Fall 2011
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MaryZhu @asu.edu

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Continuity and Growth...

Fall semester has arrived again, marking what we have come to expect as a tradition in the department’s newsletter ­­–– namely, a description of the excitement of our students return to campus, a touting of the excellence and impact of research in the department and my announcement of our homecoming activities. This year is especially noteworthy for the number of events and the recognition that the department has recently received.

First, the department’s website is full of student and faculty success stories that I highly recommend for your perusal. Josh LaBaer, Piper Chair in Personalized Medicine and medical oncologist, was recently recognized by the Phoenix health care industry for his work on identifying and validating unique molecular markers of disease. John Chaput and his colleagues at the Biodesign Institute at ASU announced a new way of producing antibody-like binding agents that can be used for evaluating the function of proteins and for detecting/treating many diseases. Julian Chen was recently awarded a major grant from the National Institutes of Health that will fund his novel approach for revealing the molecular actions of telomerase with respect to the molecular processes related to aging and telomere-mediated diseases. Stuart Lindsay, jointly with the Department of Physics and the Biodesign Institute, has created excitement with his new approach in rapidly sequencing DNA by threading single molecules through a nanoscopic channel. Most recently noted on our web site is the work of Marcia Levitus who has been applying her novel methods of Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) to examine the dynamic mechanisms of nucleosomes, that is, DNA molecules as they wrap and unwrap around histone cores.

ASU Chemistry & Biochemistry
2011 Homecoming Reception
October 27, 2011
5:00-7:00 p.m.
Alumni room of the Memorial Union

  • Mingle with alumni, faculty, staff and graduate students
  • Eyring Lecture Series Endowment Announcement

Eyring general lecture
7:30 p.m.
Physical Sciences Building H150



Collectively, these and the other members of the Department have contributed to a continuing rise in international stature for ASU Chemistry. Our rising status was recently highlighted by Thomson Reuters’ Science Watch analysis of the impact of published work in the diverse, aggregate field of chemistry. Citation rate of published works is an incisive way to gauge the importance and impact of research output. It is impressive to note that ASU’s chemistry research of the last decade ranked 6 th internationally by this criterion, only surpassed by such institutions as Scripps Research Institute, Harvard, Rice, Caltech and Northwestern. Note that we ranked ahead of MIT, the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford as well as many other highly reputed chemistry departments.

To be sure, this recognition has long been building, since before the days when LeRoy Eyring was chairman of the department in the 1960’s. There have been many people who have made major contributions to the department’s intellectual growth that has led us to this proud position.

This brings me to inviting you to this year’s special alumni reception during homecoming, this October 27. It will be combined with the reception welcoming the Fall 2011 Eyring Lecturer in Chemistry and Biochemistry, ASU Regents’ Professor Austen Angell. The reception immediately precedes his public lecture on “Cold Water, the world’s weirdest liquid, …” at 7:30 pm in the evening. This lecture series has become renowned for the high caliber of scientists to have presented their thinking to ASU and metropolitan Phoenix communities. We will have a major announcement at the reception about the continuity of this series. I hope that you will be able to attend reception and lecture.

As always, I give you my best regards,

Bill Petuskey

Homecoming Reception and Eyring general lecture

School of Molecular Sciences Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona 85287-1604 Phone: (480) 965-3461 FAX: (480) 965-2747