure they are comfortable, report to the nurses and other staff members if they have any medical needs, and, most important of all, keep them company and talk to them. Many of the in-patients are not mobile or are not able to walk as much due to their surgery, and there are times when family is unable to visit due to their busy schedule, which results in the patient getting bored. The first few days were a bit awkward and difficult. I did not know the patients before entering the room and had no background information due to regulations. My plan was to begin by introducing myself and informing them of my role on the wing. However, there were many occasions when I would either walk in on a sleeping patient or on a patient who did not want the extra company. Then some of the other interns and I decided to do a few rounds together to learn from each other and come up with a better way to approach the patients. Ultimately, we accepted the fact that there were going to be some patients who wanted to be left alone, and that we shouldn’t try to keep a conversation going knowing that the patient wasn’t interested. After growing comfortable with speaking to new patients every week, the conversations began getting interesting and more personal. There were sad days when patients would talk about their experience with a disease or their life struggles. Other days were more uplifting as patients would tell stories of meeting the love of their life, their life adventures, etc. All in all, I enjoyed visiting the patients in the hospital, and it reinforced my desire to serve those in need as a physician.

James Santasiere West Coast Paintball Players League Tournament One of my many hobbies is playing paintball. For me, paintball has created an outlet for me to get-away from the real world. When involved in paintball enough, it can bring you many benefits such as meeting new people and trav-

James Santasiere


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eling far places. This year paintball has brought me to California for some tournaments. The third event for the West Coast Paintball Players League (WCPPL) was in Oceanside California. There are many leagues and many ways to play paintball but the WCPPL is one of the most competitive and fun styles of paintball. Unfortunately, I did not have a team to play with this tournament but going for the experience was worth it alone. I was able to watch the best players in the United States and my favorite team play tournament paintball. Something that I really appreciated along my trip was the community that was at the tournament. Paintballers always love spreading the sport and showing everybody how fun of a hobby it can be. Every team I asked let me help them in the “pits” whether it was just to refill paint or to refill air in their tanks. They were all extremely kind and gave great advice for both on and off the field. Later this year, I plan on traveling to Chicago to play in the largest paintball event for three days straight called Living Legends. Over 2,000 people go to play this event over acres of land. Not only do they play paintball but they have a party and fun games for everybody to enjoy time on and off the field. Paintball will also bring me to Florida in 2018 for paintball’s World Cup! Last year, 400 teams competed to see who could rise to the top and be the best in each of their respected divisions. Overall, I’ve been playing paintball for three years and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. It has brought me many friends and many experiences. It has taught me life lessons and brought me to many destinations. Eventually, it will take me all over the world and I can not be more excited for that.

Tommy Szeto Atlantis Project Pre-Medical Fellowship, Spain The Atlantis Project Pre-Medical Fellowship is a program available to pre-med students to allow them to travel to different countries to shadow doctors and nurses in real hospitals around the world in order to get a sense of what life is

Tommy Szeto (top left) and Atlantis Project

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like in and out of the professional medical field. The fellowship​provides pre-med students with an intensive and exciting study abroad experience that is highly relevant to their future careers. This experience was also extremely helpful for those who learned a second language allowing students to apply what they have learned in class (like Spanish or French) and actually have full-on real face to face conversations with native speakers. ​ Atlantis Fellows get the chance to experience global healthcare through shadowing rotations at hospitals abroad, preparing them for medical school applications through reflective hospital observations, volunteer work, medical humanities research, and optional MCAT prep. I shadowed surgeons, anesthesiologists, ​internal medical professionals, and could not have been more thankful for the program for giving me such an amazing and exciting experience that I hope will help me pursue a career in cardiothoracic surgery.

Sujin Seo Tucson Botanical Gardens Honors Internship During the spring of 2017, I had the opportunity to pursue an honors internship at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. This internship was offered for honors students who are interested in learning about insects, their interactions with the environment, and providing outreach education to the public. During this internship, I helped run the Butterfly Magic Exhibit, interacted with the public, Sujin Seo learned how to handle and care for butterflies and moths, collected and recorded data, and had the opportunity to help work on and research new exhibits for the public. I gained a new appreciation of plants and animals, and a deeper insight about the responsible and appropriate use of plants and water in a desert environment through education and demonstration. I decided to pursue this internship as an opportunity to do something other than working in a typical laboratory while still learning about scientific research and the environment. It was great fun, and I highly encourage others to apply!

