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From the College of Natural Sciences
UT Austin Chemical Sensor Startup Secures Major Investment

UT Austin Chemical Sensor Startup Secures Major Investment

Lantha’s sensors can quickly and cheaply identify a wide range of chemicals in an uncharacterized sample. Each chemical produces a unique eight-factor signature of color and brightness that can be used to identify it and quantify concentrations. Credit: Sam Dunning and David Steadman.

A tech startup that spun out of The University of Texas at Austin, Lantha Inc., has successfully completed its first round of venture capital investments, securing $2.6 million from the GOOSE Society of Texas and other investors. The company is commercializing a novel chemical sensor invented at UT Austin that holds promise to dramatically lower costs and return faster results compared with other analytical tools. The innovation could have applications as diverse as the detection of chemical isotopes, quality control testing of feedstocks in manufacturing computer chips and pharmaceuticals, and detecting contamination in drinking water.

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Graduate Students Receive Department of Energy Fellowships

Graduate Students Receive Department of Energy Fellowships

Graduate students Emily Raulerson and Albina Khasanova received research fellowships from the Department of Energy.

Two graduate students from the University of Texas at Austin, Emily Raulerson and Albina Khasanova, received fellowships from the Department of Energy to carry out research in one of 12 DOE national laboratories.

New Test for Thyroid Cancer Could Prevent Unnecessary Surgery

New Test for Thyroid Cancer Could Prevent Unnecessary Surgery

A new preoperative test for thyroid cancer that’s faster and more accurate than the diagnostic test that doctors use today could prevent thousands of unnecessary thyroid removals each year. Credit: iStock.

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and Baylor College of Medicine have developed a new preoperative test for thyroid cancer that is faster and about two-thirds more accurate than the diagnostic tests doctors use today. Although more validation will be necessary before it can be used clinically, the new metabolic thyroid test shows promise for preventing thousands of unnecessary thyroid removals each year, such as the partial removal UT Austin grad student Amanda Helms had due to an inconclusive test.

Chemist Awarded Prestigious NIH Grant to Study Metals in Proteins and Enzymes

Chemist Awarded Prestigious NIH Grant to Study Metals in Proteins and Enzymes

Emily Que, an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin, has been awarded a five-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop tools to study metal- containing enzymes and proteins. The research has potential implications across a broad spectrum of human health areas including cancer, fertility, diabetes, and infectious disease research.

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Michael Krische Receives American Chemical Society Award

Michael Krische Receives American Chemical Society Award

Michael Krische, professor of chemistry and the Robert A. Welch Chair in Science at The University of Texas at Austin, is the 2020 recipient of the American Chemical Society's Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry.

Texas Organization Donates Millions to UT Austin Cancer-Fighting Research

Texas Organization Donates Millions to UT Austin Cancer-Fighting Research

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin will head into September, childhood cancer awareness month, with nearly $5 million in new cancer prevention funding from the State of Texas.

Kami Hull Seeks to Make Drugs Faster with Less Waste

Kami Hull Seeks to Make Drugs Faster with Less Waste

New faculty in Natural Sciences conduct compelling research and inspire new generations, right out of the gate. As the 2019-20 academic year begins, we are introducing faculty members whose compelling work is worth learning about. Here meet Kami Hull. Within months of joining the faculty, she won a prestigious Novartis Early Career Award in Chemistry in recognition of her research, which involves developing more efficient processes for synthetic organic chemistry.

Chemist Receives NIH Outstanding Investigator Award

Chemist Receives NIH Outstanding Investigator Award

The National Institutes of Health has awarded Carlos Baiz, assistant professor of chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, an Outstanding Investigator Award. The award comes with $1 million over five years to fund basic research that could, among other things, help scientists better understand how our brains encode memories and reveal the causes of some neurological and cardiovascular diseases.

A Squishy Rubik’s Cube® that Chemists Built from Polymers Holds Promise for Data Storage

A Squishy Rubik’s Cube® that Chemists Built from Polymers Holds Promise for Data Storage

A new Rubik's Cube-like structure made of a self-healing hydrogel might inspire new ways to store information and possibly help patients monitor their medical conditions. Image courtesy of Xiaofan Ji.

A team of chemists from the U.S. and China have constructed a cube of colored, hydrogel blocks, which looks and acts much like a Rubik's Cube®. The researchers say their work is more than just fun to play with: it might inspire new ways to store and detect information, and possibly even help patients monitor their medical conditions.

Two Natural Sciences Faculty Receive 2019 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards

Two Natural Sciences Faculty Receive 2019 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards

David Laude and Alison Norman are recipients of the 2019 University of Texas Regents' Outstanding Teaching Awards.

Two faculty members from The University of Texas at Austin, both from the College of Natural Sciences, have been chosen to receive 2019 Regents' Outstanding Teaching Awards by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System. The recipients are David Laude, a Distinguished Teaching Professor in chemistry, and Alison Norman, associate professor of instruction in computer science.