Issue Date: October 8, 2007
For Some Women, Staying Put Has Its Rewards
Carolyn R. Bertozzi (C&EN, Jan. 21, 2002, page 42) was named director of the Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in January 2006. The foundry fosters research in nanoscience by providing scientists from academia, industry, national labs, and other research institutes with free access to state-of-the-art instrumentation to pursue experiments that would be difficult to perform in their home institutions. Bertozzi, who is also T. Z. & Irmgard Chu Distinguished Professor in the departments of chemistry and molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, is engineering nanoscale materials for interactions with biological systems. Her group is involved in the development of a nanoinjector that employs a carbon nanotube as a needle to inject membrane-impermeable materials into cells. They have also developed biomimetic polymers that passivate the surfaces of carbon nanotubes and reduce their cytotoxicity. The lab continues its development of chemical tools to image glycans in living systems.
Allison Campbell (C&EN, Feb. 25, 2002, page 31) was named director of the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a Department of Energy national scientific user facility at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, in April 2005. Her research on biomimetic coatings for metal implants is now being commercialized by the company Bacterin International, in Belgrade, Mont. Last year, Campbell received an R&D 100 Award from R&D Magazine and a Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer for this research. On a personal note, Campbell now has a third Labrador retriever, and she and her partner, Julie, enjoy hiking and fishing in Canada.
Julia Y. Chan (C&EN, June 24, 2002, page 40) received tenure in 2005 and is now an associate professor of chemistry at Louisiana State University. In the past several years, her research group has grown single crystals of many new intermetallic compounds exhibiting large magnetoresistance and heavy fermion behavior. The work has contributed to the understanding of the relationship between superconductivity and magnetism. Chan also heads the multidisciplinary hiring initiative in materials research at LSU, helping to recruit a diverse faculty. Chan got married in 2004, and she continues to play violin with the LSU symphony orchestra.
Kathleen O. Havelka (C&EN, Oct. 28, 2002, page 26) has moved from the research side of Lubrizol to the commercial side. She is now global business manager of automotive aftermarket products. She says her technical background has helped her identify emerging areas for innovation that will continue to enable sales growth. In fact, Havelka managed to double sales of automotive aftermarket products in a period of less than three years and to more than double profitability. In addition, Havelka is launching a new line of biofuel products and is writing a handbook titled, "Biofuels: Technical and Commercial Opportunities." Havelka is the immediate past-chair of the ACS Division of Polymer Chemistry. At home, Havelka is getting used to an empty nest. Her daughter, Katie, just started college at Purdue University and is majoring in engineering.
Lynda K. Johnson (C&EN, Dec. 23, 2002, page 19) is involved in a completely different research area at DuPont Central R&D, in Wilmington, Del., than she was five years ago. Johnson, now a senior research associate in materials science and engineering, had been developing catalysts for olefin polymerization. When that project was converted into a licensing program, she joined two interdisciplinary research teams that were developing printable electronic materials for applications in flexible electronics and displays. Johnson had to learn everything on the fly and considered it an opportunity to challenge and broaden herself. "In industry, you can't always choose your project, but you can choose what you make of it and what you bring to it," she says, adding that the most rewarding aspect of the past five years has been the opportunity to work with scientists from a diverse range of backgrounds and specialties. Johnson and her husband have two daughters, ages five and eight.
Alanna Schepartz (C&EN, April 22, 2002, page 37), Milton Harris '29 Ph.D. Professor of Chemistry and professor of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at Yale University, says that over the past five years, her lab has broadened considerably. "Its focus has changed substantially from looking in detail at kinetics and thermodynamics of biomolecular systems outside the cell to evaluating those same chemical features inside the cell," she says. Her group is currently studying how to move miniature proteins-very small, yet well-folded proteins that inhibit or promote protein—protein interactions with exceptional levels of specificity—into the cell to generate molecules that could have potential as intracellular protein drugs. In addition, the lab has begun to study the conformational properties of short β peptides; it was the first lab to report a crystal structure of a bundle of β peptides that have many of the kinetic and thermodynamic features of natural proteins. In work soon to be published, the group reports new chemical tools to characterize different protein conformational states and associations inside the cell.
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