USF Faculty Changing the World: Chemistry

Thursday, October 31, 2013
11:45 AM - 12:30 PM
Lo Schiavo Science 103 - Computational Lab
Event Type
Events and Lectures
Tzagarakis-Foster, Christina

USF Faculty Changing the World: Chemistry

“Muting Pathogens: Strategies Towards Inhibiting Bacterial Quorum Sensing”

by Assistant Professor Megan Bolitho

Megan Bolitho earned an interdisciplinary BS degree in chemistry / biology from Loyola College in Maryland in 2004, where she participated in an undergraduate research project studying the mechanism of cellulase enzymes from thermophiles under Prof. Brian K. Barr. She then moved to Princeton University to begin research on bacterial quorum sensing under Prof. Martin F. Semmelhack. Her Ph.D. dissertation focused on investigating and modulating the ‘System 1’ quorum sensing systems of Vibrio harveyi and V. cholerae. After a brief post-doctoral appointment with Prof. Bonnie Bassler of Princeton’s molecular biology department, she joined the USF chemistry department in 2009, where she teaches courses in organic chemistry, biochemistry, and medicinal chemistry. Research in her laboratory centers on ‘System 2’ quorum sensing and involves rational design, organic synthesis, and computational and biochemical screening for small molecule inhibitors of interspecies bacterial communication.

“Characterization of Biofuels Combustion via Synchrotron Photoionization Mass Spectrometry”

by Associate Professor Giovanni Meloni

Prior to joining USF, Prof. Meloni carried out post-doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley and at Sandia National Laboratories. In this research, he used state-of-the-art techniques, both experimental and computational, to study transition states, semiconductor clusters, and van der Waals species employing anion photoelectron spectroscopy, and hydrocarbon radicals using pulsed-laser photolytic initiation and continuous-laser absorption detection. Prof. Meloni's current research interests range from high-temperature physical chemistry to spectroscopic characterization of reaction intermediates important to atmospheric and combustion chemistry, especially focusing on biofuel molecules.

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