School of Humanities and Sciences
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Professor of Particle Physics and Astrophysics and of Physics
BioWhat were the first objects that formed in the Universe? Prof. Abel's group explores the first billion years of cosmic history using ab initio supercomputer calculations. He has shown from first principles that the very first luminous objects are very massive stars and has developed novel numerical algorithms using adaptive-mesh-refinement simulations that capture over 14 orders of magnitude in length and time scales. He currently continues his work on the first stars and first galaxies and their role in chemical enrichment and cosmological reionization. His group studies any of the first objects to form in the universe: first stars, first supernovae, first HII regions, first magnetic fields, first heavy elements, and so on. Most recently he is pioneering novel numerical algorithms to study collisionless fluids such as dark matter which makes up most of the mass in the Universe as well as astrophysical and terrestrial plasmas. He was the director of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology and Division Director at SLAC 2013-2018.
Professor of Physics and of Particle Physics and Astrophysics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsObservational astrophysics and cosmology; galaxies, galaxy clusters, dark matter and dark energy; applications of statistical methods; X-ray astronomy; X-ray detector development; optical astronomy; mm-wave astronomy; radio astronomy; gravitational lensing.
David Mulvane Ehrsam and Edward Curtis Franklin Professor in Chemistry, Emeritus
BioProfessor Emeritus Hans C. Andersen applies statistical mechanics to develop theoretical understanding of the structure and dynamics of liquids and new computer simulation methods to aid in these studies.
He was born in 1941 in Brooklyn, New York. He studied chemistry as an undergraduate, then physical chemistry as a doctoral candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S. 1962, Ph.D. 1966). At MIT he first learned about using a combination of mathematical techniques and the ideas of statistical mechanics to investigate problems of chemical and physical interest. This has been the focus of his research ever since. He joined the Stanford Department of Chemistry as Assistant Professor in 1968, and became Professor of Chemistry in 1980. He was named David Mulvane Ehrsam and Edward Curtis Franklin Professor in Chemistry in 1994. Professor Andersen served as department chairman from 2002 through 2005. Among many honors, his work has been recognized in the Theoretical Chemistry Award and Hildebrand Award in Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry of Liquids from the American Chemical Society, as well as the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching and Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching at Stanford. He has been elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Professor Andersen’s research program has used both traditional statistical mechanical theory and molecular dynamics computer simulation. Early in his career, he was one of the developers of what has come to be known as the Weeks-Chandler-Andersen theory of liquids, which is a way of understanding the structure, thermodynamics, and dynamics of simple dense liquids. Later, he developed several new simulation techniques – now in common use – for exploring the behavior of liquids, such as simulation of a system under constant pressure and/or temperature. He used computer simulations of normal and supercooled liquids to study the temperature dependence of molecular motion in liquids, crystallization in supercooled liquids, and the structure of amorphous solids.
Professor Andersen also developed and analyzed a class of simple lattice models, called facilitated kinetic Ising models, which were then widely used by others to provide insight into the dynamics of real liquids. He simulated simple models of rigid rod polymers to understand the dynamics of this type of material. More recently, in collaboration with Professor Greg Voth of the University of Chicago, he has applied statistical mechanical ideas to the development of coarse grained models of liquids and biomolecules. Such models can be used to simulate molecular systems on long time scales. He has also used mode coupling theory to describe and interpret experiments on rotational relaxation in supercooled liquids and nematogens, in collaboration with Professor Michael Fayer of the Stanford Chemistry Department.
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 the Department Chair of Chemical Engineering from 2018. 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 500 refereed publications and more than 65 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, both 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 Wilhelm Exner Medal from the Austrian Federal Minister of Science in 2018, the L'Oreal UNESCO Women in Science Award North America Laureate 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.
Associate Professor, Biology
Consulting Professor, Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsPlants make new leaves and stems from clusters of undifferentiated cells located at the tips of branches. These cell clusters are called apical meristems. We study transcription factors that control growth and development of apical meristems. Our studies include plants growing in environments rich in water and nutrients as well as in poor environments. The deeper knowledge of plant development gained from these studies will ultimately help increase food security in a changing environment.
Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs, Jagdeep and Roshni Singh Professor in the School of Engineering, and Professor, by courtesy, of Materials Science & Engineering and of Electrical Engineering
BioThe research in the Bent laboratory is focused on understanding and controlling surface and interfacial chemistry and applying this knowledge to a range of problems in semiconductor processing, micro- and nano-electronics, nanotechnology, and sustainable and renewable energy. Much of the research aims to develop a molecular-level understanding in these systems, and hence the group uses of a variety of molecular probes. Systems currently under study in the group include functionalization of semiconductor surfaces, mechanisms and control of atomic layer deposition, molecular layer deposition, nanoscale materials for light absorption, interface engineering in photovoltaics, catalyst and electrocatalyst deposition.
Professor of Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe use genetic, genomic and cell biological approaches to study cell fate acquisition, focusing on cases where cell fate is correlated with asymmetric cell division.
Director, ChEM-H, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor, by courtesy, of Radiology and of Chemical and Systems Biology
BioProfessor Carolyn Bertozzi's research interests span the disciplines of chemistry and biology with an emphasis on studies of cell surface sugars important to human health and disease. Her research group profiles changes in cell surface glycosylation associated with cancer, inflammation and bacterial infection, and uses this information to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, most recently in the area of immuno-oncology.
Dr. Bertozzi completed her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Harvard University and her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley, focusing on the chemical synthesis of oligosaccharide analogs. During postdoctoral work at UC San Francisco, she studied the activity of endothelial oligosaccharides in promoting cell adhesion at sites of inflammation. She joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1996. A Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator since 2000, she came to Stanford University in June 2015, among the first faculty to join the interdisciplinary institute ChEM-H (Chemistry, Engineering & Medicine for Human Health). Named a MacArthur Fellow in 1999, Dr. Bertozzi has received many awards for her dedication to chemistry, and to training a new generation of scientists fluent in both chemistry and biology. She has been elected to the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and received the Lemelson-MIT Prize, the Heinrich Wieland Prize, and the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry, among many others. Her efforts in undergraduate education have earned the UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award and the Donald Sterling Noyce Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
Today, the Bertozzi Group at Stanford studies the glycobiology underlying diseases such as cancer, inflammatory disorders such as arthritis, and infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. The work has advanced understanding of cell surface oligosaccharides involved in cell recognition and inter-cellular communication.
Dr. Bertozzi's lab also develops new methods to perform controlled chemical reactions within living systems. The group has developed new tools for studying glycans in living systems, and more recently nanotechnologies for probing biological systems. Such "bioorthogonal" chemistries enable manipulation of biomolecules in their living environment.
Several of the technologies developed in the Bertozzi lab have been adapted for commercial use. Actively engaged with several biotechnology start-ups, Dr. Bertozzi founded Redwood Bioscience of Emeryville, California, and has served on the research advisory board of GlaxoSmithKline.
Charles and Elizabeth Prothro Professor in Marine Sciences
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThermal physiology, open ocean predators, ecological physiology and tuna biology
Steven M. Block
The Stanford W. Ascherman, M.D., Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and of Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsSingle molecule biophysics using optical trapping and fluorescence
Bing Director in Human Biology, Emerita
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI am interested in how environmental variation affects life history traits, population structure and dynamics, and species interactions in ecological and evolutionary time, using Lepidoptera.
Camille Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsPlease visit my website for complete information:
J.G. Jackson and C.J. Wood Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus
BioJohn Brauman’s research has advanced the understanding of the factors that determine the rates and products of chemical reactions. His primary areas of effort have involved the spectroscopy, photochemistry, reaction dynamics, and reaction mechanisms of gas-phase ions.
John I. Brauman was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1937. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (S.B. 1959) and the University of California at Berkeley (Ph.D. 1963). Following a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles, he accepted a position at Stanford University where he is now J. G. Jackson - C. J. Wood Professor of Chemistry Emeritus, and serves as Associate Dean of Research. He was previously Department Chair and Associate Dean for Natural Sciences.
