Changing the world with feats of chemistry takes a while. So we asked our inaugural class what they’ve been up to this past year. No pressure.
Olsen reports that his group published its first paper on loop defects in polymer networks in Physical Review Letters (DOI:10.1103/physrevlett.116.188302).
Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology
Erb’s team successfully engineered enzymes to pull CO2 from the atmosphere and efficiently convert it into useful carbon-based compounds.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus
“After a year of heavy traveling and writing papers, I finally got back into the lab and made some dyes with my own hands.”
Air Products & Chemicals
Lister disclosed his company’s lead drug candidate, SPR741, for the first time at a meeting in Boston. SPR741 is a molecule that disrupts the outer membrane of resistant bacteria so that antibiotics can sneak in and attack.
Top secret start-up
“I got a job at a biotech company that I’m super stoked about.” The firm is still in stealth mode, though, so Malyshev wouldn’t name names.
University of Illinois,
Hull reports that her lab has “successfully done both directed and undirected anti-Markovnikov-selective amination” this year. (Translation for nonorganickers: They’ve achieved both tight and loose control over a reaction that adds amines to the most crowded carbon in a carbon-carbon double bond.)
“My lab ran its first experiment. It worked!” Nelson says. The organic chemist adds that he also taught his first classes ever. “The second class was 100 times better than the first.”
Havenstrite says her firm was issued two patents and received U.S. Food & Drug Administration clearance for its contact lens technology, which helps treat dry eye.
“I graduated my first class of Ph.D. students this year!”
Harvard Medical School
Hooker celebrated his first graduate student getting her Ph.D. And the radiochemist will soon celebrate the birth of his second child, in mid-September.
Kanan pointed us to a paper his team published in Nature on a reaction that uses simple molten salts to convert greenhouse gas CO2 into building blocks for making a type of polyester plastic (DOI: 10.1038/ nature17185).