Tuesday, April 25, 2006

profile 8: dr. jonathan wilker

Wow, it feels like it's been a while since I posted but I was actually quite productive in lab today when I stumbled upon a paper by Jonathan Wilker. I decided to see if this person was sexyscientist material and I was quite pleased to see that he is.

Dr. Jonathan Wilker is an associate professor at Purdue focusing on inorganic chemistry (seemingly from reading, it seems like his focus is bioinorganic instead of traditional materials science-ish inorganic chemistry). Like many of our profiles he has a distinguished background with a B.S. at UMass-Amherst before going for his PhD at MIT and then a postdoctoral at Caltech. He's received several accolades including the NSF Career, and is Sloan Fellow and a Beckman Young Investigator. Apparently he's a really good teacher as well (dont we need these in undergrad..most definitely) and has been named one of the top ten teachers in the College of Science at Purdue.

As for his research, here's what he does..

"Biological Materials from the Oceans
We are exploring how biological systems produce materials. Our focus is upon marine biomaterials such as mussel adhesives, barnacle cements, and coral reef structures. Efforts are aimed at both understanding the principles behind biomaterial formation and developing applications for the unique properties inherent in these systems. Efforts to date have focused upon mussel adhesives, a material produced by extensive cross-linking to yield a protein-based matrix. We are working with synthetic inorganic complexes, small peptides, protein extracted from the animals, and live mussels. Synthetic, spectroscopic, biochemical, and materials engineering data all indicate that mussels use iron to cross-link proteins and form their adhesive. We are using this information to develop applications such as surgical adhesives and antifouling coatings. Studies are also being extended to other biological materials such as those produced by barnacles, sea stars, and kelp to see if metal-mediated protein cross-linking is a common theme in biomaterial formation.

Carcinogen Interception and Detoxification by Inorganic Compounds
Regular components of the diet such as selenium and vanadium are known to prevent chemically induced cancers. At this time however, little information is available about the potential mechanisms by which these inorganics prevent cancer. Our lab is studying detoxification reactions in which these inorganic species consume carcinogens, thereby preventing DNA damage and the ensuing cellular alterations. This work involves studying the reactivity of inorganic compounds toward toxins, DNA biochemistry, and whole cell studies. To date we have found that certain metal-oxo compounds such as vanadates can detoxify alkylating agents and prevent DNA damage. These results are being used to design a second generation of compounds for preventing cancer.

Metal-Linked Nucleic Acid Drug Design
Antisense therapy presents a promising avenue for future treatment of genetic-based diseases. The antisense approach relies upon binding of a nucleic acid-derived drug to an mRNA (or genetic) target in order to prevent expression of a disease causing protein. Standard nucleic acids have high specificity for these mRNA targets but low stability in cells. In an effort to develop superior drugs, we are preparing a new class of nucleic acids in which metal complexes play novel structural and charge roles in the DNA backbone. The phosphate of DNA is replaced by various metal-ligand complexes, thereby imparting unique properties of these complexes to the drug. This work involves drug synthesis, biochemical binding assays, and cellular studies. " Jon Wilker at Purdue

Now for what you all came the see..the hotness analysis...

Here we have Jon with one of his PhD graduates. I really like the Hawaiian shirt, gives him a very youthful vibe. Looking at this I can see why he won, he's pretty hot for a prof. I'd take his classes for sure ;). It's not very often you can see a professor in a relaxed picture like this so let us cherish this moment.

Now for the final score!

Jon Wilker is a...HABANERO!

(How do we do scores now? We do them by committee and then we average the scores. So yes..we now do it by committee. Want to join? IM me for details!)

Monday, April 24, 2006

new team member!

Yay! I've recently recruited one of my friends to help with this blog so I can actually focus on my research so I too can get a PhD.

So, welcome The Sexy Biologist! She'll be posting stuff soon..I hope :)

profile 7: dr. janis louie

This woman is officially my hero. Thanks Matt for the suggestion and the weblink but Dr. Janis Louie is absolutely gorgeous! (Yes I said that about other Profs too but oh well I mean it this time).

Dr. Janis Louis is an assistant professor the the University of Utah researching organic, inorganic and polymer chemistry. She received her BS from UCLA before heading off to Yale for her PhD and then finally did a postdoc at Caltech. She's already received pretigious awards (like the NSF CAREER) and I'm sure we'll be seeing more of her.