Brauman’s work has been recognized in the National Medal of Science, National Academy of Sciences Award in Chemical Sciences, Linus Pauling Medal, Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching from Stanford University, among many other honors. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the American Chemical Society, and Honorary Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. He received the 2017 ACS Parsons Award in recognition of his service to public science communication and policy, which includes roles as Deputy Editor for Physical Sciences and Editorial Board Chair for Science magazine, and Home Secretary of the National Academy of Sciences.
Research in the Brauman Group centered on structure and reactivity. Brauman has studied ionic reactions in the gas phase, including acid-base chemistry, the mechanisms of proton transfers, nucleophilic displacement, and addition-elimination reactions. His work has explored the shape of the potential surfaces and the dynamics of reactions on these surfaces. He has made contributions to the field of electron photodetachment spectroscopy of negative ions, measurements of electron affinities, the study of dipole-supported electronic states, and multiple photon infrared activation of ions. He has also studied mechanisms of solution and gas phase organic reactions as well as organometallic reactions and the behavior of biomimetic organometallic species.
BioDr. Megan Brennan's interests include the development of organic chemistry lab courses that give students hands-on opportunities to explore chemistry while reinforcing and building upon concepts learned in lecture classes. She aims for her labs to bring chemistry to life, and to afford students a chance to have fun and experience a taste of scientific discovery.
While studying chemistry at Lafayette College (B.S. 2002), Dr. Brennan worked on the preparation of triazaphenanthrenes and the Oxa–Pictet–Spengler reaction of 1-(3-furyl)alkan-2-ols. She completed her doctoral work at Stanford (Ph.D. 2008), conducting her thesis research in palladium asymmetric allylic alkylation under the advisement of Professor Barry Trost. During her postdoctoral research with Professor Scott Miller at Yale University, she investigated the use of peptides containing a thiazole side chain for use in acyl anion chemistry. She joined the teaching staff at University of California, Berkeley in 2010 before coming returning to Stanford in 2011 to spearhead the development of a new summer organic chemistry sequence, a comprehensive course designed for pre-meds, offering an entire year of organic chemistry in nine weeks.
Dr. Brennan also acts as the liaison to the chemistry majors, to promote events with faculty in both the academic and social aspect: providing an environment that allows students to be comfortable and able to learn, while helping them take advantage of every opportunity that Stanford offers.
Dr. Brennan's current research is in the development classroom experiments that bring cutting edge industrial and academic research into the undergraduate laboratory experience.
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and, by courtesy, of Applied Physics
BioMark Brongersma is a Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University. He received his PhD in Materials Science from the FOM Institute in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in 1998. From 1998-2001 he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the California Institute of Technology. During this time, he coined the term “Plasmonics” for a new device technology that exploits the unique optical properties of nanoscale metallic structures to route and manipulate light at the nanoscale. His current research is directed towards the development and physical analysis of nanostructured materials that find application in nanoscale electronic and photonic devices. Brongersma received a National Science Foundation Career Award, the Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching, the International Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences (Physics) for his work on plasmonics, and is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, the SPIE, and the American Physical Society.
Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science and Professor of Photon Science, of Applied Physics, of Physics and Director, Stanford PULSE Institute
BioPhil Bucksbaum holds the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Chair in Natural Science at Stanford University, with appointments in Physics, Applied Physics, and in Photon Science at SLAC. He conducts his research in the Stanford PULSE Institute (https://web.stanford.edu/~phbuck). He and his wife Roberta Morris live in Menlo Park, California with their cat. Their grown daughter lives in Toronto.
Bucksbaum was born and raised in Iowa, and graduated from Harvard in 1975. He attended U.C. Berkeley on a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship and received his Ph.D. in 1980 for atomic parity violation experiments under Professor Eugene Commins, with whom he also has co-authored a textbook, “Weak Interactions of Leptons and Quarks.” In 1981 he joined Bell Laboratories, where he pursued new applications of ultrafast coherent radiation from terahertz to vacuum ultraviolet, including time-resolved VUV ARPES, and strong-field laser-atom physics.
