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The department hosts seminars on a variety of chemistry- and biochemistry-related topics. View seminars by year below. For non-seminar events, visit Events.

Upcoming Seminars


Fall - 2019 Seminars

Seminars are held from 11am to 12 pm in AHC3-205, and broadcast to AC2 210 on the Biscayne Bay Campus. 

Date: October 18, 2019

Forensic Toxicology - Theory and Practice

Speaker: Robert Powers

Dr. Robert H. Powers completed his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Michigan State University under Dr. Steven Aust, working on the mechanism of Dioxin, PCB’s and similarly-acting toxins. Dr. Powers has directed Postmortem, Environmental and Performance-based Forensic Toxicology laboratories throughout the country, and has provided testimony in close to 400 criminal and civil cases. Dr. Powers joined the University of New Haven in 2014, where his research projects now include the effect of ethanol on selected phase I and phase II metabolic transformations of selected drugs, decompositional drug metabolism and related post-mortem changes. Dr. Powers served for ten years as a core committee member of SWGDRUG, is a Fellow of the American Board of Forensic Toxicologists, and actively consults nationwide in civil and criminal cases, with a particular focus on questions of drug involvement in death cases, and drug/alcohol impairment.

Date: October 11, 2019

Antidepressant and Oral Inflammatory Bone LossDesign of Multifunctional Nanomaterials Based on Artificial and Natural Supramolecular StructuresDeveloping antibacterial polyurethanes and poly(ester urethane)s: a balancing act of bacterial toxicity and mammalian cell compatibility

Speaker: Jia Chang

Prior to his position as Assistant Professor of the University of Florida, Dr. Jia Chang worked as an Assistant Researcher for the University of California (Los Angeles) School of Dentistry within the Division of Oral Biology & Medicine, and conducted his postdoctoral research with the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences at the University of Michigan. Dr. Jia Chang performed general dentistry in Huangshi, China, and Oral Surgery at the Center for TMJ Disorders & Orofacial Pain at Peking University School of Stomatolo-gy, and since 2015 has performed patient care in periodontics for the University of Flori-da, College of Dentistry. Dr. Jia Chang has a remarkable record of research, care, and advis-ing. Dr. Jia Chang advises undergraduate students in periodontics, MS, PhD, and DMD de-gree seeking students.

Date: October 4, 2019

Design of Multifunctional Nanomaterials Based on Artificial and Natural Supramolecular StructuresDeveloping antibacterial polyurethanes and poly(ester urethane)s: a balancing act of bacterial toxicity and mammalian cell compatibility

Speaker: Dr. Cheng-Yu Lai

Dr. Cheng-Yu Lai obtained his Ph.D. from Iowa State University (Ames, IA) in Inorganic Chemistry in 2004 working under the supervision of late Prof. Victor Lin in the field of nanomaterials with biomedical applications. He then continued his preparation as a Postdoctoral Fellow at The Scripps Research Institute from 2005 to 2007, in the group of Prof. Glen Nemerow. Working in the Department of Immunology at Scripps, he acquired a completely new set of skills, involving molecular biology and cell biology techniques, toward understanding the fun-damental mechanisms that underlie the interaction of nanomaterials with living cells. Dr. Lai further joined DuPont Central Research and Development at the Experimental Station in Wilmington, DE, as a research scientist in the Biomaterials Group. Here he developed stimuli-responsive polymeric vesicles for delivery of adhesion prevention molecules in wound healing. He then moved to academia in August 2012 at Delaware State University, in Dover, DE as an associate professor of chemistry on tenure-track. Dr. Lai, started a research program with the central theme on Sustainable chemistry and utilized mesoporous silica nanospheres as a vehicle in in many applications, including miti-gation of carbon dioxide emissions, cascade enzymatic catalysis for conversion of non-food waste feedstocks into food, and catalysts for renewable energy. In addition to research, he dedicated a significant effort in developing undergraduate research programs and curricular enhancements. In 2016, Dr. Lai was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. He received several grants from NSF, DOE, DOD, USDA and NIH (NIGMS IDeA Pilot). He graduated two Master’s and two Ph.D students and mentored several undergraduate students; all success-fully placed either in industrial or government jobs, or further matriculated into graduate programs. Dr. Lai moved to FIU in August 2018 as a Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, continuing his work in the porous materials and expanding into the area of nanomaterials in the 2-dimensional (2D) realm.

Date: September 27, 2019

Developing antibacterial polyurethanes and poly(ester urethane)s: a balancing act of bacterial toxicity and mammalian cell compatibility

Speaker: Dr. Abraham Joy

Abraham Joy is an associate professor of Polymer Science at the University of Akron. He obtained his PhD in organic chemistry from Tulane University. After postdoctoral training at Georgia Tech and Rutgers University he joined the faculty of Polymer Science at the University of Akron. The central focus of his research group is to develop materials for biomedical and engineering applications. The Joy Lab is engaged in developing peptidomimetic biomaterials for applications in wound healing, antibacterial, antibiofilm, tissue adhesives, 3D printing, and controlled protein and drug encapsulation and delivery.

