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From the College of Natural Sciences
Devleena Samanta Invents Ways to Detect Molecules in Living Cells

Devleena Samanta Invents Ways to Detect Molecules in Living Cells

Devleena Samanta joined the Department of Chemistry in fall 2021 as an assistant professor. She designs and synthesizes nanoscale materials to address challenges in biology and medicine, and she's passionate about teaching students from a variety of backgrounds. She received her Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University. We recently spoke with her to learn more.

Undergraduate Research Played Role in Paper Tied to Early Career Award

Undergraduate Research Played Role in Paper Tied to Early Career Award

Alex Bard, Joe Espinoza and Tyler King with two other FRI students (Margaret Tran and Emily Reynolds) in the Luminators research stream at the annual FRI picnic in 2014.

​When they joined the Luminators stream of the Freshman Research Initiative, alumni Tyler King, Alex Bard, Joe Espinoza, Desmond Schipper and Ohri Esarte Palomero all expected to have experiences in chemistry research that would serve them well in their future. What they may not have predicted was that they all would contribute to a paper that the Journal of Coordination Chemistry singled out for special recognition for being among its highest quality articles of the year.

When Good RNA Turns Bad

When Good RNA Turns Bad

RNAs are molecules that carry genetic information and control and regulate virtually all processes in our cells. Though RNA is vital, certain kinds can clump together in a way that is correlated with neurological disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Huntington's disease. Biophysicist Dave Thirumalai, Collie-Welch Regents Chair in Chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, and his team now have developed a computer model that helps explain how this occurs.

Sessler Elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Sessler Elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Jonathan Sessler, a professor of chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, has been elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts & Sciences. The Academy has been electing and engaging a cross-section of highly talented and brilliant individuals for more than 240 years.

Zak Page Named a 2022 Cottrell Scholar

Zak Page Named a 2022 Cottrell Scholar

​Zachariah Page, assistant professor of chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, has been selected as a 2022 Cottrell Scholar by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement.

Yi Lu Honored Among Top Inventors

Yi Lu Honored Among Top Inventors

Yi Lu, a chemist from The University of Texas at Austin, has been selected as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, a prestigious distinction awarded to a select group of 164 academic innovators around the world for 2021.

Sodium-based Material Yields Stable Alternative to Lithium-ion Batteries

Sodium-based Material Yields Stable Alternative to Lithium-ion Batteries

Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin have developed a new sodium metal anode for rechargeable batteries (left) that resists the formation of dendrites, a common problem with standard sodium metal anodes (right) that can lead to shorting and fires. Images were taken with a scanning electron microscope. Image credit: Yixian Wang/University of Texas at Austin.

University of Texas at Austin researchers have created a new sodium-based battery material that is highly stable, capable of recharging as quickly as a traditional lithium-ion battery and able to pave the way toward delivering more energy than current battery technologies.

New Model Reveals How Chromosomes Get Packed Up

New Model Reveals How Chromosomes Get Packed Up

To scrunch a chromosome (green), a condensin molecule opens and closes like a pair of fingers (light blue) connected by a hinge (dark blue).

One of the most astounding feats of nature is happening right now in cells throughout your body: noodle-like molecules called chromosomes, which carry part of your genetic blueprints and are about two inches (5 centimeters) long when fully stretched out, get stuffed into the cell's nucleus, which is at least 5,000 times smaller, with plenty of room for a bunch of other chromosomes. 

Electrochemistry Pioneer and Texas Science Legend Allen Bard Retires

Electrochemistry Pioneer and Texas Science Legend Allen Bard Retires

Allen J. Bard, a professor holding the Norman Hackerman – Welch Regents Chair in Chemistry and known around the world as "the father of modern electrochemistry," is stepping down in the Department of Chemistry after a 63-year career at The University of Texas at Austin.

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Chemists’ New Effort Aims to Optimize Materials by Exploiting their Defects

Chemists’ New Effort Aims to Optimize Materials by Exploiting their Defects

A multi-university team involving Sean Roberts of The University of Texas at Austin will receive National Science Foundation support to establish the NSF Phase 1 Center for Adapting Flaws into Features (CAFF) at Rice University. The Center's goal is to exploit chemical defects that show the potential for unique reactivity to optimize the structural and electronic properties of materials.

MasSpec Pen Shows Promise in Pancreatic Cancer Surgery

MasSpec Pen Shows Promise in Pancreatic Cancer Surgery

Jialing Zhang demonstrates using the MasSpec Pen on a human tissue sample. Photo credit: Vivian Abagiu/Univ. of Texas at Austin.

A diagnostic tool called the MasSpec Pen has been tested for the first time in pancreatic cancer patients during surgery. The device is shown to accurately identify tissues and surgical margins directly in patients and differentiate healthy and cancerous tissue from banked pancreas samples.

Carlos Baiz and Shelley Payne Earn Prestigious Teaching Awards

Carlos Baiz and Shelley Payne Earn Prestigious Teaching Awards

Two College of Natural Sciences faculty members were named the winners of prestigious national and state teaching awards this spring.

Fight Against Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Has a Glowing New Weapon

Fight Against Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Has a Glowing New Weapon

In the perpetual arms races between bacteria and human-made antibiotics, there is a new tool to give human medicine the edge, in part by revealing bacterial weaknesses and potentially by leading to more targeted or new treatments for bacterial infections.

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Honoring the Life of Marye Anne Fox, Former VP for Research at UT Austin

Honoring the Life of Marye Anne Fox, Former VP for Research at UT Austin

A member of the National Academy of Sciences and recipient of the National Medal of Science, Marye Anne Fox, former chemistry professor and Vice President for Research at The University of Texas at Austin, died at her home in Austin on Sunday, May 9 following a long illness.

Jonathan Sessler Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Jonathan Sessler Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Chemist Jonathan L. Sessler of The University of Texas at Austin has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. The academy is the country's most prestigious scientific organization, and election to it is one of the highest honors for American researchers.