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About ChBE

From the Chair - Winter 2018

I am very pleased to tell you that it has been another highly successful year for the department. We have graduated a stellar class of students, bid fond farewells, welcomed new faces, and celebrated the many wonderful accomplishments of our students, faculty, and staff.

Earlier last year, Ms. Beth Frasso took a position within the university’s Advancement Division to pursue her interest in engaging alumni, friends, and other members of the Tufts community. As Department Administrator for more than six years, Beth has been invaluable in building the close-knit community between students, staff, and faculty. I am deeply grateful to Beth’s dedicated service to the department. I am delighted to let you know that Ms. Margaret DeChiaro, who has served the department exceptionally alongside Beth, has been promoted to the position of Department Manager. I am grateful to Margaret for taking on this expanded responsibility. Over the summer, we also welcomed a new staff member, Ms. Maura Tierney, who is ably filling the role formerly held by Margaret. Previously, Maura worked at Harvard University Resident Dean’s office.

In the fall, the department further upgraded its facilities by relocating some its research laboratories to the newly constructed Science and Engineering Complex (SEC), a state-of-the-art laboratory building. The SEC’s grand opening attracted distinguished guests and speakers from in and outside the university, including US Senator Edward Markey. The SEC is now home to two ChBE faculty laboratories, the Nair group and my own group. We are thrilled to collaborate with neighboring laboratories from different departments on exciting projects ranging from microbiome engineering to studying the gut-brain axis.
Our newsletter highlights prestigious peer recognitions of scholarly achievements, groundbreaking research conducted by faculty and students, and internal and external awards that recognize and support the department’s activities in research, teaching, and service. I am delighted to highlight the news that Distinguished Professor Flytzani-Stephanopoulos’ transformative work on methane conversion was recently published in Nature and Nature Chemistry.

I am also pleased to report that the department’s productivity continues to rise. Over this past year, faculty members have secured new grants and contracts totaling more than $2.5 million, obtaining support from various federal and non-federal sources — the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, Exxon-Mobil, Bristol-Myers Squibb - to name a few. Faculty and students also continue to publish their research results in high-impact journals and give invited and keynote lectures across the country and the world.

On a somber note, I am saddened to share the news of the sudden passing of Associate Professor Jerry H. Meldon. Over more than three decades, Professor Meldon has been a mentor and friend to students, staff, and faculty members in the department. We will miss him dearly.

Thanks to the efforts of talented and dedicated faculty members, students, and staff as well as generous support from our alumni and friends, the department continues to thrive as a vibrant community of learning and scholarship.

With warm regards,

Kyongbum Lee
Professor and Chair