Departmental Seminars

The Chemistry and Biochemistry Departmental Seminar Series covers a broad range of fields in the Chemical and Biochemical Sciences. In past seminars, scientists from Academia, Government, and Industry have presented their most recent discoveries and contributions in their respective areas.

This Seminar Series offers students and faculty the opportunity to interact directly with other leaders in their specializations and to gain a good overview of the entire range of fields in Chemistry and Biochemistry.

The in-person location will be CL 1009 in the Clendenin Building, Kennesaw Campus. Virtual meetings will be held via Microsoft TEAMS. All seminars will be at 12:30pm.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - (CL 1009)

  • Dr. Brian Long, Associate Professor at University of Tennessee-Knoxville
  • Title: "Make it or Break it: The Power of Polymer Chemistry in Applied Membrane Science"
  • Abstract: Whether synthetic or biological in origin, membranes are of critical importance to countless processes that impact our lives, or even regulate life itself. For example, synthetic membranes are often used in challenging industrial separations, such as the purification of natural gas feedstocks, production of nitrogen from atmospheric air, hydrogen recovery in synthesis gas plants, and even the removal of harmful greenhouse gases from our atmosphere. On the other hand, lipid membranes that envelop our cells contain thousands of protein complexes that regulate and perform essential biological functions. The fundamental understanding of the biological role of these proteins is crucial to many ongoing research efforts, such as targeted drug design. The Long Research Group strives to harness the power of polymer chemistry to develop improved fundamental understandings within these aspects of membrane science: the design and synthesis of functional polymeric membranes (make it) and the use of amphiphilic copolymers for the controlled disruption and extraction of biological membranes (break it). More specifically, we will show our progress toward the design of substituted polynorbornene-based materials for the separation of greenhouse gases and purification of natural gas, as well as the development of next-generation styrene-maleic acid copolymers to facilitate enhanced trans-membrane protein extraction efficiencies and probe its mechanistic details.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - Virtual presentation

  • Dr. Steven Shipman, Professor of Physical Chemistry, New College of Florida
  • Title: "Tools for Automated Analysis of Rotational Molecular Spectroscopy at a Principally Undergraduate Institution"
  • Abstract: In this talk, I will discuss the tools our lab has been developing to accelerate the analysis of high-resolution rotational spectra, along with the broader context of the work, which is that it is occurring at a principally undergraduate institution without graduate students or post­doctoral research associates. This means that, beyond fast execution times, overall accessibility and ease-of-use of the tools that we develop are critically important for enabling undergraduate students (some of whom have not taken any physical chemistry courses) to be fully active participants in the research.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021 - (CL 1009)

  • Dr. Will Gutenkunst, Assistant Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Title: "Tuning the Twist in Amide Monomers for Halide-Rebound Polymerization"
  • Abstract: Twisted amides have long been studied in physical organic chemistry due the unusual reactivity profiles that emerge from the reduced resonance interaction between the nitrogen atom and the neighboring carbonyl group. Our laboratory has recently leveraged the heightened nucleophilicity found in twisted amide structures to develop a new living polymerization that proceeds through a covalent electrophilic mechanism termed halide-rebound polymerization. This presentation will explore how simple substitution effects can be used to tune the geometric distortion of the amide, leading to significant changes in monomer reactivity. In addition, halide and solvent effects on the polymerization reaction will be highlighted as a means to tune monomer reactivity and alter the rate-limiting steps of the halide-rebound process. Through greater understanding of the polymerization mechanism through kinetic studies and computational prediction of the ground state geometries, new monomers with enhanced performance have been designed to improve the livingness of the polymerization and increase solubility of the final materials.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - Virtual presentation

  • Dr. Maia Popova, Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Title: "Development of Organic Chemistry Students’ Representational Competence"
  • Abstract: Learning and communicating with representations is an essential component of chemistry instruction. The process of successfully using multiple representations to think about, communicate, and create meaning for a phenomenon defines representational competence. An understanding of how students develop and use representational competence skills requires a holistic account of the nature and interactions of multiple complex factors. In this talk, we will examine organic chemistry students' representational competence skills when reasoning with various representations of chemical structure. We will also explore how the current instruction supports students in developing these skills, as well as the effectiveness of organic chemistry textbooks for promoting representational competence.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - Virtual presentation

  • Dr. Danielle Fagnani, University of Michigan

Tuesday, January 18, 2021 - Virtual presentation

  • Dr. Emily Pentzer, Texas A & M