Recent News

Trisha L. Andrew, associate professor of chemistry, recently received a $2,500 L’Oréal USA Changing the Face of STEM grant to increase hands-on research opportunities for community college students.

Over the 2018-19 academic year, Andrew and her research group will train interns from Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) to create garment-integrated sensors, an effort that she hopes will “entice a diverse student population to become scientists and fortify the number of underrepresented students in chemistry and engineering.”

STCC offers students a program called STEM Starter Academy to enhance students’ readiness for STEM jobs or to transfer to a four-year academic STEM program. Andrew has previously participated in annual “maker” events organized by STCC and has worked with STCC faculty to encourage graduates of its Starter Academy to pursue degrees at UMass Amherst.

With this grant, Andrew says she plans to provide potential interns with a stipend, an important step in growing the program and establishing deeper ties with STCC.

Tenure Track Assistant Professor - Materials Chemistry
The Department of Chemistry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is embarking on a strategic hiring program enabled by a $102M investment in the new Physical Sciences Building and a $45M investment in the University’s core facilities. We are seeking talented applicants for two tenure-track faculty at the Assistant Professor level to begin September 2019 or thereafter. Under exceptional circumstances, highly qualified candidates at other ranks may receive consideration. We seek applicants who will develop or continue vigorous research programs in the areas of synthetic materials chemistry and/or characterization of materials/interfaces.

Tenure Track Assistant Professor - DNA/RNA Delivery
The Department of Chemistry at the University of Massachusetts and the Center for Bioactive Delivery at the Institute for Applied Life Sciences are embarking on a strategic hiring program enabled by the creation of this Institute. Applications are invited for a full-time, tenure track faculty position in the Chemistry Department at the Assistant Professor level to begin September 2019 or thereafter. We seek applicants who will develop or continue a vigorous research program in the use of or delivery of biomolecules, especially RNA, for the development of therapeutic candidates to treat diseases or disorders. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, siRNA/miRNA methodologies or delivery technologies, mRNA-based therapies, RNA/protein design, selection or engineering, and novel genome editing technologies.

The 80,000 square foot Physical Sciences Building (PSB) is now open! It provides space for 80 chemistry graduate students and postdocs in 22,000 square feet of state-of-the-art synthetic chemistry labs on Levels 1 and 2, and specialized, “high bay” space for physics on the lower floor. The PSB will be home to 6-8 chemistry research groups, including the Andrew, Kittilstved, Thayumanavan, and Venkataraman groups, who have just moved in (August 2018), as well as new faculty hires.

The building was designed by Wilson Architects and construction was managed by Whiting-Turner. Enhancing collaboration between groups and within a group was a major design goal, as was creating efficient use of space with the flexibility to be readily adapted to meet evolving research needs. The labs feature an open floor plan, so lab space for one group is adjacent to that of another, with no walls between them. In addition to the clear advantages of increasing interactions between groups, this provides the ability for the amount of lab space each group uses to broadly follow changes in group size.

The PSB incorporates numerous green building features and has earned Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, which is very challenging for a building with such high air-handling requirements. The extensive windows and glass wall allow natural light to illuminate the labs. Energy-and water-saving features include high-efficiency fume hoods with a hood monitoring system to encourage closing of hood sashes when not in use and a closed-cycle chilled water loop (for stills, etc.). There is open space for specialized instrumentation like glove boxes, and dedicated rooms for high hazard work, solvent dispensing, and mammalian and bacterial cell culture.

Materials scientist Trisha Andrew, computer scientist Deepak Ganesan, and computer engineer Jeremy Gummeson, all part of UMass Amherst’s Institute of Applied Life Sciences’ Center for Personalized Health Monitoring, recently received a three-year, $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Computer Systems Research program to advance so-called “smart textiles.”

The next generation of wearable activity sensors will not be strap-on devices that can be lost or forgotten, say researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, instead they may be threads or fabric patches sewn into shirts and pants to offer light, care-free, continuous monitoring of movement that could help doctors, therapists and coaches respond to changes that warrant concern or improve performance.

Upcoming Events

Prof. Marc A. Hillmyer
University of Minnesota
Thursday, October 25, 2018
Department of Chemistry
Host:
S. Thayumanavan
11:30 am
1634 LGRT
Prof. Britto S. Sandanaraj
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Department of Chemistry and Biology

Novel Chemical Technologies for Applications in the Area of Functional Protein Nanotechnology and Molecular Imaging

Host:
s. Thayumanavan
11:30 am
164 LGRT
Prof. Yi Lu
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Thursday, November 1, 2018
Department of Chemistry
Host:
Mingxu You
11:30 am
1634 LGRT
Prof. Wei Yang
Florida State University
Thursday, November 8, 2018
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Host:
Jianhan Chen
1634 LGRT
11:30 am
Qinfang Sun
Dissertation Defense
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

“Simulating Hydrogen Bonded Clusters and Zeolite Clusters for Renewable Energy Applications”

10:00 am
LGRT 869
Research Adviser:
Auerbach