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CONFERENCES, STUDY ABROAD, AND MORE Megan Yousefelahi Patient Experience Internship, Banner University Medical Center Per hospital policy, the staff is not allowed to call a taxi for patients. Patients must either pay out-ofpocket, or use their insurance. After explaining this for the third time to the gentleman in the Emergency Department waiting room of Banner University Medical Center, his sweet Megan Yousefelahi gaze turned into a twisting scowl and he proceeded to inform me that he did, indeed, vote for Donald Trump. He then pumped his fist and repeatedly yelled out “White Power! White Power!” in the crowded waiting area. And I, a brown girl, swallowed my pride and tolerated the offense in silence as the front desk staff called security. During my summer 2017 Patient Experience Internship with BUMC, my assigned unit was ED. I was registered for three summer sessions, each of which included a minimum of 40 hours spent in the hospital, four Rounding Logs, four Journal Entries, and a Final Project. Aside from my environmental duties, which included stocking supplies and checking equipment, I had to round on the ED patients. As a communication liaison, I was the middle-man between patient and hospital staff, and my patient contact would serve to enhance a patient’s experience at the hospital. I would bridge the gap between patients, families, and staff. My patient-centered duties involved understanding and clarifying patient issues, and directing the appropriate resources to the patients. After fulfilling these objectives, I discovered that many patients just wanted someone with whom to converse. Several patients lacked the personal support system of family and friends, and had to wait in their rooms alone for hours before hearing back from hospital staff. I discovered that by simply conversing with the patients, I would distract them from their pain or anxiety and enhance their hospital experience. Before leaving the ED, they would express their gratitude by thanking me, even though I had written no prescriptions and administered no clinical care. I like to think that the PX interns gave the unit a human touch by forming brief bonds with the patients. By the end of the summer, I had enthusiastically spent 200 hours helping in the Emergency Department. The curious part

about working in the ED was that we were the first responders who later guided the patients to specialized departments in the hospital, including neuro, cardio, gastrointestinal. Thus, we would see people from all walks of life. From the unfortunate homeless man coming in with a serious skin infection who would apologize every few seconds for “wasting our time,” to the woman who called an ambulance for her hangnail. Undeniably, I saw my fair share of strange cases. This internship gave me an inside glimpse of the patient’s lives. I would recommend a hospital internship/volunteering opportunity to all pre-med students, not because of the medical school requirements, but because of the patient-care understanding. As we progress to post-graduate educations, we will learn the clinical aspects of healthcare, and provide the best remedy for our patients. But I think what persuades a patient to initially seek care is their previous experience associated with hospitals. As a PX intern, I worked intimately behind the scenes and got an impressionable glimpse of the emotions involved in hospital stays, from the moment a patient walks in to be admitted, to when they are discharged. I know that my experience with the Patient Experience Internship will provide me with the empathy and compassion that I would need to be an effective healthcare professional. So next time I witness a violent patient outburst, although I may not appreciate it, I understand and sympathize with where it is coming from, and I adjust my response accordingly.

Ben Zaepfel Beckman Scholars Symposium Having been born and raised in the Old Pueblo, I knew from a young age that I was bound to attend the University of Arizona. Campus was the heart and soul of the Tucson community, and I longed to be a part of it. I came out of high school looking for a new intellectual challenge, one that I realized only the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry could provide. Little did I know that this department, home to friendly faces and brilliant minds, would become the heart and soul of my college experience. After coasting through my first year of courses, I needed an active way to apply the knowledge I’d accumulated from lectures. With the daunting capstone project getting closer by the day, I began the search for a lab to gain the technical skills necessary to answer biological questions. With


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the blessing of Dr. Daniela Zarnescu, I began work studying Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in a fruit fly model. Over the next three years, I studied the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration using various biochemical techniques. I often found myself awestruck by the unique experience I was offered to do such high-level work at the undergraduate level. By the time I reached my senior year, I was physically equipped to prepare my Biochemistry thesis. But having the skills to do a project is far from enough to actually see it through. Through the many months of stressful failures and round after round of editing, I could always count on the support of the friends I’d made in chemistry courses throughout my education. The relationships I’d built at various departmental events, as well as during late night cramming sessions, helped me thrive in my last year on campus. In the summer following graduation, I had the privilege to continue my research in Arizona with support from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. Moreover, I was honored as one of two undergraduate speakers at the annual Beckman Symposium, held in Irvine, CA. In front of a crowd of biologists from around the country, I eagerly shared the work I’d done during my tenure at UA.

Ben Zaepfel (red shirt)

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While half of my brain was focused on completing my courses and thesis, as well as preparing for my Beckman presentation, the other half was geared toward applying to Ph.D. programs. After a Spring semester spent jet-setting around the country. I finally decided to accept an offer from the Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology program at Johns Hopkins University. With the training and connections I make there, I will be more than equipped to pursue a career of research and teaching at the collegiate level. The opportunities I was offered through the CBC department have prepared me better than I could have expected when I first stepped on campus, four years ago. But infinitely more important were the friendships I made, both in and out of the classroom. The motto that my friends always reinforced was “If you don’t like it, don’t do it. If you do like it, do it a lot.” Thanks to the CBC community that accepted me from the beginning, I have Wildcat connections throughout the country that will help me do what I like for the rest of my life.

Catalyst Magazine Fall 2017  

Published annually by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Arizona

Catalyst Magazine Fall 2017  

Published annually by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Arizona