Chemistry professor hopes to open students’ eyes to new research

John Milligan

Chemist Daniel Chiu’s research on single cells could be instrumental in developing cancer treatments. He will speak about his work today at 6 p.m. in Williams Hall Room 110.

Chiu, a professor at the University of Washington, will discuss the unique properties of individual cells and how they can help solve complex biological problems.

Kent State chemistry professor Hanbin Mao said Chiu’s research is a fascinating branch of chemistry.

“That area [of chemistry] is pretty hot right now,” Mao said. “They’re examining individual cells instead of tissues.”

Chiu’s research group has used laser technology and cellular manipulation to examine individual cells with greater precision than possible in the past.

In addition to Chiu’s lecture, Thursday’s event also serves as a “welcome back” for chemistry students.

Mao said he believes the lecture will give students a chance to see scientific theory practiced in research as well as an opportunity to expose themselves to a different research area in the biochemistry field.

“There is a disconnect between the textbook, fundamental theories and practice,” Mao said. “By practicing, you’ll understand the knowledge in the textbook better. The lecture may provoke an interest in the field.”

The Akron chapter of the American Chemical Society will help sponsor the event in hopes that students will pursue the field.

Bryan Katzenmeyer, chair of the ACS’s Akron Section, said the society does more than bring in guest lecturers.

“The ACS is committed to transforming people’s lives through chemistry,” Katzenmeyer said. “If you can broaden your knowledge about the environment, medicine and chemistry, you can understand more about what’s going on around you.”

Katzenmeyer said he would like to see more chemistry and biochemistry students involved with the program.

“We do a lot of recruiting. In the past Kent hasn’t been as involved as it could be,” Katzenmeyer said. “I see that as an untapped resource.”

Annual membership in the ACS costs $24-$46 for undergrads, but Katzenmeyer said it provides many advantages.

“There are a lot of resources as far as getting jobs,” Katzenmeyer said. “The ACS can help you tailor your resume. The society also offers research and travel grants.”

Katzenmeyer said he encourages students to attend Chiu’s lecture.

“It’s never too early to start networking,” Katzenmeyer said.

Contact John Milligan at [email protected].