He joined the University of Michigan in 1990 and stayed for sixteen years, becoming Otto Laporte Collegiate Professor and then Peter Franken University Professor. He was founding Director of FOCUS, a National Science Foundation Physics Frontier Center, where he pioneered research using ultrafast lasers to control quantum systems. He also launched the first experiments in ultrafast x-ray science at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Lab. In 2006 Bucksbaum moved to Stanford and SLAC, and organized the PULSE Institute to develop research utilizing the world’s first hard x-ray free-electron laser, LCLS. In addition to directing PULSE, he has previously served as Department Chair of Photon Science and Division Director for Chemical Science at SLAC. His current research is in laser interrogation of atoms and molecules to explore and image structure and dynamics on the femtosecond scale. He currently has more than 250 publications.
Bucksbaum is a Fellow of the APS and the Optical Society, and has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has held Guggenheim and Miller Fellowships, and was Optical Society President in 2014. He will serve as the President of the American Physical Society in 2020. He has led or participated in many professional service activities, including NAS studies, national and international boards, initiatives, lectureships and editorships.
The Gabilan Professor
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsObservational cosmology. Dark energy. Weak gravitational lensing.
Preparing for science with the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST).
Member of the LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration.
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch in our group explores the boundaries of modern organic synthesis to enable the more rapid creation of the highest molecular complexity in a predictable and controllable fashion. We are particularly inspired by natural products not only because of their importance as synthetic targets but also due to their ability to serve as invaluable identifiers of unanswered scientific questions.
One major focus of our research is selective halogenation of organic molecules. Dihalogenation and halofunctionalization encompass some of the most fundamental transformations in our field, yet methods capable of accessing relevant halogenated motifs in a chemo-, regio-, and enantioselective fashion are lacking.
We are also interested in the practical total synthesis of natural products for which there is true impetus for their construction due to unanswered chemical, medicinal, biological, or biophysical questions. We are specifically engaged in the construction of unusual lipids with unanswered questions regarding their physical properties and for which synthesis offers a unique opportunity for study.
Professor of Biomedical Data Science, of Genetics and, by courtesy, of Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy genetics research focuses on analyzing genome wide patterns of variation within and between species to address fundamental questions in biology, anthropology, and medicine. We focus on novel methods development for complex disease genetics and risk prediction in multi-ethnic settings. I am also interested in clinical data science and development of new diagnostics.I am also interested in disruptive innovation for healthcare including modeling long-term risk shifts and novel payment models.
The William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor and Professor of Photon Science
BioRobert L. Byer has served as President of The American Physical Society, of the Optical Society of America and of the IEEE LEOS. He has served as Vice Provost and Dean of Research at Stanford. He has been Chair of the Department of Applied Physics, Director of the Edward L. Ginzton Laboratory and Director of the Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory. He is a founding member of the California Council on Science and Technology and served as Chair from 1995-1999. He was a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board from 2002-2006 and has been a member of the National Ignition Facility since 2000.
Robert L. Byer has conducted research and taught classes in lasers and nonlinear optics at Stanford University since 1969. He has made extraordinary contributions to laser science and technology including the demonstration of the first tunable visible parametric oscillator, the development of the Q-switched unstable resonator Nd:YAG laser, remote sensing using tunable infrared sources and precision spectroscopy using Coherent Anti Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS). Current research includes precision laser measurements in support of the detection of gravitational waves and laser “Accelerator on a chip”.
Stanley G. Wojcicki Professor
BioFor five years up to mid-2015 has been Spokesperson for the SuperCDMS (Cryogenic Dark Matter Search) collaboration with twenty-two member institutions, which mounted a series of experiments in the Soudan mine in northern Minnesota to search for the dark matter in the form of weakly interacting massive particles or WIMPs. This direct detection effort has lead the world in sensitivity for much of the past ten years and utilizes novel cryogenic detectors using germanium and silicon crystals operated below 0.1 K. The completed CDMS II experiment operated 4 kg of germanium and 1 kg of silicon for two years and set the most sensitive limits at the time for spin-independent interactions for WIMPs masses above 40 GeV/c2. The SuperCDMS Soudan experiment operated 9 kg of germanium until the end of calendar 2015.
