SULI - Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship

ImageWelcome to the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program, a premier Department of Energy fall, spring and summer internship designed to bring undergraduates into the laboratory research setting at the Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University to work with scientists who are leaders in their research fields.  Students from across the country spend either 16 weeks in the fall and spring semesters or

Dr. Doug McCorkle

Associate Scientist
Address
1620 Howe Hall
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011
Phone 515-294-4938
Fax 515-294-5530
Email mccdo@iastate.edu

(Chronologically most recent on top)Publications with the Ames Laboratory

2012
McCorkle D S; Bryden K M . 2012. An Exploratory Framework for Combining CFD Analysis and Evolutionary Optimization into a Single Integrated Computational Environment. Proceedings of the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, 2011, Vol 2, Pts A and B. :1589-1598. abstract
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Muth D J; McCorkle D S; Koch J B; Bryden K M . 2012. Modeling Sustainable Agricultural Residue Removal at the Subfield Scale. Agronomy Journal. 104:970-981. abstract
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2011
McCorkle D; Ashlock D; Corns S; Bryden K M . 2011. Planned tournament selection. Optimization and Engineering. 12:303-331. abstract
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Dr. Kenneth M. Bryden

Program Director, Ames Laboratory and Professor, Iowa State University
Address
1620 Howe Hall
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011
Phone 515-294-3891
Fax 515-294-3261
Email kmbryden@iastate.edu

(Chronologically most recent on top)Publications with the Ames Laboratory

2013
Singh A V; Yu M; Gupta A K; Bryden K M . 2013. Thermo-acoustic behavior of a swirl stabilized diffusion flame with heterogeneous sensors. Applied Energy. 106:1-16. abstract
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Muth D J; Bryden K M; Nelson R G . 2013. Sustainable agricultural residue removal for bioenergy: A spatially comprehensive US national assessment. Applied Energy. 102:403-417. abstract
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2012
Muth D; Bryden K M . 2012. A Conceptual Evaluation of Sustainable Variable-Rate Agricultural Residue Removal. Journal of Environmental Quality. 41:1796-1805. abstract
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McCorkle D S; Bryden K M . 2012. An Exploratory Framework for Combining CFD Analysis and Evolutionary Optimization into a Single Integrated Computational Environment. Proceedings of the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, 2011, Vol 2, Pts A and B. :1589-1598. abstract
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Muth D J; McCorkle D S; Koch J B; Bryden K M . 2012. Modeling Sustainable Agricultural Residue Removal at the Subfield Scale. Agronomy Journal. 104:970-981. abstract
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2011
McCorkle D; Ashlock D; Corns S; Bryden K M . 2011. Planned tournament selection. Optimization and Engineering. 12:303-331. abstract
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2009
Shih T I P; Chi X; Bryden K M; Alsup C; Dennis R A . 2009. Effects of Biot Number on Temperature and Heat-Flux Distributions in a TBC-Coated Flat Plate Cooled by Rib-Enhanced Internal Cooling. Proceedings of the Asme Turbo Expo 2009, Vol 3, Pts a and B. :641-6551443. abstract
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angiemcg@iastate.edu

Angela R. McGuigan

Secretary
Simulation, Modeling and Decision Science
Address
Phone
515-294-8060
Fax
515-294-3261
Email
angiemcg@iastate.edu

Andrew C. Hillier

Ames Laboratory Associate and Professor, Iowa State University
Address
3133 Sweeney Hall
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011
Phone 515-294-3678
Fax 515-294-2689
Email hillier@iastate.edu

Research Interests

  • Electrochemistry and Electrochemical Engineering
  • Surface and Colloid Chemistry
  • Scanning Probe Microscopy
  • Optical Sensing (Ellipsometry, Surface Plasmonics, etc.)
  • High Throughput Experimentation
  • Atom Probe Tomography

        Project Affiliations:
        Molecular Metamaterials

        Group Website:
        Hillier Research Group
        
        

(Chronologically most recent on top)Education

  • Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1995
  • B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Nebraska, 1990

(Chronologically most recent on top)Honors & Awards

  • 2005 ISU Engineering Student Council Leadership Award
  • 2003 Memminger Faculty Fellow, University of Virginia
  • 2002 Young Investigator Award, Society for Electroanalytical Chemistry
  • 2000 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator
  • 1999 NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award
  • 1997 Young Electrochemical Scanning Probe Microscopist Award
  • 1996 Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award

(Chronologically most recent on top)Publications with the Ames Laboratory

2013
Anand V K; Adroja D T; Hillier A D . 2013. Magnetic and transport properties of PrRhSi3. Journal of Physics-Condensed Matter. 25:196003. abstract
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2010
Adhikari S; Chumbley L S; Chen H; Jean Y C; Geiculescu A C; Hillier A C; Hebert K R . 2010. Interfacial voids in aluminum created by aqueous dissolution. Electrochimica Acta. 55:6093-6100. abstract
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Dr. Basil Nikolau

Ames Laboratory Associate and Professor, Iowa State University
Address
2210 Molec Biol
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011
Phone 515-294-9423
Email dimmas@iastate.edu

Research Interests

Dr. Nikolau's research interests focus on the biochemistry and molecular biology of biotin and biotin-containing enzymes and the regulation of metabolism.


