Chantal Sudbrack ’99 changes coordinates

Chantal wrote last fall, “Just a note to let you know about my new coordinates. This October I
joined the Structures and Materials division at NASA Glenn Research
in Cleveland, Ohio. My research focus in the immediate future
will be on superalloy disk materials and their development with the
division’s Advanced Metallics Branch. Please update your address books
and stay in touch. I hope this email finds you well.”

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Job Openings in Chemistry, 2010-2012

The Chemistry department is anticipating several sabbatical leaves in the next two years (Fall,2010 – Spring, 2012) and is currently advertising for two two-year visitors. One position is in biochemistry and/or analytical chemistry. The second position is in organic chemistry.We hope to fill both positions sometime in February-March 2010. To learn more, follow these links to the job ads:

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Cheyenne Brindle, *Ph. D.*

Cheyenne (Reed ’02) has made the leap from chemistry graduate student to post-doc. She earned her degree from the Chemistry Department at Stanford University under Prof. Barry Trost, and plans, after a brief vacation in Hawaii, to head off to Harvard University to work with Prof. Eric Jacobsen.


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How to stop doubting & love the climate models

“How to stop doubting …” was the banner headline topping the Opinion section of last Sunday’s Oregonian newspaper (October 18, 2009). Prof. Julie Fry, the author of this commentary, crafted a two page argument intended to move the paper’s readers past the stale non-debate over the existence and causes of global warming and towards the pressing problem of “what can we do about it?” To this end, she asked and answered four questions about the basis of current scientific understanding of climate change:

  • How do scientists establish consensus, and what is the role of consensus documents like the IPCC reports?
  • What is the role of computer models? Why should we trust them?
  • What aspects of climate science are firmly established?
  • What are some remaining uncertainties?

Predictably, this piece, just like Julie’s previous foray into the Oregonian arena (“Don’t Trust Charlatans …”, August 7, 2009), attracted a large number of heated comments in the newspaper’s online zone.

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Dio Siegel ’97 churns out “long horn” molecules

After completing a PhD in 2003 at Harvard with Prof. Andrew Myers (“Synthesis of (-)-Tetracycline.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127, 8292-8293) and a postdoc from 2003-07 with Prof. Samuel Danishefsky at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (“Total Synthesis of Garsubellin A.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128, 1048-1049), Dio has settled down at the University of Texas-Austin’s chemistry department. In just two years he has collected a group of hard-working students where they work on projects spanning development of new reactions, natural product synthesis, and molecular pharmacology. Dio has also attracted the roving eye of the Sexy Science blog where he is profile #13. (PS his cousin points out in the blog’s comments section: Dio is married.)

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Don’t Trust Charlatans: Earth is Heating Up

This title introduced an op-ed piece in last Friday’s Oregonian (Aug 7, 2009) by professors Arthur Glasfeld and Julie Fry. The two chemists explained in straightforward terms how the vast weight of scientific evidence and scientific opinion supports global warming and the significant role played by human-generated greenhouse gases. Score two points for Reed College chemistry!

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Constance Bailey ’10 reports from Germany

Connie is spending her summer as a research assistant at the Hans-Knoll Institute in Jena, Germany where she is working in the lab of Prof. Christian Hertweck. The opportunity came about in an unusual way. Connie, motivated by some articles that she had read for her Structural Biochem (Chem 391) class decided to write to Prof. Hertweck and ask for a job. To her surprise, the answer was positive.

Some of her reactions to date:

“All-in-all my experience here has been amazing. I’ve been doing a very
interdisciplinary project where I do a lot of microbiology, a little
molecular biology, and a lot of organic synthesis, and a lot of
staring at MS and NMR spectra.  It’s very neat that it allows me to
do work that encompasses both my biological and chemical interests. 
The seminars I’ve seen are fantastic, and the PI is very nice and
encouraging and manages a really fantastic dynamic in the group. He
also has a great sense of scientific presentation in how he writes
articles, how he coaches people to give seminars, and the way that he
sees his research projects as little narrative stories. Everyone
speaks English well in the lab (I’d say this is generally true of the
scientific community), although occasionally the language barrier has
been a little bit difficult, and where I’m living is a pretty boring
area of town, but for the most part it’s been a really great experience.”

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Stefan Minasian ’03 & Molly Dodge ’04 to wed in August

Stefan and I have been exchanging emails this week in order to arrange the details concerning his upcoming Reed chemistry seminar (Oct 1 – title to be announced, but it concerns “isolating and characterizing metal-metal bonded complexes of the actinides”) when he let a bit of personal news slip in: “I’m getting married August 22nd to my long-time girlfriend Molly Dodge
(also a Reedie), so forgive me if I’m slow to respond to emails in the
next few weeks.” If you’d like to pass along some good wishes, send them to Stefan at

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Happy Birthday, Reed Aleksander Hicks

Randy Hicks, a longtime fixture in the Chem 101/102 labs, the Chem 102 end-of-year fireworks display, and one of two discoverers of the Periodic Table of the Cupcakes, wrote to me last summer (yikes!) from his (then) new location in the Chemistry department at Wheaton College with wonderful news. He and Jennifer had just “published” the Synthesis of a novel biochemical composite material: Reed Aleksander Hicks on August 3, 2008 (follow the link for full publication and description). Which means that Reed Aleksander is getting ready to celebrate his first birthday. Have a happy one, Reed (and ask for ice cream).

Reed Aleksander Hicks 080308.jpg
Added July 22, 2009: Randy happens to be visiting Oregon this week and he wrote, “I’m in Salem, at Willamette, right now
participating in CUR’s proposal writing institute. I have a draft due
in…2 hours. At the conclusion of the workshop on Thursday, I will be
heading north to extend my stay.” And he sent me a current picture of Reed Aleksander.

Reed Aleksander Hicks 072109.JPG
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Allison Stelling ’04 in JACS ’07

Just before the news pages went into hibernation, I received notice of a paper published by Allison in the November 22, 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Allison is a graduate student in the Tonge lab at SUNY-Stony Brook and was the lead author on the article,  Ultrafast Structural Dynamics in BLUF Domains: Transient Infrared Spectroscopy of AppA and Its Mutants (JACS, 2007, 129(50), 15556-15564).

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