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From the College of Natural Sciences
Visualizing Science 2022: Illuminating the Intrinsic Beauty in Academic Research

Visualizing Science 2022: Illuminating the Intrinsic Beauty in Academic Research

This past spring, the College of Natural Sciences invited our University of Texas at Austin faculty, staff and students to send in the top images from their research for our Visualizing Science competition. The images they produced nourish both the mind and the soul, offering not only food for thought but a feast for the eyes as well.

Cancer Agency Awards Grant to Recruit New Faculty in Chemistry

Cancer Agency Awards Grant to Recruit New Faculty in Chemistry

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Oversight Committee recently awarded a recruitment grant for Ku-Lung "Ken" Hsu, a chemist joining The University of Texas at Austin. The CPRIT Scholar recruitment grant program attracts established and up-and-coming researchers to Texas institutions to advance their cancer-related research.

Baiz Earns Prestigious Research Fellowship

Baiz Earns Prestigious Research Fellowship

Carlos Baiz, associate professor of chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, has been awarded the prestigious Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers from the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation.

Scientists Encode “Wizard of Oz” in a Vanishingly Small Plastic

Scientists Encode “Wizard of Oz” in a Vanishingly Small Plastic

​Imagine being able to hide an extremely complex encryption password or detailed financial information for an organization inside the chemical structure of ink. It might sound like something out of a spy movie, but scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Massachusetts Lowell recently proved it possible.

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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.

Students Share Passion for Science at Undergraduate Research Forum

Students Share Passion for Science at Undergraduate Research Forum

Each spring, the College of Natural Sciences holds its annual Undergraduate Research Forum, and last month's event showcased over 250 individual and team research presentations. Faculty, alumni, staff, graduate student and industry judges examined the myriad ways student researchers made progress in their research. 

Undergraduate Research Forum 2022
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.

Meet the Dean's Honored Graduates of 2022

Meet the Dean's Honored Graduates of 2022

Each year, the College of Natural Sciences bestows its highest honors for graduating seniors on a select group of students during graduation week. Students across the college are singled out for College of Natural Sciences Distinctions and celebrated at a special Graduates of Distinction event. Among the distinction winners is an even smaller group of students, known as Dean's Honored Graduates. 

Graduating Senior David Sarabia Found Passion for Research in FRI

Graduating Senior David Sarabia Found Passion for Research in FRI

David Sarabia served as lead peer mentor for the Supra Sensors stream of the Freshman Research Initiative. He is a 2022 Graduate of Distinction.

A first-generation undergraduate student from Mexia, Texas, David Sarabia is among the seniors graduating this month. On his way to receiving his bachelor of science degree in chemistry, Sarabia participated in the Supra Sensors Research stream of the Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) and as an undergraduate researcher in Eric Anslyn's laboratory in the Department of Chemistry.

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.