Recent News

Spring 2021 Operating Plan

The campus’s strategic focus is on advancing students’ academic progress toward degree completion while providing a campus environment that meets federal and state health and safety protocols for mitigating COVID-19. Guided by these principles, the university has determined that in-person, face-to-face instruction for undergraduate and graduate students will be offered on campus this spring in certain classes, labs and studios identified as requiring in-person instruction.

Timely information regarding various aspects of our spring plan can be found at umass.edu/spring, and the administration will also keep you updated via email and other communication channels.

In the weeks and months ahead, the campus will continue to monitor the progress of the pandemic, and should worsening conditions warrant re-evaluation of our plan, we will act accordingly to ensure that the health and wellbeing of our community remains paramount

Graduate Program Webinar

If you missed our webinar, or wish to review content from the event, please watch the video segments for additional program information.

Introduction to our Department by Associate Head, Prof. Jeanne Hardy
Introduction to our Graduate Program by Program Director, Prof. D. Venkataraman
Current Graduate Student, Catherine Tremblay
Current Graduate Student, Michael Lu Diaz
Overview of the Application Process by Admission Committee Chair, Prof. Vincent Rotello

Questions about applying or about the graduate program should be directed to Rebecca David rldavid@umass.edu

  • Application Deadline:  December 15  (Fall admission only)
  • Information about applying for Fall 2021. (Info for Chemistry Applicants)
  • The requirement for the GRE general exam is waived for 2021 admission.  The Department also requires a separate Research Interests Form to be filed with the graduate application.
  • Application Fee Waiver: to apply, email one paragraph stating your financial need, URM status, or academic achievement to Rebecca David rldavid@umass.edu

UMass Chemist Eric Strieter and his lab group have discovered how an enzyme known as UCH37 regulates a cell’s waste management system, a result they found “incredibly surprising.”

Strieter says, “It took us eight years to figure it out, and I’m very proud of this work. We had to develop a lot of new methods and tools to understand what this enzyme is doing.”

As he explains, a very large protease called a proteasome is responsible for degrading the vast majority of proteins in a cell; it may be made up of as many as 40 proteins. It has been known for more than 20 years that UCH37 is one of the regulatory enzymes that associates with the proteasome, he adds, “but no one understood what it was doing.” It turns out that the crux of the whole process, he adds, is how complicated modifications in a small protein called ubiquitin can be.

Writing this week in Molecular Cell, he and first author and Ph.D. candidate Kirandeep Deol, who led and conducted the experiments, with co-authors Sean Crowe, Jiale Du, Heather Bisbee and Robert Guenette, discuss how they answered the question. The work was supported by the NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

This advance could eventually lead to a new cancer treatment, Strieter says, because cancer cells need the proteasome to grow and proliferate.

Project leader and chemistry professor Dhandapani “DV” Venkataraman, is one of five researchers from a campus group that has been selected to receive a one-year, $100,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s “10 Big Ideas for Future NSF Investments” series to conduct a series of national workshops to identify research challenges associated with transitioning to an equitable and sustainable energy system.

The grant is the second this year from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to researchers at UMass for a similar purpose, evidence of a growing worldwide interest in developing sustainable energy systems that consider and even prioritize the resources and needs of all communities.

“A transition toward a less carbon-intensive energy system is underway globally,” Venkataraman points out. “The challenge is to envision how the energy system might evolve in a way that is consistent with resources and needs.”

Further, he explains, “When we are thinking about the emerging energy technologies landscape, we need to incorporate equity as an intrinsic design component. This requires energy scientists, equity scholars and other stakeholders who normally work independently to come together and identify the priorities and needs.”

Upcoming Events

Thameez Mohammed Koyasseril Yehiya
Dissertation Defense
Friday, January 29, 2021

"DESIGN, SYNTHESIS AND SELF-ASSEMBLY OF STIMULI-RESPONSIVE AMPHIPHILES FOR ANTIBACTERIAL APPLICATIONS"

2:00 pm
zoom
Research Adviser:
S. Thayumanavan
Prof. Luisa Whittaker-Brooks
Univ. of Utah
Thursday, February 4, 2021
Department of Chemistry

“Designer Organic-Inorganic Interfaces for Coherent Charge and Spin Transfer”

Host:
DV
11:30 am
Zoom
Prof. H. Tom Soh
Sanford University
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Electrical Engineering and Radiology
Host:
Mingxu You
11:30 am
zoom
Prof. James McKone
Univ. of Pittsburg
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Chemical and Petroleum
Host:
Joe DuChene
11:30 am
zoom
Prof. Khalid Salaita
Emory University
Thursday, March 25, 2021
Department of Chemistry
Host:
Mingxu You
11:30 am
zoom