Category: News

MAF senior scientist recognized for contributions to surface science community

October 18, 2021

MAF staff member Dan Graham was recently selected to receive the 2021 AVS Applied Surface Science Division Peter M. A. Sherwood Mid-Career Professional Award for innovation and leadership in the application of Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) to organic and biological materials and for the development of practical multivariate analysis tools. [...]


Miqin Zhang lab
Tiny structures, big impact

October 12, 2021

Miqin Zhang is working to improve cancer treatment with nanoparticles made from the same material found in crustacean shells. [...]


UW MolE Welcomes 2021 Cohort

October 1, 2021

Join us in welcoming our 8th cohort of future molecular engineers! The 2021 cohort consists of nine students with backgrounds in either engineering or the natural sciences, all of whom are interested in developing innovative molecular-based solutions to pressing grand challenges. Learn more about our newest trainees and their current research interests. [...]


NSF to fund revolutionary center for optoelectronic, quantum technologies

September 9, 2021

The National Science Foundation has announced it will fund a new endeavor to bring atomic-level precision to the devices and technologies that underpin much of modern life, and will transform fields like information technology in the decades to come. The five-year, $25 million Science and Technology Center grant will found the Center for Integration of Modern Optoelectronic Materials on Demand — or IMOD — a collaboration of scientists and engineers at 11 universities led by the University of Washington. [...]


University of Washington and Microsoft researchers develop “nanopore-tal” enabling cells to talk to computers

August 12, 2021

The research team, which includes MolE graduate student Nicolas Cardozo, introduce a new class of reporter proteins that can be directly read by a commercially available nanopore sensing device. The new system ― dubbed “Nanopore-addressable protein Tags Engineered as Reporters,” also known as NanoporeTERs or NTERs for short ― can perform multiplexed detection of protein expression levels from bacterial and human cell cultures far beyond the capacity of existing techniques. [...]


WSAS logo web
MolES faculty members elected to Washington State Academy of Sciences

July 16, 2021

Chemistry Professors Alshakim Nelson and Munira Khalil are among the 38 new members of the Washington State Academy of Sciences recognized for their “outstanding record of scientific and technical achievement and willingness to work on behalf of the Academy to bring the best available science to bear on issues within the state of Washington." [...]


Carothers gray background
UW synthetic biologist James Carothers wins ARPA-E award to develop new CO2 bioconversion process

July 13, 2021

The funding will be used to develop scalable, cell-free platforms that enable the capture and conversion of carbon dioxide into industrial chemicals, providing manufacturers with a cheaper, more efficient and sustainable means of chemical production. [...]


Molecular engineering graduates tackle global grand challenges

July 12, 2021

This past year, in the midst of a global pandemic, nine students in the Molecular Engineering Ph.D. Program (MolE) completed their degrees. Learn how they applied molecular engineering principles to enable a healthier and more sustainable world and what they're up to next. [...]


2021_Folch_Conversation microfluidics
Microfluidics: The tiny, beautiful tech hidden all around you

May 17, 2021

In this piece for The Conversation, bioengineering professor Albert Folch describes how microfluidic devices use the strange behavior of fluids in tiny spaces to impact medicine, science and the modern world. [...]


Alzheimers Disease concept, Brain degenerative diseases Parkinson
Alzheimer’s research gets a boost

April 6, 2021

Bioengineering startup AltPep advances technology for the early detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s and other amyloid diseases. [...]


Role of solvent molecules in light-driven electron transfer revealed

March 12, 2021

In a study published in Nature Chemistry, a research team led by MolES faculty member Munira Khalil, professor and chair of chemistry at the UW, has captured the rapid motions of solvent molecules that impact light-driven electron transfer in a molecular complex for the first time. This information could help researchers learn how to control energy flow in molecules, potentially leading to more efficient clean energy sources. [...]


Inspiring Black scientists at UW
List of 1,000 inspiring Black scientists includes two MolES researchers

February 11, 2021

James Carothers, a professor of chemical engineering, and Jessica Ray, a professor of civil & environmental engineering, were both included in Cell Mentor's list of 1,000 inspiring Black scientists. [...]


19-20 Annual Report_Cover
MolES 2019-20 Annual Report

February 5, 2021

The Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute annual report for the 2019-20 academic year is now available. Learn about the work being done at MolES and the MAF by our faculty, students, and staff! The report features a snapshot of our institute, research highlights, faculty awards, our work to address racism in STEM, graduating students, and [...]


Husky hydrogel
Researchers use lasers and molecular tethers to create perfectly patterned platforms for tissue engineering

January 18, 2021

MolES faculty member Cole DeForest and colleagues have developed a technique to modify naturally occurring biological polymers with protein-based biochemical messages that affect cell behavior. Their approach, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, uses a near-infrared laser to trigger chemical adhesion of protein messages to a scaffold made from biological polymers such as collagen, a connective tissue found throughout our bodies. [...]


Alex Carr 345x180
Characterizing microbial communities in the human gut and soil to understand their roles in health, disease and the environment

December 16, 2020

Alex Carr is a 3rd year molecular engineering Ph.D. student co-advised by UW affiliated investigators Drs. Sean Gibbons and Nitin Baliga at the Institute for Systems Biology. We recently spoke with Carr about his research and his experience in the Molecular Engineering (MolE) Ph.D. program. How did you come to pursue a Ph.D. in molecular [...]


MolES researchers answer questions about molecular engineering in Reddit AMA

November 23, 2020

Graduate students, staff, and faculty from MolES recently participated in a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) about molecular engineering to help raise awareness about this growing discipline. Redditors from around the globe asked awesome questions - check out some of our favorites! [...]


2021_COE covid-tests-bioe-c4
A culture of collaboration

November 17, 2020

MolES faculty members Barry Lutz and Paul Yager pivoted their diagnostics research to support the need for COVID-19 testing. [...]


Break it up: Polymer derived from material in shrimp’s shells could deliver anti-cancer drugs to tumor sites

November 3, 2020

A University of Washington team led by Miqin Zhang, a MolES faculty member and professor of materials science and engineering, has developed a nanoparticle-based drug delivery system that can ferry a potent anti-cancer drug through the bloodstream safely. Their nanoparticle is derived from chitin, a natural and organic polymer that, among other things, makes up the outer shells of shrimp. [...]


Alshakim Nelson Named MolES Director of Education

November 2, 2020

Alshakim Nelson, UW associate professor of chemistry, has been named Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute (MolES) Director of Education. Nelson replaces Christine Luscombe, professor of chemistry and materials science & engineering, who served in the role prior to her recent appointment as interim chair of the Materials Science & Engineering Department. Nelson will lead the Molecular Engineering [...]


How to build a network of pharmaceutical biofactories

October 15, 2020

Advances in synthetic biology and biomaterials are opening up exciting prospects for the distributed manufacturing of drugs, food products, and other commodities. [...]