Weekly Seminars

The chemistry department hosts a weekly seminar on Thursdays at noon, presented by visiting speakers, students who have completed research, and faculty members. Topics range from academic lectures to discussions about careers and research opportunities in chemistry.

For more information, please contact the department chair, Professor Mark Levandoski.

Past Chemistry & Biological Chemistry Seminars and Events

  • Grinnell College Chemistry seminars are open to everyone.
  • Presentations subject to change.
  • The Danforth Lectureship aims to bring the most significant practitioners of chemistry to Grinnell College.

Date, Time, Location

Event Description

Monday, November 25th, 2013
Science #2022

"New Consepts in Velocity-Based Mass Spectrometry: Design and Development of a Distance-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer"
Dr. Alexander Gundlach-Graham, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Indiana University Department of Chemistry 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Science #2022

"€œAfter Science, There'€™s Laundry"
Danforth Lecturer, Professor Judith Klinman from the Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley

Thursday, October 17, 2013
Science #2022

Student research talks:

  • Christine Ajinjeru '14:€“ "Investigating the internal structure of the light-harvesting antenna of green bacterial." 
  • Devon Manley '15: "Proto-field Study of Photo-biodegradable Polymers." 
  • Olivia Finster '14:€“ "Electrochemical Determination of [Cp*Rh(bpy)H] Aqueous Hydricities." 

Thursday, October 17, 2013
Science #2022

"Life after Grinnell in Chemistry and BCM"
Steve Gump & Doug Cutchins
Grinnell College CLS Office

Thursday, October 10, 2013
Science #2022

"Folding-based Electrochemical Biosensors"
Dr. Rebecca Lai
Associate Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln 

Monday, Oсtober 7, 2013
Science #2022

"Synthesis and Structure-Activity Relationship Studies of the Cytotoxic Marine Natural Product Jaspine B" 
Dr. Apurba Dutta 
University of Kansas, Department of Medicinal Chemistry 

Thursday, September 19, 2013
Science #2022
Noon-1:00 p.m.

Matt McReynolds, Senior Research Chemist from the Monsanto Company will present, "Applied Organic Chemistry: One Scientist's Perspective".

Sept. 12, 2013 12:00 noon Science-2022

Student research talks:

  • Sarah Jensen ’15: “Identifying Salicylic Acid-Binding Proteins Involved in Plant Disease Resistance”
  • Dabney Hofammann ’15: “The Role of Gut Hormones on Offspring of Bariatric Surgery Recipients”

May 9, 2013 12:00 noon Science-2022

Student research talks:

  • David Garwood '13: "Progress Towards the Synthesis of Trans-Avicennol"
  • Drew Blumberg '13: "Synthesis and Characterization of New Mo (VI) Imido Complexes with N-Salicylidene-2-aminothiophenol"

May 2, 2013 12:00 noon Science-2022

Student research talks:

  • Anthony Barber '13: "Developing a Catalyst that Decomposes Greenhouse Gas"
  • TJ Schaid '13: "Optimization of Peptic Digestion and Hydrogen/Deuterium Exchange for Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometric Analysis of Proteins"
  • Jingjing Wang '13: "pH-Dependent Studies of Escherichia Coli Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase"

Apr. 23, 2013 12:00 noon Science-2022

"Electron Flow through Metalloproteins"

  • Harry Gray, California Institute of Technology

Apr. 22, 2013 7:30pm ARH-302

"The 21st Century Solar Army"

  • Harry Gray, California Institute of Technology

Feb. 14, 2013 12:00 noon Science-2022

"Chemical Manipulation and Site-Specific Labeling of Lantibiotics"

  • Noah Bindman '07, University of Illinois

Feb. 14, 2013 12:00 noon Science-2022

Overview of the MS Internship Program at the University of Oregon

  • Julia Miller '11

Feb. 7, 2013 12:00 noon Science-2022

Summer Research Opportunities

  • Grinnell College Chemistry Faculty

Jan. 31, 2013  12:00 noon Science-2022

Summer Research Opportunities

  • Grinnell College Chemistry Faculty

Dec. 6, 2012 12:00 noon Science-2022

Student research talks:

  • Nicole Sipfle '13: "Structure of a PCNA Mutant Protein that is Defective in DNA Mismatch Repair"
  • Paulina Panek '13: "Synthesis of dichlorodi-p-tolylstannane, a precursor of substituted W-Sn Compounds"

Nov. 29, 2012 12:00 noon Science-2022

"Elucidating the mysterious role of frataxin in Fe-A cluster biosynthesis"

  • Dave Barondeau, Texas A&M

Nov. 8, 2012 12:00 noon Science-2022

"Uncovering the inner-workings of a Multifunctional DNA Repair Complex"

  • Scott Nelson, Iowa State University

Nov. 1, 2012 12:00 noon Science-2022

"Azulene-based Organometallics: New Platforms for Charge Delocalization and Transport at the Nanoscale"

  • Misah Barybin, Associate Professor, KU Department of Chemistry

Oct. 18, 2012 12:00 noon Science-2022

"Career Options for Chemistry and Biological Chemistry Majors"

  • CDO: Abby Trout, Assistant Director of Career Development, & Steve Gump, Assistant Director of Graduate and Professional School Advising