He was selected for a three-term as Project Director, through mid 2018, for the approved second generation (G2) SuperCDMS SNOLAB experiment which will operate 30 kg of Ge and Si detectors in the deeper SNOLAB facility in Canada. The project searches for low mass WIMPs (0.1 - 10 GeV/c2) and the cryostat facility will allow future upgrades to search down to the solar neutrino floor. It has recently been approved for full construction by the DOE and NSF.
Barnum-Simons Chair in Math and Statistics, and Professor of Statistics and, by courtesy, of Electrical Engineering
BioEmmanuel Candès is the Barnum-Simons Chair in Mathematics and Statistics, a professor of electrical engineering (by courtesy) and a member of the Institute of Computational and Mathematical Engineering at Stanford University. Earlier, Candès was the Ronald and Maxine Linde Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests are in computational harmonic analysis, statistics, information theory, signal processing and mathematical optimization with applications to the imaging sciences, scientific computing and inverse problems. He received his Ph.D. in statistics from Stanford University in 1998.
Candès has received several awards including the Alan T. Waterman Award from NSF, which is the highest honor bestowed by the National Science Foundation, and which recognizes the achievements of early-career scientists. He has given over 60 plenary lectures at major international conferences, not only in mathematics and statistics but in many other areas as well including biomedical imaging and solid-state physics. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014.
Ann and Bill Swindells Professor, Emeritus
BioDr. Carlsson has been a professor of mathematics at Stanford University since 1991. In the last ten years, he has been involved in adapting topological techniques to data analysis, under NSF funding and as the lead PI on the DARPA “Topological Data Analysis” project from 2005 to 2010. He is the lead organizer of the ATMCS conferences, and serves as an editor of several Mathematics journals
Associate Professor of Chemistry and, by courtesy, of Chemical Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur research program integrates chemistry, biology, and physics to investigate the assembly and function of macromolecular and whole-cell systems. The genomics and proteomics revolutions have been enormously successful in generating crucial "parts lists" for biological systems. Yet, for many fascinating systems, formidable challenges exist in building complete descriptions of how the parts function and assemble into macromolecular complexes and whole-cell factories. We are inspired by the need for new and unconventional approaches to solve these outstanding problems and to drive the discovery of new therapeutics for human disease.
Our approach is different from the more conventional protein-structure determinations of structural biology. We employ biophysical and biochemical tools, and are designing new strategies using solid-state NMR spectroscopy to examine assemblies such as amyloid fibers, bacterial cell walls, whole cells, and biofilms. We would like to understand at a molecular and atomic level how bacteria self-assemble extracellular structures, including functional amyloid fibers termed curli, and how bacteria use such building blocks to construct organized biofilm architectures. We also employ a chemical genetics approach to recruit small molecules as tools to interrupt and interrogate the temporal and spatial events during assembly processes and to develop new strategies to prevent and treat infectious diseases. Overall, our approach is multi-pronged and provides training opportunities for students interested in research at the chemistry-biology interface.
Donald E. Knuth Professor and Professor, by courtesy, of Mathematics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsApproximation algorithms for discrete optimization problems with provable guarantees; convex optimization approaches for non-convex combinatorial optimization problems; efficient algorithmic techniques for processing, searching and indexing massive high-dimensional data sets; efficient algorithms for computational problems in high-dimensional statistics and optimization problems in machine learning; low-distortion embeddings of finite metric spaces.
James K. Chen
Jauch Professor and Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology, of Developmental Biology and of Chemistry
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur laboratory combines chemistry and developmental biology to investigate the molecular events that regulate embryonic patterning, tissue regeneration, and tumorigenesis. We are currently using genetic and small-molecule approaches to study the molecular mechanisms of Hedgehog signaling, and we are developing chemical technologies to perturb and observe the genetic programs that underlie vertebrate development.
Associate Professor of Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur goal is to understand how brain circuits mediate motivated behaviors, and how maladaptive changes in these circuits cause mood disorders. To achieve this goal, we focus on studying the neural circuits for pain and addiction, as both trigger highly motivated behaviors, whereas, transitioning from acute to chronic pain or from recreational to compulsive drug use involves maladaptive changes of the underlying neuronal circuitry.
