Episodes
Published 05/25/22
Meet Ziyang Zhang, a humble but brilliant chemist bringing a unique approach to antibiotic synthesis and selective targeting of brain cancer. In classic BCTL style, his discussion with Paolo touches on his unique personal and professional path, highlights his one-of-a-kind character, and illuminates us all on his exciting science.
Published 05/25/22
Dr. Patrick Fier got a bit of a non-traditional start to his chemistry education and decided early that a career in academia wasn’t for him. Once he discovered pharmaceutical process chemistry, he found his purpose and passion for applying his creative approaches to organic synthesis. Hear his story and learn about his efforts to make Molnupiavir, the so-called COVID pill.
Published 05/11/22
Diego Solis-Ibarra is a father, a husband, an athlete, and a world-class chemist. Tune in to meet Diego, hear his story of remarkable determination, and learn about the amazing work he’s doing to progress the real-world applications of perovskites. You’ll also get to learn about his efforts to elevate the chemistry game in his native Mexico.
Published 04/27/22
Paolo talks with an energetic and super creative thinker applying his polymer chemistry talents to an impressively broad range of applications that span form wind turbine blade manufacturing to chemical mechanical planarization of semiconductors. Once again, you’ll get to learn about cutting-edge chemistry and the interesting person behind the science. If you’ve ever wondered how video games are related to chemistry, this is your episode!
Published 04/13/22
We continue season 3 with another phenomenal look at the fascinating people behind world-class science. Paolo talks with Dr. Hans Renata about his journey from Indonesia, to Singapore, to the U.S. and his unique approach of applying traditional organic chemistry, aided by enzymes, to synthesize complex and difficult products.
Published 03/30/22
To start Season 3, Paolo talks with Dr. Emilie Ringe. The Canadian-born materials chemist has travelled the world and invested the better part of her still early in studying plasmonics, the synthesis and characterization of plasmonic materials, and their applications. We learn how magnesium is unique in this space and how it is being applied to fuel chemistry and fight cancer.
Published 03/16/22
Season 3 is coming in March! To hold you over until then, enjoy this short bit from Paolo about what to look forward to in our upcoming season and check out his ideas on how to engage with the program between now and our formal season start.
Published 02/16/22
In this final episode of Season 2 you’ll meet Dr. Lingyin Li and learn about her disruptive work aiming to overcome traditional cancer therapeutic approaches. Her studies of the cGAMP cascade pathway are leading to ways to use chemistry to activate our own immune systems to fight cancer in a new way. As always, you get a great mix of an intriguing personal story and world-class science!
Published 10/20/21
In this classic episode of Bringing Chemistry to Life you’ll hear another unique life story that’s led to a super talented scientist doing chemistry that’s changing our world for the better. From a childhood in war-torn Burundi to being one of Fortune Magazine’s nominees of most powerful women, Dr. Mireille Kamariza’s story is one of inspiration and a lesson in resilience and seizing opportunity when it presents itself. Her cross-discipline work has led to the development of a simple and...
Published 10/06/21
This inspirational and interesting episode features Dr. Wendy Lee Queen who is an American expat now working and playing baseball in Switzerland. We learn about the importance of Wendy’s early career mentors, her passion for sports and competition, and her amazing work of creating and using composite materials to capture pollutants and reclaim precious resources. You’ll learn about metal organic frameworks (MOFs), how they’re created, the variation they can have, and their potential to help...
Published 09/22/21
Becoming the CTO of your own startup company may not be the most obvious first job in chemistry but that’s the exact path that Dr. Kevin Barnett has taken. Tune in to learn about him, his entrepreneurial career path, and the work he and his team are doing find a new way of making 1-5-pentanediol form renewable materials instead of petrochemical sources. Their radical approach combines novel chemistry with the real-world and scalable implementation of a chemical engineering mindset. Another...
Published 09/08/21
If you’re concerned with water quality and are curious about how chemistry can help improve it, then this episode is for you. Dr. Jessica Ray is using creative thinking along with her full chemistry and chemical engineering skill set to develop and use new composite materials, as well as repurposing common materials, to remediate and clean up urban wastewater and storm water. This is yet another episode that touches on how chemistry can help our environment while moving us from a linear to a...