Oct. 4, 2012 12:00 noon Science-2022

"Taming Free Radicals and Carbocations for Asymmetric Synthesis of Bioactive Compounds"

  • Greg Friestad, Department of Chemistry, University of Iowa

Sept. 20, 2012 12:00 noon Science-2022

"Nanofluidics for ultra-efficient protein chromatography"

  • Mary Wirth, W. Brooks Fortune Distinguished Professor—Analytical Chemistry, Purdue University

Sept. 13, 2012 12:00 noon Science-2022

Student Research Update:

  • Sofia Tedesco ’14: “Conformational Changes in SuccinicAcid with Varied Temperature and Bridging Cations”
  • Severin Thompson '13: "Synthesis of Molybdenum Imido Complexes containing the Ligand N-salicylidene-2-aminophenol"

Apr. 25, 2012 12:00 noon Science-2022


 Student Research Update:

  • Kate Duran ’12: "New Class of Phosphorus Heterocycles: Phosphate Moiety as a Temporary Tether"
  • Albert Liu, ’13: "Amide - Carboxylate Interactions in N,N-Dimethylsuccinamate"
  • Kirsten Shriver ’12: "Azide Synthesis and Click Chemistry"
  • Claire Williams, ’13: "Overexpression of the protein Deamidase of Pup (Dop) in Mycobacterium smegmatis"

Apr. 18, 2012 12:00 noon Science-2022

 "No Laughing Matter: Nature's tool to handle Laughing gas, Nitrous Oxide (N2O)"

  • Professor Peter Kroneck, University of Konstanz and Noyce Visiting Professor at Grinnell College

Apr. 11, 2012 12:00 noon Science-2022

 "Alkaline Anionic Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells"

  • Professor Bryan Coughlin ‘88, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Mar. 14, 2012 12:00 noon Science-2022

“The X-ray Years”

  • Dr. Ilia Guzei, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Mar. 7, 2012 12:00 noon Science-2022

"New Late-Transition Metal Platforms for the Activation of Dioxygen"

  • Professor Jan-Uwe Rohde, University of Iowa

Feb. 8, 2012 12:00 noon Science-2022

Summer Research Opportunities

  • Grinnell College Chemistry Faculty

Feb. 1, 2012 12:00 noon Science-2022

Summer Research Opportunities

  • Grinnell College Chemistry Faculty

Nov. 16, 2011 12:00 noon Science-2022

Alumni Scholar: 

“Green Chemistry: The Quest for an Environmentally Friendly Route to Acrylics Using Homogeneous Catalysis”

  •  Spring Knapp '07

 Oct. 26, 2011 12:00 noon Science-2022

 Student Seminars:      

  • Tianxiang (Albert) Liu ’13 - Determination of Diheadral Angles of Predominantly trans 1,2-Disubstituted Ethanes using NMR Spectroscopy
  • Emily Blythe ’12 - Characterization of cation-pi binding interactions between varenicline and alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors
  • Kate Duran ’12 - Investigating the Link Between Her3 Phosphorylation and PI3K activation

 Oct. 12, 2011 12:00 noon Science-2022

 Synthesis from the Vapor Phase: Gas-Solid Reactions in Photovoltaics, Electronic Materials, and Catalysis

  • Adam Hock, Illinois Institute of Technology

 Oct. 6, 2011 4:15pm Science-2022

 The Chemistry in the Mass Spectrometer

  • R. Graham Cooks, Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Purdue University

Sept. 14, 2011 12:00 noon Science-2022

Career Opportunities and Resources      

  •  Mark Peltz, Associate Dean and Director of Career Development, Grinnell College


Danforth Lectureship Series

Since 1979, the Danforth Lectureship has brought a distinguished chemist to Grinnell each year for a seminar or convocation and interactions with students. The Lectureship honors Joseph D. Danforth, who served on the Grinnell chemistry faculty from 1947-79. After earning his doctorate from Purdue University, Danforth was an industrial research chemist for ten years before joining the Grinnell faculty. During his time at the college he taught and mentored scores of students who have become distinguished students in their own right.

Recent Danforth Lecturers

2011- R. Graham Cooks, Purdue University
Seminar: Chemical Analysis in Situ: Operating Rooms, Crime Scenes, Grocery Stores, & Factory Floors

2010- Geraldine Richmond, U. of Oregon
Convocation: Going Nonlinear to Understand Environmentally Important Processes at Liquid Surfaces; Seminar: Oil on Water: Calming the Seas but not the Science

2009- Jonas C. Peters, Mass. Inst. of Technology
Convocation: The quest for earth abundant hydrogen evolution catalysts; Seminar: Multi-electron transformations at low-coordinate iron centers

2008- Robert H. Grubbs, Calif. Inst. of Technology
Design of efficient olefin metathesis catalysts (lecture for chemistry students); Where fundamental chemistry can take you: Following the Olefin metathesis (lecture for general public)

2006- Peter C. Agre, Duke Univ. Medical Center
Seminar: Blueprints for Cellular Plumbing System; Convocation: My Life in Science: From Lake Wobegone to Stockholm; and HHMI Symposium Keynote Lecture: Aquaporin Water Channels - The Nobel Lecture