Date: September 20, 2019

Pi-Electron conjugated materials for therapeutic imaging, sensing, and delivery

Speaker: Dr. Joong Ho Moon, Chemistry and Biochemistry Dapartment, FIU

Dr. Moon received his Ph.D. in Materials Chemistry from Pohang University of Science and Technology (Pohang, South Korea) in August 1999. As a postdoctoral associate at MIT, Dr. Moon studied the effect of unique surface struc-tures of polymer brushes on chemical sensing under Prof. Timothy M. Swager. In 2001, Dr. Moon joined the Nomad-ics in Cambridge, MA (now merged to FLIR). Dr. Moon actively participated to commercialize Prof. Swager’s explo-sive sensing technology by establishing various fabrication and modification methods of amplifying fluorescent poly-mers. After seven years of industrial experience, Dr. Moon joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at FIU as an assistant professor and was tenured and promoted to an associate professor at 2014. Dr. Moon's research has been supported by major federal and international grants including NIH, NSF CAREER, and KEIT (funding from Korea, PI). He has served as a panelist reviewer for NSF BMAT (2014-), NIH BST (2019-), and NIH GDD (2019-). He also served as an expert consultant on patent litigation between big life science companies (2019). His recent discov-ery of antimicrobial polymers was recognized by Colgate-Palmolive as a potential preservative for household or per-sonal care products. FIU and Colgate finally finalized a research agreement and a new research project to evaluate the antimicrobial polymer in Colgate products is expected to start from Oct. 2019. Since tenured in 2014, he graduat-ed five Ph.D. students. All of them secured professional jobs including Intel (Drs. Vokata and Twomey), Arkansas State University (Dr. Ahmed), a patent law firm (Dr. Mendez), and Miami-Dade College (Dr. Manandhar). Currently, he is mentoring six Ph.D., three undergraduate, and one high school students.


Date: September 13, 2019

New Trends in Mass Spectrometry

Speaker: Dr. Francisco Fernandez-Lima, Chemistry and Biochemistry Dapartment, FIU

Dr. Francisco Fernandez-Lima is a faculty in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (2012-present) at Florida In-ternational University. He received a BS (2001) and MS (2003) in Nuclear Physics at the Institute of Nuclear Sciences and Technology (Havana, Cuba) and a PhD (2006) in Applied Physics at PUC-Rio (Brazil) under the guidance of Dr. Enio F. da Silveira. He performed post-doctoral studies (2007-2010) at Texas A&M University under the supervision of Dr. David H. Russell and Dr. Emile A. Schweikert. He is the recipient of a K99 (2010-2012) and R00 (2012-2016) Pathway to Inde-pendence Awards by the National Institute of Health and a CAREER (2017-2022) Award by the National Science Foun-dation. Since he joined FIU, he has published 69 out 114 peer-reviewed research articles, 2 book chapters and a US patent (2019) . His research program has been successfully funded (~$6.2M) by federal (e.g., NIGMS R00 and R01, NIDA R21, NIAID R21 and NSF CAREER) and private (e.g., Bruker Daltonics Inc.) agencies. He has successfully mentored high school students, REU undergraduate students, FIU undergraduate students (31), graduate students (15) and postdoctoral fellows (6). He is the director of the “FIUMASS: MS experience for all” outreach program (2017-2022) design to increase the exposure of graduate, undergraduate, and high school minority students to the practical aspects of structural mass spec-trometry. He received the FIU Top Scholar for Research and Creative Activities award in 2019.






Spring 2019

How to Search 10s of Millions of Synthetic Compounds While Only Requiring the Screening of 300-600 Samples?

Speaker: Richard Houghten, Torrey Pines Institute
Date: Jan. 11

Combating Antibiotic Resistance: Drug Repurposing and Nanoantibiotics

Speaker: Mingdi Yan, U. Massachusetts Lowell
Date: Jan. 18

Environmental Issues in Latin America: The Colombian Case

Speaker: Jesus Olivero-Verbel, U. de Cartagena
Date: Jan. 25

G-quadruplex DNA as a Drug Target

Speaker: Brad Chaires, U. Louisville
Date: Feb. 1

Undergraduates Teaching Chemistry through Outreach: Characterizing Goals, Content Knowledge, and Training

Speaker: Ellen Yezierski, Miami U. (Oxford)
Date: Feb. 8

The Academic Journey of a Simple Chemist

Speaker: Rudolf Jaffe, FIU
Date: Feb. 15

Harnessing the Precision of Biorecognition for the Development of Responsive, Functional Inorganic Nanomaterials

Speaker: Marc Knecht, University of Miami, Coral Gables   Florida
Date: Feb. 22


Speaker: Michelle Peace, Virginia Commonwealth U.
Date: March 1

Challenging Natural Order: 2D Non-Layered Chalcogenide Nanomaterials for Renewable Energy Applications

Speaker: Daniela Radu, FIU
Date: March 8


Speaker: Dr. Sheldon Landsberger, Robert B. Trull Chair in Engineering
Area Coordinator, Nuclear and Radiation Engineering Program

Date: March 19, 2019, 11-11:45 AM, CP 320 (Note special time and place) 

The Impact of Oxidative DNA Damage on Telomere Maintenance

Speaker: Patricia Opresko, U. Pittsburgh
Date: March 22


Speaker: Brian Clowers, Washington State U.
Date: March 29


Speaker: Lata Blakrishnana, Indiana U.
Date: April 5

Hair Testing in Forensic Toxicology, From the Lab to the Courtroom

Speaker: Karen Scott, Arcadia U.
Date: April 12


Speaker: Vicky Wysocki, The Ohio State University
Date: April 19


Speaker: Bonnie Charpentier, ACS (president-elect), Cryogenetics
Date: April 26

Past Years