Her research statement is as follows:

"Research Interests
The development of metal-mediated reactions has greatly expanded the synthesis of small molecules and polymeric materials. These complexes possess the profound ability to permit transformations that are otherwise energetically prohibited. Toward this end, our group hybridizes classical synthetic chemistry with state-of-the-art instrumentation to discover new metal-mediated reactions. Efforts focus on reaction optimization, mechanism elucidation, and constructing small and large molecules rich in structure and function.

Catalytic Activation of Heterocumulenes
An attractive method for the rapid construction of the heterocyclic core of numerous biologically active pharmacophores is the cycloaddition or rearrangement of unsaturated substrates. Unfortunately, such cycloadditions are often not thermally allowed and existing alternatives show poor functional group compatibility. However, reactions which require prohibitively harsh conditions (high temperatures, high pressures) may become practical (room temperature, atmospheric pressures) when a transition metal catalyst is employed. We have built a research program centered around the development of a general Ni-based cycloaddition catalyst system (Scheme 1). Ultimately, we found that our Ni/NHC system is quite a versatile catalyst – one that allows for facile cycloaddition to prepare highly functionalized pyrones, pyridones, pyrans, and pyridines in excellent yields from readily available starting materials (e.g. CO 2, isocyanates, carbonyls and nitriles, respectively). " - Faculty Profile

There's more of her research on the website so click on her link to fine out more.

Now, for what you really want to know. I've gotten lots of emails from male readers out there and yes I have listened to your needs. That is why Dr. Louie is on here..I so want to be her..*sigh*

She is GORGEOUS - Absolutely gorgeous. She is my hero in that she's beautiful, is obviously very smart (she's a professor for goodness' sake). That is a complete package folks..a complete package.

She's the first one on the right side. She has an amazing body, I love the highlights and she looks as young as her students. I'm so jealous.

As for the rating, she's definitely off the charts (I showed her to fellow girlfriends and they're either girlcrushing or they're envious..like me), and so..

Janis Louis is OFF THE CHARTS - (6 mil on the scoville scale: pure extract baby!)

interlude pt 3: who am i?

Who am I? That's a question I keep on getting as of late on my IM, and yes, I know several of you have tried to guess what school I am from, what year I am, etc, etc. I like having this nom de blog and I guess it adds to the allure not knowing who I am. I know two of you out there know who I am and I know you wont share so I'm content to bask in my anonymnity. Hooray!

Dont worry, I'll satiate your lust for sexy science with the next post. I just thought I'd post this and be a tease, besides you cant be sexy without being a tease right? Hahaha. ^_^

Sunday, April 23, 2006

profile 6: dr. jonas peters

Wow! An inorganic chemist appears on these pages. It's been a while and so I decided to go for variety this time. Here we have Dr. Jonas Peters of the California Institute of Technology. Who says there arent any hotties over at Caltech? My committee of hotness (they like to call themselves the faculty thermo committee..geee my friends are dorks) has determined that Dr. Peters is most definitely sexy science.

He's a very nice man, pleasant and easy to get along with. He got his BS from UChicago, became a Marshall Scholar (ooooh, smart and sexy?), ended up working at MIT for his PhD and postdoc-ed at Berkeley before ending up at Caltech. I remember talking with him when was at a Caltech SURF; he definitely has a presence and several of us thought he was pretty cute for a professor (I almost even ended up working for him! *sigh*).

So, what does he work on? Well, he works on inorganic synthesis focusing on catalysis, synthesizing new ligands and transition metal complexes. This man is right up my alley in terms of research and he's been on the list of possible post docs. All I remember during my days of the SURF is I used to pas by his lab and I tried to talk with him a lot (yes, it was kind of immature of me, but oh well..I was vulnerable as I had just broken up with the BF previous to that). So Jonas, if ou see this, dont hesitate to call me up ;)

Now for his obligatory research statement:
"The primary goal of Professor Peters' research program is to define and prepare reactive transition metal complexes stabilized by appropriately designed auxiliary ligands. The systems under development in his group are anticipated to show a high affinity for (i) atom and group transfer chemistry and (ii) reactions at robust X-H bonds, where the X-H bond refers generally to a C-H, Si-H, B-H, or H-H bond. The focus of the research is both practical and fundamental. The Peters group has developed a palette of auxiliary ligand systems to explore transformations relevant to binding, activating, and functionalizing small molecule substrates at transition metal centers. Within this broad framework specific processes of interest include: (i) alkane activation and oxidation, as in the direct conversion of light alkanes to alcohols, and (ii) atom and group transfer processes relevant to the activation and utilization of small molecules such as nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen. " - Peters Group Website

Now for what everyone has been waiting for: the picture analysis! (I know you dont go to this website to look at research statements..if you do well..more power to you!)

