Every morning before heading out to school, the laboratory, or the office, most of us will take a careful look at our image in the mirror. Like you and your reflection, organic molecules can exist as mirror images of each other. These "left" and "right" hand molecules are called "enantiomers" and they have different biological activity. For example, one molecule can save lives, while its enantiomer acts as a deadly poison.
Vy Dong was born in Big Spring, Texas and grew up in Anaheim, California. She graduated magna cum laude from UC Irvine where she majored in chemistry and completed an honor's project with Professor Larry Overman. After graduation, she earned her Ph.D. at Caltech and completed postdoctoral studies at UC Berkeley. She began her independent academic career at the University of Toronto, where she was named the Adrian Brook Professor. In the summer of 2012, Vy returned to the United States to assume a professorship at her alma mater, UC Irvine. Professor Dong's research team aims to solve challenges in organic synthesis through the study and design of catalytic methods.
Dean Kenneth C. Janda and the School of Physical Sciences at the University of California, Irvine invite you to 'Discover the Physical Sciences 2011-12 Breakfast Lecture Series.' Our first lecture will feature Professor A.J. Shaka from the department of Chemistry at UCI. He will present "Deep Green: Long-Term Zero-Carbon Power for the 21st Century." Parking for the series is free in the Student Center Parking Structure located on the corner of Pereira Dr. and West Peltason.
Dr. Shaka received his Ph. D. from Oxford University in 1984 on a Rhodes Scholarship, and joined the UCI faculty in 1988 after a Miller Fellowship at UC Berkeley. He is an expert in magnetic resonance, and is a licensed Senior Reactor Operator for UCI's research nuclear reactor. He was elected a Fellow of the AAAS in 2007 and was awarded an Emmy for Best Instructional Video for a chemistry distance-learning project with Coastline College in 2010. He appears from time to time in the "Ancient Aliens" series on the History Channel. See Dr. Shaka's Faculty Profile at http://www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=2175.