Ilyas graduated with a Ph.D. in Physics and is now a postdoc in the group.
Previous graduates from the group continue to make more than steady progress. MARK BURKARD PH.D. ’01, M.D. ’02 started a faculty position in the Cancer Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. BLANTON TOLBERT PH.D. ’07 accepted a faculty position at Miami University in Ohio, where he will have access to both an 800 MHz and a 500 MHz NMR. NEEL SHANKAR PH.D. ’08 started a position at the Nix- on, Peabody law rm in Rochester, where he is working on pat- ents. SUSAN SCHROEDER PH.D. ’02 at the University of Oklahoma received an NSF Career Award. BRENT ZNOSKO
PH.D. ’04 had an NIH grant funded. As a postdoc with Na-
cho Tinoco at Berkeley, Gang Chen won an award for the best biophysical and structural biology poster at the RNA Society meeting and has accepted a new postdoc position with David Millar at the Scripps Institute in La Jolla. First year students Jonathan Chen and Sal Priore should add to the tradition. Jon was an undergraduate major in Optics at UR and Sal graduated from SUNY Geneseo and is in the MD/PhD program.
Doug presented the group's work at an RNA Ontology Meet- ing in Berlin, and in talks at Carnegie Mellon, where he was hosted by BRUCE ARMITAGE B.S. ‘88, Binghamton Uni- versity, and the University of Oklahoma, where he was hosted
by Susan Schroeder. He also gave a talk at the SUNY Albany Chemistry graduation, where he advised the students to nd what they love and then nd somebody to pay them to do it.
e words made Doug realize how lucky he is. He was also
lucky to be called back as a pinch hitter to review training grants for the NIH. One site visit was to Berkeley where he was able to dine with former students Gang Chen and XIAOYING CHEN PH.D. ’00 at dinner; YI LI PH.D. ’97 and MING WU PH.D. ’96 at a late breakfast; and to talk on the phone with XIAOQI JIAO PH.D.’95, who called the dinner group aer getting o a plane at the San Francisco Airport. Doug also spent time with his postdoctoral advisor, Nacho Tinoco. In June, the group welcomed Ela Kierzek to the lab for a summer visit. She will be joined later by Ryszard.
In the Spring, Doug taught part of the Biophysical Chemis- try course and all of the Monday, Wednesday, Friday rst year Chemistry course. In the latter, he tries to give an assignment that will help students develop their creativity. is year, the assignment was to write a page for an apocryphal book called "e Cold Diet," where the theme is that thermodynamics pre- dicts that eating meals cold provides fewer calories. Unfortu- nately, many students found relevant web sites, including one with an article called "e Ice Diet." In the future, Doug will have to be more creative to stay a step ahead of Google.
Daniel J. Weix
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Ph.D. 2005, University of California, Berkeley
e development of new catalytic methods for organic synthesis with an emphasis on the
isolation of potential intermediates and the study of proposed elementary steps. Current interests include transition-metal-catalyzed C-C bond forming reactions; the synthesis of alcohols and amines; enantioselective catalysis; concurrent tandem catalysis and articial megasynthases.
Research in DANIEL WEIX’s group is in full swing with three students joining the group in 2008: Daniel A. Everson (Univer- sity of St. omas), Michael R. Prinsell (Colgate University), and Ruja Shrestha (Lake Forest College). In addition, we re- cently welcomed our rst graduate student of 2009, Alex Wotal (Hope College). Aer setting up the labs (located in Hutchison Hall 421 and 422) in record time, we got down to the business of developing new catalytic reactions. In the general area of cross- coupling reactions we now have excellent initial results on several fronts which we hope to communicate this coming year. In addi- tion to the multiple cross-coupling projects, we have several other new reactions that are under development. Every day brings new reactivity it seems and our poor GC can barely keep up. We were able to secure a starter grant from the Petroleum Research Fund
(administered by the American Chemical Society) in support of our work. Daniel Everson garnered an honorable mention in the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program and Ruja Shrestha was chosen to attend the NSF-sponsored CENTC (Center for Enabling New Technologies rough Catalysis) summer school at the University of Washington. Daniel Weix taught CHM 435 Organic Reactions in the fall and found it to be demanding but rewarding. Daniel also helped out with the graduate student re- cruiting this year (yielding a record number of rst-year graduate students anticipated to join the Department this fall) and be- came a member of the Chemistry Department safety committee.
e Weix family, Dan’s wife and two children, have acclimated
well to their rst year in Rochester and Dan looks forward to the coming academic year at the University of Rochester.