I like the picture actually, though as a person who's interacted with him personally I dont believe it does him justice. He has a very boy-ish face (he's quite young looking, I was surprised when I found out his actual age) and has a very pleasant presence (you feel quite comfortable around him). He has very good bone structure (gee, I'm feeling ilke I'm Janice Dickenson on ANTM), so yeah..I'll just stop there.

Now for his final score!

Jonas Peters is a.....Aji Long Pepper!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

gotta catch 'em all: grad profile set 1

I thought I would put this post as a little bonus. In my search for hot professors, I've come along some hot grad students actually and I'm very pleasantly surprised. It makes me want to reconsider where I am for grad schol, if only for a nanosecond, but yeah. These people might become future faculty and therefore receive future full profiles but only time will tell.

So, without further ado I'd like to introduce the first set of sexy grad students! (Let the corny chippendale music go on; Keep in mind that there is no real ranking here..it's all random..I think you're all hot)

1)Matthew Beaver of the Woerpel Group at UC-Irvine

Okay, I'll admit, he plays the guitar. Guitar players = hotness and I'd let him serenade me anytime. He's a first year grad student, works on organic synthesis and is hot.

2) Regan Jones of the Krische Group at University of Texas at Austin

He's pretty cute! Another organic chemist (yes..organic chemists are sexy) who works on methodology at the Krische Group. Here's his bio from the Krische group: "Regan was born in Woodland, Washington in 1981. He obtained his BA in chemistry from Occidental College. While at Occidental College, Regan did three years of undergraduate research with Dr. Donald Deardorff involving the synthesis of enantiopure fluoxetine. Currenty, Regan is investigating new methodology involving catalytic 4+3 cycloadditions. "

3) Jason Brubaker of the Myers Group at Harvard University

Look at that. He's buff, he's sexy, and he's a Harvard organic chem grad student. I think my mom would love for me to meet him. *sigh*

4) Jeremy Wulff of the Myers Group at Harvard University

Two hotties in one lab group?! Goodness, I think Myers Group is on a list for possible postdoctoral positions now, especially since this one is hot too. And he's doing chemistry right now! *swoon*

5) Christopher Graves of the Nguyen Group at Northwestern University

He's a hottie through and through. He's Canadian, also an organic chemist (noticing a trend here, ladies?). I think he's trying to go for a badboy look (notice the earrings) and I must say I do like the eyes. I'm a sucker for the eyes.

Well, ladies and gents I hope you've enjoyed this first installment of gotta catch 'em all: sexy grad students. If you know a sexy grad student, or if you think you're a sexy grad student, feel free to contact me and you just might be put up here for all to drool over!

profile 4: dr. facundo fernandez

This one is for you Melissa ;). Well, after being productive at work (I had to move away from the computer at some point to do research ya know), I came back to get pleasant news. People are enjoying it! Especially Melissa who is now on my committee of finding hot professors. As such, this one is for her.

Dr. Facundo Fernandez is an assistant professor/hot Latin Lover at the Georgia Institute of Technology. As you may know, Georgia Tech has recently had much success with its increase in rankings as of late, and surely if I were on that committee deciding what rankings go where, just seeing him would be good enough justification for at least 10 spot increase in the program. Alas, I'm not on that committee though so I'll just have to be happy with the fact that I and so many others out there find this professor oh so hot.

As with all profiles, we give a section on his research (Melissa, be patient till you scroll down to the picture). His stuff is actually really really neat. He's a bioanalytical chemist focusing using mass spectrometry in order to diagnose and detect diseases in the tropics such as malaria etc by testnig for the presence of certain biological indicators.

His statement on the website is as follows because I couldnt do it justice, it's really fascinating (and I'm nto just saying that cause he's gorgeous).

