Arnold C. Ott Lectureship in Chemistry Winter 2024

"The Arnold C. Ott Lectureship in Chemistry was created and endowed by a generous gift from Dr. Arnold C. Ott and Marion Ott. Dr. Ott received his Ph.D. in 1943 from Michigan State University in Chemistry/Physics/Bacteriology and was a leading chemist and entrepreneur in West Michigan. He was one of the co-founders of Grand Valley State University and served on the GVSU Board of Trustees for 28 years.  Les and Jackie (Ott) Stiner carry on the vision of inspiring students and faculty in chemistry through their dedicated support of the Ott-Stiner Scholars program, providing financial support for students to engage in mentored undergraduate research." 

Dr. Kent Kirshenbaum

Dr. Kent Kirshenbaum

Professor, Department of Chemistry

New York University

Community Lecture  Thursday, April 18, 2024  6:00 - 7:00 PM 

Russel H. Kirkhof Center, Room 2250 Grand River Room (Parking available in Lots H2 and H4)

Biomimetic Cuisine:  The Chemistry, Craft, and Culture of Our Future Foods

Chemistry Seminar  Friday, April 19, 2024  1:00 - 2:00 PM 

Russel H. Kirkhof Center, Room 2204 Pere Marquette Room (Parking available in Lots H2 and H4)

Biomimetic Chemistry:  Innovating Molecular Structures and Functions Inspired by Nature

Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus

Community Lecture   Biomimetic Cuisine:  The Chemistry, Craft, and Culture of Our Future Foods

Everyone eats. This simple fact makes food a fascinating topic of human creativity and scientific inquiry throughout the world. While our cooking traditions help to define diverse cultures, culinary innovations are a source of new sensations and pleasures. Increasingly, however, necessity is driving new revolutions in food systems globally. Ideally, emerging technologies will allow us to feed a crowded world while utilizing more sustainable practices. Astonishing discoveries are enabled by a careful consideration of the molecular characteristics of our food and the chemical transformations associated with cooking. Scientists are learning how to mimic desirable flavors and textures while using more healthful and sustainable food resources. We will learn how food scientists are transforming plants into meat and changing the fundamental concepts of agriculture. We will explore how a neuroscientist might turn lemons into lemonade. We will delve into the modern kitchen to learn how chemists and chefs are working together to create delicious new meals and perhaps even helping to heal the planet.

Ott Lecture - Kent Kirshenbaum - April 18, 2024

Chemistry Seminar  Biomimetic Chemistry:  Innovating Molecular Structures and Functions Inspired by Nature

The polymer molecules found in nature are truly extraordinary and are a source of inspiration to synthetic chemists. Proteins, for example, exhibit a remarkable capability for self-directed folding. The sequence of amino acids that constitutes a protein molecule can provide all the information required to specify a unique three-dimensional arrangement of a massive polymer chain. An emerging field of chemistry seeks to craft new synthetic polymers that also exhibit sophisticated sequence-structure-function relationships. These “foldamer” molecules are being explored to generate new catalysts and innovative concepts in molecular pharmacology. We will focus on a family of N-substituted glycine “peptoid” oligomers, and we will learn how chemists can control their chemical composition and folding to generate revolutionary new drug molecules. 

Ott Lecture - Kent Kirshenbaum - April 19, 2024

Dr. Kent Kirshenbaum is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at New York University. Kent obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, a PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, from the University of California, San Francisco, and conducted post-doctoral studies in protein chemistry at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. At NYU, Kent teaches Biochemistry and leads a research group that is studying sequence-structure-function relationships in biomimetic polymers. He is a member of the Cancer Center at NYU's School of Medicine and the Chief Scientific Officer of Maxwell Biosciences. He is a recent recipient of the New York State Biodefense Commercialization Award. Kent was also the co-founder of the Experimental Cuisine Collective at NYU, along with Prof. Amy Bentley (Food Studies) and Chef Will Goldfarb (Pastry). His science outreach efforts include appearances on the Food Network, the Cooking Channel, the Science Channel, Sid the Science Kid, NBC-Learn, and the Discovery Channel. In the lab, Kent enjoys cooking up new macromolecules; at home, he enjoys synthesizing guacamole.

Future Ott Lecturers

Oct 3 and 4, 2024: Tom Meade (Northwestern University) – Theranostics and Molecular Imaging

April 10 and 11, 2025: Dante Lauretta (University of Arizona) – Cosmochemistry and Planetary Science

Sept 11 and 12, 2025: Brian Kobilka (Stanford University) – Protein Structure and Dynamics

Previous Ott Lecturers

Vernon Ehlers, Ph.D.
U.S. Congress

Michael D. Parker, M.B.A.
Dow Chemical Company

Carl Djerassi, Ph.D.
Stanford University

Robin D. Rogers, Ph.D.
University of Alabama

Virginia W. Cornish, Ph.D.
Columbia University

Richard N. Zare, Ph.D.
Stanford University

Thomas H. Lane, Ph.D.
Dow Corning Corporation

Chad A. Mirkin, Ph.D.
Northwestern University

Gregory A. Petsko, Ph.D.
Brandeis University

Harry B. Gray, Ph.D.
California Institute of Technology

Gary M. Hieftje, Ph.D.
Indiana University

Roderick MacKinnon, M.D.
Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
The Rockefeller University

Kevan Shokat, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco

Ada Yonath, Ph.D.
Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
Weizmann Institute of Science

W. Carl Lineberger, Ph.D.
University of Colorado, Boulder

Richmond Sarpong, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley

Jeffrey Moore, Ph.D.
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Wilson Ho, Ph.D.
University of California, Irvine

Geraldine Richmond, Ph.D.
University of Oregon

Sara E. Skrabalak, Ph.D.
Indiana University

Thomas J. Meyer, Ph.D.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Brian K. Shoichet, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco

Daniel M. Neumark, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley

Stephen L. Buchwald, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Melanie Sanford, Ph.D.
University of Michigan

Karen Trentelman, Ph.D.
Getty Conservation Institute

Anne McNeil, Ph.D.
University of Michigan

Tom Guarr, Ph.D.
Michigan State University Bioeconomy Institute

Daniel Nocera, Ph.D.
Harvard University


Page last modified May 13, 2024