Speaker Bios

Nick Dickenson, R. Gaurth Hansen Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Utah State University

Nick attended Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho where he graduated with bachelor's degrees in Chemistry and Human Biology in 2003. As a junior, he participated in an NSF REU program at the University of Kansas in Dr. Robert Dunn's research lab, solidifying his interest in graduate studies in Chemistry. After graduation, he joined the Ph.D. program and Dr. Dunn's research lab the Department of Chemistry at KU in 2003. He received his PhD in 2008 and joined Dr. Picking's research group at Oklahoma State University as a postdoc. He took a faculty position in the Biochemistry Department at Utah State University in 2013 where his lab is currently using numerous biophysical and biochemical techniques to better understand the regulatory mechanisms responsible for control and activation of bacterial type three secretion systems.

Charles Henry, Professor & Chair of Chemistry, Colorado State University

Charles S. Henry received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from Missouri Southern State College Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Arkansas followed by postdoctoral studies as an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the University of Kansas. He started his academic career at Mississippi State University before moving to Colorado State University in 2002. He is currently full professor and department chair of Chemistry at Colorado State University and also serves as a faculty member in Chemical & Biological Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. His research group focuses on developing new sensors and separation systems using lab-on-a-chip methods.

Heath Huckabay, Materials Scientist, Nuclear Security and Isotope Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Dr. Heath A. Huckabay performs research pertaining to method development and instrument design involving a broad range of analytical methods, including optical microscopy, spectroscopic analysis, mass spectrometry, and chemical separations. His recent work involves instrument design and use in material characterization for nonproliferation objectives, fundamental science related to the fuel cycle, and other work pertaining to the nonproliferation arena. Dr. Huckabay graduated from the University of Kansas in 2012, and is currently a Materials Scientist in the Nuclear Security and Isotope Technology Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Matt Jackson, Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Chemistry, University of Kansas

Dr. Matt Jackson received a B.S. in Chemistry and an M.S. in Chemistry (Theoretical) at UNC-Wilmington in 2011 before earning his Ph.D. in Chemistry (Analytical) at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2015. He has developed microfluidic diagnostics that isolate extremely rare circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from blood samples and led the first microfluidic-based longitudinal study monitoring for relapse in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Matt is now a postdoc in the Soper Lab at KU and is investigating extracellular vesicles (EVs) as biomarkers for monitoring cancer progression.

Ted Kuwana, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, University of Kansas

[b. 1931 to immigrant farmers, Idaho Falls, ID]

Education: BS Antioch College, MS Cornell University, PhD University of Kansas 1959 (Thesis advisor: Ralph N. Adams), Postdoc : California Institute of Technology (Advisor: Fred Anson)

Faculty Positions: UC Riverside, CWRU, Ohio State University and University of Kansas (1985 – 2002)

Research Interests: Research was directed to the development and application of electroanalytical and optical methods to analytical and bioanalytical problems. Examples include spectroelectrochemistry with optically transparent electrodes, electroluminescence, chemically modified electrodes, electro-catalytic reduction of oxygen with metal porphrins, hi-sensitivity laser induced fluorescence applied to LC bioanalysis, and studies with high-surface area carbon microfibers.

Professional & Civic activities, Honors and Awards (partial list):
Director of Kansas NSF EPSCoR Program (1991 - 2000)
Board member of Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation (1987-1994)
National Science Foundation Chemistry Advisory (1987-1989)
C. N. Reilley award in electrochemistry (SEAC 1989) ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry awards in a) Electrochemistry 1995 b) Giddings award in Education 2004 c) Distinguished Service award 2011
Olin Petefish/Takeru Higuchi Distinguished research award, KU 1989
Founding president of Lawrence Friends of Hiratsuka (1990-1997)
NSF grant PI and Executive Director of Analytical Sciences Digital Library program (2002 – 2012)

Thomas Linz, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Wayne State University

Thomas Linz received his B.S. from Truman State University in 2007. He then joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kansas to pursue his graduate studies in the research group of Prof. Susan Lunte. His graduate work focused on the development of separations-based sensors to measure biomarkers in clinical blood samples. Upon earning his Ph.D. in 2013, Dr. Linz went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to conduct his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Prof. J. Michael Ramsey where he helped to develop an automated point-of-care diagnostics platform. In 2016, Dr. Linz moved to Wayne State University where he is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry. His research interests at WSU span the fields of medical diagnostics, pharmaceutical screening, and environmental monitoring.