Research Statement:
"Mass Spectrometry in Tropical Disease Research. Mosquito Peptidomics and Counterfeit Drug Detection: Malaria is the most important tropical disease, remaining widespread throughout the tropics, but also occurring in many temperate regions. Plasmodium falciparum, a protozoan parasite that is injected into the blood stream during the bite of a widespread specie of mosquito (Anopheles gambiae) is the main cause of severe clinical malaria. Several other parasite strains also cause malaria (P. vivax, P.malariae and P. ovale). Dengue fever, another widespread tropical disease, is also transmitted by a particular mosquito species (Aedes aegypti). Mass Spectrometry has many analytical advantages that can be used in tropical disease diagnosis, prevention and research. In this trend, we are collaborating with Prof. Fernando Noriega from Florida International University in the study of novel ways of controlling the malaria and dengue fever mosquito transmission vectors through the functional proteomic analysis of the mosquito neuroendocrine system. To date, there are no effective vaccines to prevent malaria in humans. Prevention and treatment of malaria thus still depends on potent antimalarial drugs. In recent years, large numbers of counterfeit antimalarial drugs have been detected. In collaboration with researchers from the CDC and from the Oxford University-Wellcome Trust program in SE Asia, we are working on producing molecular signatures of such counterfeits using direct atmospheric-pressure ionization methods based on Desorption Electrospray Ionization and Penning ionization with metastable He atoms. These rapid screening techniques not only allow us to screen for the expected active ingredients but also to chemically fingerprint counterfeit samples in order to track their origin.

Environmental Mass Spectrometry. Study of the Biogeochemical Cycling of Fe: Plankton plays a crucial role in the Earth's life dynamics; this tiny organisms lie at the bottom of the aquatic food chain, and its fate is thus thought to have deep implications in global climate change. Iron, among other trace metals, is an indispensable nutrient for the production of plankton, the most abundant marine organism. Because iron is extremely scarce in surface seawater, it is thought to occur almost exclusively bound to complex ligands of biological origin. While exquisitely sensitive, existing field analysis techniques for organic-bound metals are unable to resolve the nature of the ligands. Mass Spectrometry is one of the key analytical methods used to identify and characterize small quantities of biological molecules embedded in complex matrices. Although MS has found widespread use in laboratory applications, technical improvements in instrumentation are needed to extend its application to the grand challenges that face the environmental sciences. In collaboration with Stanford University and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography we are developing instrumentation based on high resolution Ion-Mobility Spectrometry-Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (IMS-TOF-MS) for investigating poorly understood aspects of the iron biogeochemical cycle such as: (1) the role of Fe in the photochemical reactivity of surface water Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM); (2) the influence of Fe complexation by tetrapyrroles in its role as a micronutrient in marine systems; and (3) study of the biogeochemical fate of iron associated with heme and iron-sulfur moieties in metallo-proteins. In this trend, we are developing key component of the proposed MS technology such as MEMS Bradbury-Nielsen ion gates and monolithic resistive glass ion mobility drift tubes for fast analytical separations.

Mass Spectrometry in Pathogen identification and Counterterrorism: Accurate and rapid bacterial identification is important in diagnosing disease, assessing public health and bioterrorism prevention. Many studies have shown that matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) is a promising technique for the fast identification of whole microorganisms. Generally, two approaches have been adopted for microorganism identification. The most robust and time-intensive approach relies on the sequencing of protein biomarkers using MS/MS-based proteomic techniques. A faster, complementary approach relies on pattern recognition of the protein biomarker fingerprint obtained by MALDI. In this direction, we are collaborating with Dr. John Barr and Dr. Hercules Moura from CDC Atlanta to develop new identification schemes for Coxiella burnetii, the pathogen causative of Q-fever. These methods are based on Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis and MALDI TOF MS and allow us to rapidly distinguish between different C. burnetii strains. In collaboration with Prof. Andrei Fedorov and Prof. Levent Degertekin from the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech we are developing alternative strategies to MALDI-based microorganism identification based on a novel Array of Micromachined UltraSonic Electrospray emitters ("AMUSE")." - Facundo Fernandez

As you can see from his faculty profile, he's quite attractive. He's an assistant professor fresh out of his postdoctorate which means he's still quite young (YAY!). Like with the earlier profile, what draws me to him is the eyes. He has a pretty confident smirk on his lips though he doesnt smile fully..guess he wants to remain all mysterious (which is perfectly fine with me).

I dont know much about him other than his work, which is rather unfortunate. However, I do have a friend who was able to visit GaTech during grad school visits and from what I've heard he's rather nice (like professors usually are) and is really interested in recruiting students. If you know more, please feel free to comment below!

Now for his final score!

Facundo Fernandez is a piquin!

