School of Humanities and Sciences


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  • Shibdas Banerjee (Monon)

    Shibdas Banerjee (Monon)

    Visiting Assistant Professor, Chemistry

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch Area 1:
    Diagnosis of Cancer by Metabolic Signatures Using Desorption Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometric Imaging

    The important hallmark feature of tumorigenesis is the global shift in metabolism imparted by the malfunctioning of oncogenes. Oncogenes are known to regulate the key genes involved in the lipid metabolism. This phenomenon suggests that in situ analyses of cancerous cell/tissue metabolites (lipids) could reveal potential biomarkers or molecular targets to detect, diagnose and prognosticate cancer. Thus, the ability to easily record the metabolic signature of biopsy specimens (within minutes of biopsy) would eventually develop a rapid, quantitative and accurate pathology method for early detection and diagnosis of clinically relevant diseases including cancer.
    Recently, an innovative form of an ambient mass spectrometry (highly sensitive analytical approach) called desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (DESI-MS) has been developed to provide the microscopic examination of cancer metabolism in tissues. DESI-MS has been demonstrated to construct ion images for the visualization (distribution) of molecules/metabolites on the histological section. It appears from the our preliminary studies that imaging the spatial distribution of different phospholipids and cholesterol sulfates in different organs (lipid profiles in tissues) have significance in disease diagnosis including provision of information on tumor margins to guide doctors during surgical removal of the corresponding tumor.



    Research Area 2:
    Microdroplet Chemistry: From Conducting Chemical Transformation to Probing the Reaction Mechanism

    The charged microdroplets, generated by the electrospray (ES) process, have been shown to ionize intact chemical species followed by their transfer to the gas phase. This ionization technique is now being routinely used as a standard soft-ionization process for different molecules including proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and other small organic or organometallic compounds for their mass spectrometric analysis. In last two decades, several groups have extensively worked to understand the nature of the ES droplet and the mechanism that leads to the production of gas-phase ions on the millisecond timescale. Taking the advantage of special charged environments of ES droplets, and the short timescale (ms) of their evolution, we are transcending the traditional applications of electrospray process from mass spectrometry to synthetic and mechanistic organic chemistry. There are several reactions, which are hard to achieve in conventional bulk-phase, and those too take long time (e.g., from hours to days) to yield significant amount of products. Our preliminary studies on such model reactions in microdroplets show the potential application of the ES process to induce acid/base catalyzed organic transformation on the millisecond timescale in limited and confined spaces (microdroplets) under charged environments. We found marked acceleration of those reaction rates even by a factor of a million when carried out in microdroplets. The mechanism is not presently established but droplet evaporation and droplet confinement of reagents appear to be two important factors among others. We suggest that this ‘microdroplet chemistry’ could be a remarkable alternative to accelerate slow and difficult reactions, and in conjunction with mass spectrometry, it may provide a new arena to study chemical and biochemical reactions in a confined environment. This ‘microdroplet chemistry’ is still in its infancy and heightens our interests to apply this method to organic syntheses on the preparative scale.
    Our studies also underscored the impressive capabilities of the ‘microdroplet chemistry’ to capture transient intermediates in solution-phase catalytic cycles of complex reactions to investigate the reaction mechanism.

  • Adam Banks

    Adam Banks

    Professor of Education

    BioCommitted teacher. Midnight Believer. A Slow Jam in a Hip Hop world. Cerebral and silly, outgoing and a homebody. Vernacular and grounded but academic and idealistic too. Convinced that Donny Hathaway is the most compelling artist of the entire soul and funk era, and that we still don't give Patrice Rushen enough love. I'm a crate digger, and DJ with words and ideas, and I believe that the people, voices and communities we bring with us to Stanford are every bit as important as those with which we engage here at Stanford.

    Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, I come to Stanford from the University of Kentucky, where I served on the faculty of the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies and prior to that, from Syracuse University, as a member of the faculty of the Writing Program. In addition to these appointments I served as the Langston Hughes Visiting Professor of English at the University of Kansas and, jointly with Andrea Lunsford, as the Rocky Gooch Visiting Professor for the Bread Loaf School of English.

    My scholarship lies at the intersections of writing, rhetoric and technology issues; my specialized interests include African American rhetoric, community literacy, digital rhetorics and digital humanities. My most recent book is titled Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age, and my current digital/book project is titled Technologizing Funk/Funkin Technology: Critical Digital Literacies and the Trope of the Talking Book.

  • Zhenan Bao

    Zhenan Bao

    K. K. Lee Professor in the School of Engineering, Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy and Professor, by courtesy, of Materials Science and Engineering and of Chemistry

    BioZhenan Bao joined Stanford University in 2004. She is currently a K.K. Lee Professor in Chemical Engineering, and with courtesy appointments in Chemistry and Material Science and Engineering. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Inventors. She founded the Stanford Wearable Electronics Initiative (eWEAR) and is the current faculty director. She is also an affiliated faculty member of Precourt Institute, Woods Institute, ChEM-H and Bio-X. Professor Bao received her Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from The University of Chicago in 1995 and joined the Materials Research Department of Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies. She became a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in 2001. Professor Bao currently has more than 400 refereed publications and more than 60 US patents. She served as a member of Executive Board of Directors for the Materials Research Society and Executive Committee Member for the Polymer Materials Science and Engineering division of the American Chemical Society. She was an Associate Editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Chemical Science, Polymer Reviews and Synthetic Metals. She serves on the international advisory board for Advanced Materials, Advanced Energy Materials, ACS Nano, Accounts of Chemical Reviews, Advanced Functional Materials, Chemistry of Materials, Chemical Communications, Journal of American Chemical Society, Nature Asian Materials, Materials Horizon and Materials Today. She is one of the Founders and currently sits on the Board of Directors of C3 Nano Co. and PyrAmes, bot are silicon valley venture funded companies. She is Fellow of AAAS, ACS, MRS, SPIE, ACS POLY and ACS PMSE. She was a recipient of the L'Oreal UNESCO Women in Science Award in 2017. She was awarded the ACS Applied Polymer Science Award in 2017, ACS Creative Polymer Chemistry Award in 2013 ACS Cope Scholar Award in 2011, and was selected by Phoenix TV, China as 2010 Most influential Chinese in the World-Science and Technology Category. She is a recipient of the Royal Society of Chemistry Beilby Medal and Prize in 2009, IUPAC Creativity in Applied Polymer Science Prize in 2008, American Chemical Society Team Innovation Award 2001, R&D 100 Award, and R&D Magazine Editors Choice Best of the Best new technology for 2001. She has been selected in 2002 by the American Chemical Society Women Chemists Committee as one of the twelve Outstanding Young Woman Scientist who is expected to make a substantial impact in chemistry during this century. She is also selected by MIT Technology Review magazine in 2003 as one of the top 100 young innovators for this century. She has been selected as one of the recipients of Stanford Terman Fellow and has been appointed as the Robert Noyce Faculty Scholar, Finmeccanica Faculty Scholar and David Filo and Jerry Yang Faculty Scholar.