Alumni and Friends Reception
On March 31, 2016, the Department of Chemistry held an Alumni and Friends Reception in the Pappalardo Room. Professor Tim Jamison opened the event by welcoming his guests, and stating how honored he was to have been appointed Head of the Department of Chemistry in July of last year. He then acknowledged his predecessor, Professor Sylvia Ceyer, and expressed his appreciation for her 5 very successful years in 
the role.
 
Jamison announced that chemistry faculty continue to garner major awards and research grants, and relayed that he is excited at the prospect of making several new faculty appointments in the coming months. He spoke about the extensive collaboration chemistry faculty enjoy across campus, and stressed the important role that basic science plays in these collaborations.
 
While expressing gratitude to the department donors present, he encouraged all to consider the department’s need to increase graduate fellowship support in their philanthropic planning. “The department’s risk of losing its competitive edge to other institutions who can offer more attractive financial packages,” he said, “is a critical concern.”  He stated that in MIT’s soon-to-be launched comprehensive Campaign, graduate student fellowship support will be listed as a core need for the Institute. He then introduced the two speakers, Professors Brad Pentelute and Yogi Surendranath.
 
Pentelute’s talk centered on his laboratory’s use of cysteine arylation to generate abiotic macromolecular proteins, the precision delivery of biomolecules into cells, and the development of fast flow platforms to rapidly produce polypeptides. Surendranath discussed his laboratory’s work on the fundamental chemistry of renewable energy, which involves developing new methods and synthetic approaches for probing and controlling the reactivity of solid-liquid interfaces at the molecular level.
 
After the talks, Jamison invited guests to ask questions and a lively exchange ensued. Members from the professors’ research groups also attended and enjoyed the opportunity to share details of their current work and future aspirations. As the event concluded, many guests commented on how enjoyable and interesting the evening had been, and said they looked forward to future opportunities to hear faculty speak. The department plans to hold similar events in the future!