Friday, April 21, 2006

an interlude pt 2

~one love, one heart, let's get together and feel all right~

Okay, I know to those waiting for the next profile you're disappointed to see this instead (Melissa, hun I'm looking straight at you!). However, I just wanted to thank the people looknig at this, it's been really fun hearing comments from y'all and to make it even better I'm glad you're actually enjoying it. It's nice to know that people are amused, and of course if you're amused in grad school you'll do better right? Right? Well, dont answer that..next post is a profile! Promise ;)

an interlude

Since I've started this blog early today since I was bored in lab, I didnt expect my girlfriends to spread it to the rest of the grad students in the department to where I'm getting lots of suggestions to do this person or that person or whatever. It's pretty neat that it caught on so quickly considering this was all an inside joke in the beginning. So, before I continue with the next profiles that will be posted, I'd like to address a few comments/concerns/suggestions that I've gotten as of recently.

1) No, I didnt realize that the pepper ratings were phallic at all. Seriously, I was just thinking in terms of hotness and the size of the pepper surely has no bearing on the endowment of the individual (at least as far as I'm concerned).

2) Yes, even with this news that pepper ratings are phallic I will still keep them the way they are; it's best that way.

3) Okay, I've gotten LOTS of requests saying, "What about women professors?" Well, I dont know if I could adequately post a hotness rating on them so I'm soliciting guest bloggers to handle women on this site.

As such, I'm willing to accept more comments/suggestions/criticisms through my email (posted on my profile) or through AIM (my screen name is The Science Diva). Cheers and may the blogging continue!

profile 3: dr. joseph sadighi

YAY! One of the readers of this website (hiya Val!) suggested I look at Dr. Joseph Sadighi at the prestigious Massacusetts Institute of Technology. Upon looking at the website, I remembered him from my own visit and grad school application to MIT and for sure, this one's a dreamboat as well.

Dr. Sadighi is an assistant professor of chemistry at MIT working on inorganic and organometallic chemistry focusing on catalysis (YAY! he's NOT a natural products chemist!). He's actually one of my group's competitors so I feel that perhaps it's a confilct of interest writing about him but he's really goodlooking anyway. He works on dioxygen activation using transition metal complexes (coordination chemistry, etc..lots of inorganic chemists in the US do this kind of thing..i know) and tries to use these complexes to activate organic substrates. His chemistry is pretty green actually (environmental green..not money/financial success green) and so that's really nice considering the push for more environmentally friendly catalysis that his group tries to do.

His research statement is listed below cause it's only fair that I do it as well.
"Research in my group will focus on inorganic and organometallic chemistry, principally geared toward catalysis. I am particularly interested in the development of catalytic processes based on the activation of small molecules, such as carbon dioxide, dioxygen, and dinitrogen, and in the catalytic formation of carbon-fluorine bonds.

The development of powerful and general catalysts for aerobic oxidation is an ongoing challenge in inorganic chemistry, with potentially enormous importance from both synthetic and environmental perspectives. We are studying the activation of dioxygen by late transition metal complexes, and the oxidation of organic substrates by the resulting complexes. We are also examining the independent synthesis of highly reactive oxo and imido complexes, electronically and structurally related to the oxygen-activation products. A common theme is the use of heavily fluorinated ligands, both to increase the oxidizing power of the intermediates, and to protect the complexes from self-oxidation.

The use of carbon dioxide as a carbon source, with the eventual purpose of recycling some of the carbon lost to the atmosphere through combustion, represents a major goal in transition metal catalysis. A number of metal-carbon bonds have been shown to insert carbon dioxide, but in most cases the resulting carboxylates are rather inert. As a result, catalytic carbon-carbon bond-forming processes involving this reaction are relatively rare. We are interested in the reductive carboxylation of unsaturated substrates, and in the electrophilic activation of hydrocarbons for carboxylation, using organometallic catalysis.

Fluorocarbons are of growing importance as replacements for chlorinated hydrocarbons, and a large number of pharmacologically important molecules contain carbon-fluorine bonds. Electrophilic fluorination, an important process, often requires the use of hazardous molecular fluorine, or of costly surrogates. Very few examples of metal-catalyzed carbon-fluorine bond formation are known, but the development of general catalytic processes, using common fluoride sources, would be an important synthetic advance. We will investigate the addition of fluoride to metal-coordinated unsaturated molecules. The ultimate goal of this project is the development of electrophilic fluorination processes using a metal catalyst, a relatively innocuous HF source, and a benign oxidant such as dioxygen." - Joseph Sadighi

Now here's what I'm sure most of my readers are interested in. Research is nice an all but let's get to the hotness shall we?

