Chemistry is truly the central science and underpins much of the efforts of scientists and engineers to improve life for humankind. TheMIT Department of Chemistryis taking a leading role in discovering new chemical synthesis, catalysis, creating sustainable energy, theoretical and experimental understanding of chemistry, improving the environment, detecting and curing disease, developing materials new properties, and nanoscience.
The Chemistry Education Office staff is responsible for administering the educational programs in the Department of Chemistry. Students can find answers to many questions about the undergraduate and graduate programs on the department website, and they are encouraged to stop by and see the staff in the office located in 6-205.
The student-run outreach programs in the Department of Chemistry aim to bring the excitement of chemical sciences to the community through lively demonstrations designed to illustrate a broad range of chemical principles. Graduate students visit science classes in high schools and middle schools in the Greater Boston area with a view to demystifying chemistry through hands-on experiments. ClubChem, an undergraduate chemistry organization, conducts Chemistry Magic Shows for elementary schools and youth programs in the Greater Boston area.
Chemistry is truly the central science and underpins much of the efforts of scientists and engineers to improve life for humankind. MIT Chemistry is taking a leading role in discovering new chemical synthesis, catalysis, creating sustainable energy, theoretical and experimental understanding of chemistry at its most fundamental level, unraveling the biochemical complexities of natural systems, improving the environment, detecting and curing disease, developing materials new properties, and nanoscience.
Dr. Gabriela Schlau-Cohen, currently a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, will join the department as an assistant professor on January 16, 2015.
Research in the Schlau-Cohen group will use a combination of single-molecule and ultrafast spectroscopies to explore the energetic and structural dynamics of biological systems. There are two major research thrusts. The first is developing new methodology to measure ultrafast dynamics on single proteins, which will be a means to study systems with both sub-nanosecond and second dynamics. The second merges optical spectroscopy with model membrane systems to provide a novel probe of how biological processes extend beyond the nanometer scale of individual proteins.
Inspired by the need to harness sunlight, one application of these approaches will be exploring the underlying mechanisms of photosynthetic light harvesting. Photosynthetic organisms convert absorbed sunlight to electricity with remarkable near unity quantum efficiency by transporting energy through a network of proteins. To understand the mechanisms behind this fundamental process, experiments will probe both the heterogeneity of the individual proteins and how they are wired together to produce efficient and adaptive systems.