Department of Chemistry

Frontiers in Chemistry lecture series

Current Series & Topics

2013-2014 marks the seventy-third Frontiers in Chemistry. This year's topics are nucleic acid chemistry and biophotonics.

Upcoming Lectures

You can also browse our Google calendar / agenda for upcoming lectures and details.

Nucleic Acid Chemistry

September 26, 2013, 4:30 PM
Harry F. Noller, PhD
Director, Center for Molecular Biology of RNA, Department of Molecular Biology, UC Santa Cruz.
Lecture Title: "Structural Changes in the Ribosome During Translocation"
Campus Host: Mary Barkley. Sponsor: CWRU.


October 17, 2013, 5:00 PM CANCELLED
Harry B. Gray, PhD
Arnold O. Beckman Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Caltech.
Lecture Title: "Powering the Planet with Solar Fuel"
Campus Host: James Heckler and Amberle Brown. Sponsor: CWRU.


October 17, 2013, 7:00 PM 5:00 PM
Thomas R. Cech, PhD
Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder.
Lecture Title: "From the RNA World to the RNP World"
Campus Host: Blanton Tolbert. Sponsor: Case RNA Center.


October 24, 2013, 4:30 PM
Adrian R. Ferré-D'Amaré, PhD
Principle Investigator, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH.
Lecture Title: "Structural Studies of Riboswitches"
Campus Host: Blanton Tolbert. Sponsor: CWRU.


November 7, 2013, 4:30 PM
Anna Marie Pyle, PhD
William Edward Gilbert Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and Professor of Chemistry, Yale University.
Lecture Title: "Building a New Machine from Ancient Parts: How Nature Transformed a Helicase Motor into a Family of Biosensors for Innate Immunity"
Campus Host: Irene Lee. Sponsor: ACES.


January 16, 2014, 4:30 PM
Changhuei Yang, PhD
Professor, Departments of Electrical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Medical Engineering, Caltech.
Lecture Title: "Turning Tissue Transparent by Optical Time-Reversal"
Campus Host: Carlos Crespo. Sponsor: Energizer.


February 6, 2014, 4:30 PM
Gregory D. Scholes, PhD
Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto.
Lecture Title: "Photosynthetic Machines and Ultrafast Energy Transfer"
Campus Host: Clemens Burda. Sponsor: Lubrizol.


February 27, 2014, 4:30 PM
JoAnne Stubbe, PhD
Novartis Professor, Department of Chemistry, MIT.
Lecture Title: "Radicals: Your Life is in their Hands"
Campus Hosts: Graduate students James Heckler & Amberle Brown. Sponsor: CWRU.


April 3, 2014, 4:30 PM
Dennis L. Matthews, PhD
Director, Center for Biophotonics, University of California, Davis.
Lecture Title: "Application of Photon-Based Technologies to the Life Sciences and Medicine"
Campus Host: Robert Dunbar. Sponsor: TBA.


April 10, 2014, 4:30 PM
Michael D. Fayer, PhD
David Malvane Ehrsam and Edward Curtis Franklin Professor, Department of Chemistry, Stanford University.
Lecture Title: "Water Dynamics in Nanoconfined Systems"
Campus Host: Emily Pentzer. Sponsor: BASF.


April 17, 2014, 4:30 PM
Eric T. Kool, PhD
George A. and Hilda M. Daubert Professor, Department of Chemistry, Stanford University.
Lecture Title: "Designer DNA Bases: Fluorescent Probes"
Campus Host: Blanton Tolbert. Sponsor: TBA.


General Information

The Frontiers in Chemistry Series dates to 1941. The speakers are sponsored by local industrial and government laboratories, and the University. The lectures are free.


The lectures are generally on Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. Coffee and tea are available before the lectures.


The lectures are in the Goodyear Lecture Hall (Clapp 108).


Parking is available at all Case visitor parking lots. Please bring your parking stub for validation.

Maps & Directions

Maps, driving directions, bus stops, and more can be found at Case Visitor Central ( Please also see the Department of Chemistry "Find Us" page.


The lectures are generally followed by dinner at a local restaurant. Those who wish to may join the dinner (participants pay the restaurant individually). Dinner reservations are required by the Monday preceding the lecture.

Inquiries and Dinner Reservations
Ms. Suzi Mason
Department of Chemistry
Case Western Reserve University
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7078
Phone: 216.368.3622
Fax: 216.368.3006

Committee and Sponsors

The University acknowledges with appreciation the guidance provided by the external members of the Frontiers in Chemistry Lecture Series Committee and the support provided by the organizations indicated.

Dr. Malcolm E. Kenney
Chair, Frontiers in Chemistry Series
Department of Chemistry, CWRU

Dr. Orest Adrianowycz
GrafTech International
Dr. Peter Pfab
BASF Catalysts
Dr. Pramod Arora
Innovation Chemical Technologies
Dr. Andrew Bell
Dr. Scott Rickert
Dr. Frank Feddrix
Dr. Kenneth Hardee
De Nora
Dr. Terrence Hogan
Bridgestone Firestone
Dr. John Johnson
Dr. John Maloney
Dr. Michael Meador
Dr. Madhukar Rao

Past Lectures

Brochures from the previous few years of the lecture series are also available.