This is his profile picture on the MIT Website. All I have to say is he has really dreamy eyes. My ex had eyes like this which I absolutely loved and I cant believe I forgot about this man in looking fo profile writing! Also the smirk is cocky in a way, but of course he has every right to be cocky! He's a professor at MIT! Now let's hope that gets tenure cause seeing him sad would be a sad, sad sight.

His other images on his website are kind of blurry so I cant exactly provide a detailed hotness analysis on that, but you can go look for yourself and decide. From what I remember about my visit to MIT, he is a very nice man and eager to please (he was trying to recruit us graduate students afterall). All I remember is just looking at him, drooling slightly, but not as much as I did when I was at TSRI for my visit. Dangit..looking back on these profiles makes me wonder why I chose another school.wait..$$$ was why..haha!

So now for the final score!

Joseph Sadighi is...a piquin!

If you're interested in learning about my hotness rating, I'd check out a Scoville rating to see that. I dont feel like reposting the Scoville ratings, but piquin is pretty high up there! Thanks Val for the suggestion!

profile 2: dr. james leighton

Shortly after I posted this, of course I told all my friends and they want me to write more. One of the people they suggested is Dr. James Leighton of Columbia University. Now there has been some unethical things going on over there, but I checked out Leighton and I can agree with my friends in that he should be added to a profile in sexy science.

James Leighton is another organic chemist working on natural products (is there a trend or something?). It seems he's born and bred Ivy league as he went to undergrad at Yale, did his PhD at Harvard and is now an established professor at Columbia. I would summarize his work, but since I havent met him or read any of his papers, I'm taking his research statement from his website.

Leighton Research Statement
"Our research interests lie in the development of diastereoselective and enantioselective catalytic reactions and the total synthesis of biologically and structurally interesting natural products. Often, these programs are interrelated as reaction methodology developed in the group is brought to bear on target-oriented synthetic problems.

In one active area of investigation, we are developing methods for the efficient synthesis of macrolide antibiotics. This is a large class of medicinally relevant natural products that often contain long polyol segments. We are challenging the supremacy of the aldol reaction in this context and finding that transition metal catalyzed alkene carbonylation reactions offer a unique approach with some advantages. In this approach, the protecting groups are installed as an integral part of the bond-forming and stereochemistry-determining events, and, in stark contrast to aldol chemistry, the products are aldehydes. In this fashion, separate protection and oxidation state adjustment reactions have been obviated, leading to previously unseen levels of efficiency in some cases. In addition, the direct production of aldehydes has led to the discovery of tandem reactions that can establish up to four new stereocenters in a single process. We are continuing to investigate the full scope of these reactions, as well as to pursue new directions that are suggested along the way.

In work related to this program, we are applying the methods we are developing to the efficient synthesis of selected natural products. Target selection is driven by several factors, including biological activity, scarcity, and structural and stereochemical complexity. Recent successes in this regard include the formal synthesis of mycoticin A and the first synthesis of the marine macrolide leucascandrolide A. As the methodology continues to develop, so too will the choice of targets.

In another area, we are actively engaged in the target-oriented synthesis of architecturally complex polycyclic natural products such as CP-263,114 and Phomactin A. We are principally interested in the development of efficient strategies for the synthesis of challenging ring systems. In the process, new reactions are often discovered out of necessity, and, where appropriate, may develop into methodological studies in their own right.

We have also recently initiated a program devoted to the delineation of new principles for the design of asymmetric catalytic reactions. We are investigating chiral Lewis acid catalysts with a second binding element, as well as new methods for the control of regio- and enantio-selectivity in catalytic alkene carbonylation reactions. " - James Leighton

Like I said, he's another natural products chemist and so I need to broaden my horizons and look for another person outside chemistry, but since it's also my field it's a bit difficult. Now, for the part that I know my friends want at least...the analysis.

He looks rather distinguished actually, and seems to have gotten better looking with age. My friends think he's like a fine wine, getting only better with age (Um..okay?). I'll have to admit, I'm a sucker for a well dressed man in a suit so I'll have to give him points on that. He's an older gentleman though, so I cant really analyze much more so I'm going to just let my friends comment on it. They say he's actually a very nice person (yes, I do know grad students at Columbia, they did suggest him), and he's quite easy to get along with. He cares about his students and seems to have a fatherly disposition (Electra complex anyone?). But, I will agree with them that he is all right looking..definitely hot for a chemist.