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe Chidsey group research interest is to build the chemical base for molecular electronics. To accomplish this, we synthesize the molecular and nanoscopic systems, build the analytical tools and develop the theoretical understanding with which to study electron transfer between electrodes and among redox species through insulating molecular bridges
William R. Kenan Jr. Professor and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsSynthesis, functionalization and applications of nanoparticle bioprobes for molecular cellular in vivo imaging in biology and biomedicine. Linear and nonlinear difference frequency mixing ultrasound imaging. Lithium metal-sulfur batteries, new approaches to electrochemical splitting of water. CO2 reduction, lithium extraction from salt water
Vice Provost for Faculty Development, Teaching and Learning and Professor of Physics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsExperimental & Observational Astrophysics and Cosmology
George A. and Hilda M. Daubert Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus
BioProfessor Emeritus James Collman has made landmark contributions to inorganic chemistry, metal ion biochemistry, homogeneous catalysis, and transition metal organometallic chemistry. He pioneered numerous now-popular research tools to reveal key structural and functional details of metalloenzymes essential to respiration and energy, and hemoglobin and myoglobin, essential to oxygen transport in the blood.
Born 1932 in Beatrice, Nebraska, James P. Collman studied chemistry at U. Nebraska–Lincoln (B.S. 1954, M.S. 1956). His doctoral work at U. Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Ph.D., 1958) focused on Grignard reagents. As a faculty member at U. North Carolina, he demonstrated aromatic reactivity in metal acetylacetonates, and he developed metal complexes that hydrolyze peptide bonds under physiological conditions. He came to Stanford University as Professor of Chemistry in 1967. Among many honors, Prof. Collman’s was elected to the National academy of Sciences in 1975, and named California Scientist of the Year in 1983.
At Stanford, Prof. Collman invented a new paradigm for studying biological systems using functional synthetic analogs of metal-containing enzyme systems, free from the protein coatings that can affect metalloprotein chemical properties. This strategy allowed him to elucidate the intrinsic reactivity of the metal center as well as the effects of protein-metal interactions on biological function.
One focal point of this research has involved heme-proteins such as the oxygen (O2) carrier hemoglobin (Hb), and the O2-storing protein myoglobin (Mb). Prof. Collman was the first to prepare and characterize stable, functional analogues of the Hb and Mb active sites, which contain an iron derivative of the large flat “porphyrin” ligand. In his “picket fence” porphyrin, groups installed on the periphery block side reactions, which would otherwise degrade the structure. This protected iron complex manifests the unique magnetic, spectroscopic and structural characteristics of the O2-binding Hb and Mb sites, and exhibits very similar O2-binding affinities.
The Collman Group also prepared functional mimics of the O2-binding/reducing site in a key respiration enzyme, cytochrome c oxidase, CcO, which converts O2 to H2O during biosynthesis of the energy storage molecule ATP. This enzyme must be very selective: partial O2 reduction products are toxic. Prof. Collman invented a powerful synthetic strategy to create analogs of the CcO active site and applied novel electrochemical techniques to demonstrate that these models catalyze the reduction of O2 to water without producing toxic partially-reduced species. He was able to mimic slow, rate-limiting electron delivery by attaching his CcO model to a liquid-crystalline membrane using “click chemistry.” He demonstrated that hydrogen sulfide molecules and heterocycles reversibly bind to the metal centers at CcO’s active site, connecting a synthetic enzyme model to simple molecules that reversibly inhibit respiration. These respiration inhibitors exhibit physiological properties, affecting blood clotting and controlling the effects of the hormone, nitric oxide, NO.
In addition, Prof. Collman performed fundamental studies of organometallic reactions. He also prepared and characterized homodinuclear and heterodinuclear complexes having metal-metal multiple bonds, and made the first measurements of the rotational barriers found in multiple metal-metal bonds.
Prof. Collman’s impactful textbook “Principles and Applications of Organotransition Metal Chemistry” has seen multiple editions. His book “Naturally Dangerous: Surprising Facts About Food, Health, and the Environment” explains the science behind everyday life, and received favorable reviews in Nature and The Washington Post.