Published 08/25/21
This episode centers on the work of Dr. Robert Gilliard, Jr. and his innovative exploration of the main-group elements. The discussion will convince you that innovation in synthetic chemistry is definitely not dead by highlighting Robert’s team’s work to leverage abundant, but non-traditional elements such as bismuth, beryllium and others to enable new chemistries and expand the toolset for tackling some of our biggest challenges as mankind. This is a must for anyone looking for proof that...
Published 08/11/21
The career path of Dr. Rudy Wojtecki spans from sequencing mitochondrial DNA, to use of atomic force microscopy, to NMR studies and on to applying his polymer chemistry skillset to help push the boundaries of nanoscale science at IBM. In this episode, Paolo and Rudy discuss how technology is pushing boundaries to produce semiconductor features into the low nanometer size range, which in turn brings up questions about the limits of Moore’s law. Tune in to learn about the diverse and...
Published 07/28/21
This episode’s chemistry is literally out of this world. Brett McGuire is an astrochemist that uses a mixture of laboratory work, modelling, and microwave and radio telescopes to gather rotational spectra data to study the chemistry of outer space. This fascinating conversation touches on the origins of life, the uniqueness of chemistry in space, the various approaches astochemists take in their work and how astrochemistry has driven the field of nanochemistry here on Earth. This is a must...
Published 07/14/21
If you think synthetic organic chemistry lacks innovation, then check out this episode where Paolo talks with Dr. Josep Cornella about the ways he and his team are breathing innovation into modern synthetic chemistry. Dr. Cornella’s non-discriminatory approach to catalysis has enabled him to do amazing things, including making air-stable nickel zero complexes and using non-traditional catalysts such as bismuth to open new doors and break away from established catalytic reactions.
Published 06/30/21
If chemical cartography is a new term to you, you’re likely not alone. In this episode Paolo talks with Dr. Laura-Isobel McCall about what chemical cartography is and how it’s helping us start to better understand an organism’s complex and location-dependent response to external stimuli such as simple chemicals as well a pathogens. The conversation touches Dr. McCall’s fundamental LC-MS metabolomic work, its use and application through chemical cartography to understanding Chagas disease, and...
Published 06/16/21
To start season 2, Paolo talks with Dr. Osvaldo Gutierrez about his amazing and inspirational journey of personal and professional growth. The conversation touches on topics as varied as the challenges of progressing academically as an undocumented immigrant, to the use iron and other less traditional catalysts, to the use of computational chemistry to further chemical understanding and bring innovation to modern organic synthesis.
Published 06/02/21
The use of DNA Encoded Libraries (DELs) is helping to advance the screening of molecular libraries for potential therapeutic targets. Dr. Katelyn Billings from ZebAI Therapeutics discusses the fundamentals of DELs, their application and their advantages with Paolo in this informative and engaging episode.
Published 05/05/21
In this conversation with Dr. Peng Zou, from Peking University, we learn about the clever use of smart biochemical tags to help visualize localized chemistry within cells. Peng also discusses the truly international and collaborative aspects of chemistry.
Published 04/21/21
Dr. Brenda Rubenstein from Brown University is definitely the most theoretically oriented scientist we've interviewed but her conversation with Paolo is quite approachable and entertaining. They discuss her views on the balance of theory and practical utility, her novel work on chemical computing, and her work to make STEM education more available to low-income students.
Published 04/07/21
This conversation with Dr. Loren Andreas, from the Max Planck Institute, delves into the growing use of NMR to study condensed systems and to complement X-ray crystallography in illuminating our understanding of structural biology. Paolo and Loren also talk about the expat experience and how science is truly an international field of study.
Published 03/24/21
This captivating conversation with Dr. Will Tarpeh from Stanford University centers on the how chemistry is finding ways to recover valuable resources from wastes. His innovative way of thinking stands to provide economic incentives to develop applications with tangible benefits for human life and the environment.
Published 01/06/21
This conversation with Dr. Lauren Zarzar of Penn State University delves into her creative and observational approach to chemistry and her lab’s study of understanding and controlling microscale systems to create macroscopic effects.
Published 12/09/20