So, his score!
James Leighton is...a Cayenne pepper!

profile 1: dr. phil baran

Okay, here is the inaugural post for my sexy profiles page, hooray! Like I mentioned, this blog was inspired by dylanand so I will be profiling sexy scientists.

Our first profile is Prof. Phil Baran at TSRI. Dr. Baran is an up and coming organic chemist at TSRI synthesizing natural products focusing on the total synthesis of products such as stephacidin A, avrainvillamide, stehpacidin B, welwitindolinone A, haouamine A, and a variety of other natural products. A quick biography would be to say that he's REALLY good, one of the professors I was looking at before I entered graduate school not only cause of his interesting work but because he's really good looking. (HAHA!)

His research statement can be seen below:
"Our research is focused on solving interesting challenges in the total synthesis of natural products and in bridging gaps in synthetic capabilities by the invention of new reactions. The invention, discovery and design of new methods that inevitably occurs en route to a natural product fuels our passion. Through judicious target selection and creative retrosynthetic analyses, the endeavor of total synthesis becomes an engine for discovery that drives the field of organic chemistry to new levels of sophistication and practicality. Synthetic organic chemistry rigorously demands and cultivates tremendous ingenuity, artistic taste, experimental acumen, persistence, and character from its students. Although our lab is focused entirely on fundamental chemistry, many collaborations are in place with expert biologists to explore the medicinal potential of newly synthesized natural products and analogs thereof." - Baran Group Website at TSRI

Apparently he is a prodigy in chemistry being one of their younger professors as he quickly went through their rigorous training program at TSRI, went to a Harvard Postdoc with Prof. Corey (yes, the Nobel Prize Winner), and returned to TSRI as an assistant professor. He's very young and having attended his talks at both my university (undergrad and grad) and at meetings, he's a really nice guy and is pretty laid back (not to mention he seems to workout a good bit too..yum!).

Now we have to put up the best part of the profile. We know his research is hot (natural products chemistry is a very hot field and there are TONS of chemists trying to synthesize products possibly useful for cancer treatments, etc). Now..here's a few pictures of him that we shall evaluate to give our total hotness rating (yes we are using a pepper system..so yeah..)

Here we have a young Dr. Baran with what believe to be his PhD advisor. For a chemist, he's pretty damn good looking (at least from what I've seen..if I were a grad student during those days I'd try to date him..haha!)

Here is a more recent picture and I beileve this is around when he started being a professor at TSRI. For a professor he seems to have a nice body (look at the curves in those guns..wow I'm being really superficial), and yes..he was the main reason I applied to TSRI as an undergrad. But now I've grown up and realized that I cant have a PhD advisor that I would well want to..nevermind :). Perhaps when I graduate and I'm looking around for postdoctoral positions?

This is one that I put up because it reminds me of a Myspace photo. It seems like he's trying to go for the sexy look (at least in my opinion and I cant help but chuckle slightly at this), but we cant exactly fault him for it. I said these are HOT scientists, meaning that they might not exactly be supermodel quality, but he's still pretty goodlooking.

So there we go, an analysis of Dr. Phil Baran.

So now the final results!
Phil Baran is...a HABANERO on the hotness scale! Smokin!

an introduction

Hello and welcome to Sexy Science!

While I was an undergraduate chemistry major, my girlfriends and I would often check out guys, like most young college kids would do in their spare time or while we were people watching. One of my friends pointed out that most of these attractive people would end up being in the business school or liberal arts, though I must admit there was quite a good number in the college of engineering. One thing that was sorely lacking were those guys in the sciences. As such, I am on a quest to look for sexy scientists (biologists, chemists, physicists, computer scientists and perhaps a few engineers) and to profile their hotness and their work. I'm going to be looking particularly for professors (assistant/associate/full) and graduate students. My friends and I will look around to see who and what we can find and then a profile of their experimental or perhaps theoretical work will be posted because we all know that what makes a scientist sexy is not their looks but the science they perform.

This was all brought up due to a blog that I regularly read (dylan's tenderbutton) in which he was takling about one of the first professors that we will have here. So..hope you enjoy and if you think you've got what it takes to be profiled or if you know someone we should profile, feel free to send an email my way.