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(aka Mr. Bonzo)  

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 Archive - August '07








Bill Gleason has started a blog, The Periodic Table (, in honor of Primo Levi. Some of the eternal questions addressed there are “Coke or Pepsi?” and “The Medallion or the Yugo?” This blog has had about 4,500 visitors and 11,000 page downloads. Visitors have included NSF, NIH, the Minneapolis and St. Paul newspapers, and many other interested parties. A statement of its purpose is: ”Periodic submissions related to chemistry, education, research, academic life at BigU, and anything else of interest to Mr. Bonzo. “

Summer Students

Christina Cowman, a chemistry/physics undergraduate, initiated her research this summer aided by a Heisig Fellowship from the chemistry department. She worked on synthesis and modeling of carbohydrate derivatives and presented a poster on her work. Christina has been awarded a UROP grant to continue her research this fall.

Leila Albers, chemistry PhD candidate, was invited to give an oral presentation of her work at the American Chemical Society national meeting in August 2007. She was also awarded a travel grant by the American Chemical Society.

Malgorzata (Margo) Siorek – a physics/chemistry undergraduate, continued her research this summer supported by a fellowship from the Minnesota Supercomputer Institute. She has been studying the docking of sulfonated materials with proteins as well as growing X-ray crystallographic quality crystals of protein/ligand complexes. She will continue her research this fall with UROP support.

Tou Vang – chemistry undergraduate, did a directed research project that involved computerization of an elderly gas chromatograph. He installed an interface board and software as well as implementing derivatization techniques appropriate for carbohydrate derivatives of interest to the lab.


Derek Straka – scholarship from chemistry department for upcoming academic year. Derek has been selected to represent the University of Minnesota at an international science meeting for undergraduates (The Challenge Cup) to be held in Tianjin, China. There he will present computational work done on drug docking and rational drug design. Nankai University will cover his airfare, meals, and lodging for participating in this meeting.

Malgorzata Siorek – tuition scholarship from the physics department for the upcoming year.

Leila Albers – travel grant for oral presentation of her work at the American Chemical Society national meeting in Boston, August 2007.

Recent Graduates

Tina Jahnke – B.A. chemistry (’07) has accepted a position at a biotech firm in Madison, Wisconsin. She did directed research on carbohydrate analyses.

Pooja Chakrabarty – B.S. biomedical engineering (’07) has accepted a position at Lifecore Biomedical in Chaska. Pooja did directed research and a UROP project on the inkjet printing of proteins.

Jane Shvelidze – B.S. biomedical engineering (’07) has accepted a position at Boston Scientific. Jane was a Minnesota Supercomputer Institute fellow who worked on an open source based (Octave) implementation Keith Baggerly’s mass spectral analysis programs.

News of Note

Lee Stanek (PhD, chemistry) – continues to work at Raytheon in the Boston area.

Bill Ojala (post-doc) – has a tenure-track position in the Chemistry Department at the University of St. Thomas.

Mira Charushiya (undergrad researcher) is a PhD candidate at UCSD.

Victor Huang (undergrad researcher) is in med school at UCSF.

Chi-Ting Huang (post-doc) continues to work in Boston for a biotech firm.

Kevin Albers (research assistant) continues work as a safety officer for Pierce Chemical in Rockford, IL.


Leila Albers and W. Gleason, “Synthesis of Polymerizable Methacrylate Derivatives of Polymers,” American Chemical Society national meeting, Boston, August (2007).

Derek Staka, Margo Siorek, Bill Gleason, “Further Computational Studies at the Micromolecule/Macromolecule Interface,” American Crystallographic Association national meeting, Salt Lake City, July (2007).

Margo Siorek, “Crystallographic and Docking Studies of Lysozyme With Azo Dyes,” Minnesota Supercomputer Institute Undergraduate Research Symposium, Walter Library, August (2007).

Christina Cowman, W. Gleason, Derek Straka, and Leila Albers, “Synthesis and Docking of Sulfated Carbohydrate Derivatives,” Materials Research Science and Engineering Center Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium, McNamara Alumni Center, August (2007).


As part of the ”Compleat Scholar” program at the university, Bill Gleason gave a series of lectures on Nanotechnology. The material was well received (e.g. effectiveness of the course in meeting stated learning objectives, 3.9/4.0) with comments such as: “This was a very interesting course. The topic material is very controversial. The instructor was very knowledgeable.” “This class was a great introduction to nanotechnology.” He has been asked to repeat the course again next May and will probably incorporate a little more information on medical aspects of nanotechnology, as this topic was well received. A CD containing course materials is available upon request.

August 21, 2007