Chemistry Seminar


The Dwain L. Ford Lecture Series was introduced in 1971. Our ChemSem program always highlights a diversity of areas where chemistry, biochemistry and other parts of life intersect.  A diverse set of speakers, by many metrics of diversity, present to both specialized chemistry & biochemistry audiences as well as general audiences.  We hope you'll enjoy  viewing the videos we post here. And if you are in the area, you are welcome to join us for the weekly presentation from 4:30-5:30 p.m. on Thursdays.  Please e-mail the department at for more information.  We are grateful to Dr. Desmond Murray for arranging the series of presentations.

This is a link to a PDF of presentations planned for this school year.

Below are some videos from previous chemistry seminars.

Oct. 5, 2017: Alison Narayan, University of Michigan, Enzymes in Organic Synthesis.


Sep. 28, 2017: Samantha Piszkiewicz, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Tardigrade Stress Proteins for Enzyme Protection.



Sep. 21, 2017: Carl Cranor, University of California, Riverside, Toxic Failures: How and Why We Are Harmed by Toxic Chemicals.



Sep. 14, 2017: Alvin Holder, Old Dominion University, Verstatile Cobalt: Anti-Cancer and Hydrogen Production.



Sep. 7, 2017: Samira Musah, Harvard University, Engineering Stem Cells into Organs-on-Chips.



March 2, 2017: Maisha Kamunde-Devonish, University of California, Irvine, Public Communication of Science.



February 23, 2017: Chun Tao Che, University of Illinois, Chicago, Treasure Hunt for Medicinal Plants - A Pharmacognostic Perspective.


February 16, 2017: Stefan France, Georgia Institute of Technology, Novel Cyclizations Toward Medicinal Compounds.


February 9, 2017: Amanda Garner, University of Michigan, Chemical Approaches for Targeting Translational Control.


February 2, 2017: Rena Robinson, University of Pittsburgh, Bioanalysis of Neurodegenerative Diseases.


January 26, 2017: Thomas Hoye, University of Minnesota, Serendipitous Re-discovery of a Chemical Reaction.


January 19, 2017: Marek Urban, Clemson University, Chemistry of Self-Repairing Materials.


January 12, 2017: Timothy Bertram, University of Wisconsin, Atmospheric Chemistry at the Air-Ocean Interface.


November 3, 2016: Graham Gagnon, Dalhousie University, Effects of Iron Nanoparticles on Lead Leaching.


October 27, 2016: Lauber Martins, Andrews University, Mathematical Modeling of Fuel Cells.


October 20, 2016: Steven Sibener, University of Chicago, Global Water Supplies.


October 13, 2016: Ernest Blatchley III, Purdue University, Swimming Pool Chemistry.


October 6, 2016: Isiah Warner, Louisiana State University, GUMBOS Research with QCM Technology.


September 29, 2016: Brian Haab, Van Andel Research Institute, Subtypes of Pancreatic Cancer Defined by Glycans.


September 22, 2016: Pauline Gagnon, Indiana University, The Dark Side of the Universe.


September 15, 2016: David Chavez, Los Alamos National Laboratories, The Impact of Early Research on My Career.


September 8, 2016: Marya Lieberman, University of Notre Dame, Got Fakes? Finding Falsified Medicine in the Developing World.


September 1, 2016: Amy Hixon, University of Notre Dame, Chemical Detection & Risk Management of Actinides.


On March 3, 2016, Marc Edwards from Virginia Tech explained how his research group  uncovered the crisis of lead in the drinking water of Flint, Michigan.


On February 18, 2016, Joseph Fortunak of Howard University gave us his presentation on Medicines for the "Other Six Billion."


On February 11, 2016, we listened to Vadym Mochalin of Drexel University tell us about his research into Nanodiamonds.


On February 4, 2016, Kami Hull of the University of Illinois spoke on Green Catalytic Synthetic Methods.


On January 21, 2016, Luke Lavis of the Howard Hughes medical Institute taught us how it can be Hip to Be Square: Building Brighter Dyes for Biology.


On January 14, 2016, we welcomed Michelle Kahlenberg from the University of Michigan as she focused on New Therapeutic Opportunities for Lupus.


On January 7, 2016, Jenelle Ball, of Chico High School, shared her ideas on Excellence in Teaching High School Chemistry.


On October 22, 2015, we were educated in the latest news on Cooperative Function in Atomically Precise Nanoscale Assemblies presented by Paul Weiss, professor at UCLA.

On October 15, 2015, we were treated to a presentation of Real Life Applications of Measurement Sciences in Chemistry by Carlos Gonzalez of the National Institute of Standards & Technology.


On October 8, 2015, Pulitzer-Prizer winning journalist and MIT professor, Deborah Blum, shared information from her book, The Poisoner's Guide to Communicating Chemistry.


On October 1, 2015, we heard about a Density-based Rapid Test for Sickle Cell Disease from Ashok Kumar of Jana Care.


On September 24, 2015, we learned about about Biomimetic Materials by David Kohn, professor at University of Michigan.


On September 17, 2015, Hosea Nelson, assistant professor at UCLA, presented the topic, Organic Synthesis.


On September 3, 2015, we enjoyed the lecture on the Chemical & Environmental Impact of Gold Mining by Ronald RH Cohen, professor at Colorado School of Mines.


On August 27, 2015, we honored our retired chair, Dwain L Ford, by introducing the Dwain L Ford Lecture Series for our Chemistry Seminar Program this year. In the video below you will enjoy a look back over our history as a department.


On February 12, 2015, Carrie Ferraro from the University of Michigan spoke on the Neuroscience of Drug Addiction.