Bita Moghaddam, Ruth Matarazzo Professor and Chair of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University

Bita Moghaddam is the Chair of the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). She received a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Kansas and postdoctoral training in pharmacology at Yale University. She joined the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University in 1990 where she quickly rose to the rank of full professor. In 2003 she moved to the University of Pittsburgh as professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry. She joined OHSU in 2017. Her research focuses on understanding the neuronal basis of complex behaviors that are critical to mental health, and is distinguished by the substantial impact on the field (H-index 69, overall citations ~ 15,000).

Mark Schoenfisch, Professor of Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Mark Schoenfisch is Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Chief Scientific Officer at Novaclem, Inc. He received a B.A. in Chemistry and Germanic Languages from the University of Kansas in 1992, where he was able to carry out undergraduate research with Prof. George Wilson. Mark received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Arizona in 1997, working under the direction of Prof. Jeanne Pemberton. From 1998-1999, he was a NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan in Prof. Mark Meyerhoff’s laboratory. He joined the faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2000. His long-term research interests include 1) the synthesis of macromolecular nitric oxide donors to facilitate controlled nitric oxide storage/release for therapeutic and biosensing applications; and, 2) the development of analytical methodologies for real-time and sensitive detection of nitric oxide in physiological media.

Julie Stenken, 21st Century Chair & Professor of Analytical Chemistry, University of Arkansas

Julie Stenken received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Akron in 1990. She was an NSF REU student at the University of Kansas in 1988 and worked with Professor Craig Lunte. In 1989, she was a co-op student at Eastman Kodak Corporation in Rochester, NY. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Kansas in 1995 under the direction of Professor Craig Lunte and focused her research on the fundamental mass transport aspects of microdialysis sampling. During the 1994-1995 academic year, she was a J. William Fulbright Fellow at the Karolinska Institute and worked with Dr. Lars Ståhle. Her postdoctoral work at KU Medical Center with Professors Thomas Pazdernik and Fred Samson focused on measuring free radical species collected with microdialysis sampling. She began her first academic appointment at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1996. In 2007, she was named the 21st Century Chair of Proteomics in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Stenken is currently serving as an NSF Scholar-in-Residence at the U.S. FDA. Her current research interests focus on bioanalytical measurements of cytokines, biofilms and quorum sensing, the foreign body reaction to implanted materials and the use of microfluidic devices to improve microdialysis sampling.

Huili Yao, Associate Researcher, Department of Chemistry, University of Kansas

Huili Yao received her Ph.D. in Biophysics and Chemistry from Marquette University in 2006. Since 2007, she has worked in Dr. Mario Rivera’s lab as a postdoctoral researcher, then research associate and currently as lab manager. Her research has focused on the important role of ferritin-like molecules in the multi drug resistant opportunistic pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. On that topic, she co-authored 7 peer-reviewed papers and one book chapter. Currently, she is leading a team of graduate students in Rivera’s lab on the development of novel molecular probes for disrupting bacterial iron homeostasis, which have the potential of becoming lead compounds for future antibacterial discovery. Away from the lab, Dr. Yao enjoys community service and activities geared to policy. As a KU Staff Fellow (2015-2016) she participated in the development of a KU-staff leadership roadmap. She also has served in a KU Ad Hoc Committee on Gender and Equity and as President of the KU Postdoctoral Association, where she was involved in the organization of a dozen career development seminars and symposiums for KU researchers. More recently, she was elected into the Executive Committee of the KU Staff Senate for 2017-2018.


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