        Project Affiliations:

        Group Website:
        Nikolau Research Group
        
        

(Chronologically most recent on top)Education

  • University of Utah Molecular Biology Post-doc - 1983-1985
  • University of California, Davis Biochemistry Post-doc - 1982-1983
  • Massey University, New Zealand Biochemistry Ph.D., 1982
  • Massey University, New Zealand Biochemistry/Chemistry B.Sc., 1st Class Hon., 1977

(Chronologically most recent on top)Professional Appointments

  • 2008-present Deputy Director, NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC)
  • 2007-present Director, Center of Metabolic Biology, ISU
  • 2003-present Director, W.M. Keck Metabolomics Research Laboratory, ISU
  • 1999-2007 Director, Center for Designer Crops, ISU
  • 1998-present Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, ISU
  • 1993-1998 Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, ISU
  • 1988-1993 Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, ISU
  • 1985-1988 Senior Scientist, Biotech. Department, Native Plants Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah

(Chronologically most recent on top)Publications with the Ames Laboratory

2012
Jin H N; Song Z H; Nikolau B J . 2012. Reverse genetic characterization of two paralogous acetoacetyl CoA thiolase genes in Arabidopsis reveals their importance in plant growth and development. Plant Journal. 70:1015-1032. abstract
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Lee Y J; Perdian D C; Song Z H; Yeung E S; Nikolau B J . 2012. Use of mass spectrometry for imaging metabolites in plants. Plant Journal. 70:81-95. abstract
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Korte A R; Song Z H; Nikolau B J; Lee Y J . 2012. Mass spectrometric imaging as a high-spatial resolution tool for functional genomics: Tissue-specific gene expression of TT7 inferred from heterogeneous distribution of metabolites in Arabidopsis flowers. Analytical Methods. 4:474-481. abstract
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2010
Jun J H; Song Z H; Liu Z J; Nikolau B J; Yeung E S; Lee Y J . 2010. High-Spatial and High-Mass Resolution Imaging of Surface Metabolites of Arabidopsis thaliana by Laser Desorption-Ionization Mass Spectrometry Using Colloidal Silver. Analytical Chemistry. 82:3255-3265. abstract
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2009
Cha S W; Song Z H; Nikolau B J; Yeung E S . 2009. Direct Profiling and Imaging of Epicuticular Waxes on Arabidopsis thaliana by Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry Using Silver Colloid as a Matrix. Analytical Chemistry. 81:2991-3000. abstract
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2008
Cha S W; Zhang H; Ilarslan H I; Wurtele E S; Brachova L; Nikolau B J; Yeung E S . 2008. Direct profiling and imaging of plant metabolites in intact tissues by using colloidal graphite-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry. Plant Journal. 55:348-360. abstract
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Dr. Javier Vela

Ames Laboratory Associate and Assistant Professor, Iowa State University
Address
2101E Hach Hall
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011
Phone 515-294-5536
Email vela@iastate.edu

Research Interests

Photoactive nanomaterials for catalysis, energy, and biology; synthesis, functionalization, and bottom-up directed assembly of semiconductor and metal nanocrystals; nanoparticle-polymer nanocomposites; sensitization/activation of transition metal complexes by photoactive nanostructures; organometallic chemistry and catalysis


        Project Affiliations:

        Group Website:

(Chronologically most recent on top)Education

  • 2007-2009, Postdoctoral Fellow, Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • 2005-2006, Postdoctoral Associate, University of Chicago
  • Ph.D. 2005, University of Rochester
  • M.S. 2003, University of Rochester
  • B.S. 2001, UNAM

(Chronologically most recent on top)Professional Appointments

  • 2009-present, Assistant Professor, Iowa State University

(Chronologically most recent on top)Honors & Awards

  • NSF CAREER Award, 2013-2018
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory Director’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2007-2009
  • ACS Inorganic Young Investigator Award, 2006
  • Messersmith, Hooker & Sherman-Clarke Graduate Fellowships, University of Rochester, 2001-2005
  • ACS Inorganic Travel Award, 2004
  • TELMEX Foundation Award 1996-2000

(Chronologically most recent on top)Publications with the Ames Laboratory

2012
Guo Y J; Marchuk K; Sampat S; Abraham R; Fang N; Malko A V; Vela J . 2012. Unique Challenges Accompany Thick-Shell CdSe/nCdS (n > 10) Nanocrystal Synthesis. Journal of Physical Chemistry C. 116:2791-2800. abstract
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2011
Alemseghed M G; Ruberu T P A; Vela J . 2011. Controlled Fabrication of Colloidal Semiconductor-Metal Hybrid Heterostructures: Site Selective Metal Photo Deposition. Chemistry of Materials. 23:3571-3579. abstract
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Ruberu T Purnima A; Vela J . 2011. Expanding the One-Dimensional CdS-CdSe Composition Landscape: Axially Anisotropic CdS(1-x)Se(x) Nanorods. ACS Nano. 5:5775-5784. abstract
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Ames Laboratory scientists have come up with a new process to prepare neodymium-iron-boron (Nd2Fe14B) permanent magnets that has the potential to enable them to be produced economically here in the United States. What’s more, the Ames Laboratory process doesn’t produce the environmentally unfriendly byproducts that result from traditional manufacturing methods.

“Neodymium iron boron magnets represent perhaps one of the most important use of rare earth elements,” says Karl A. Gschneidner, Jr., senior metallurgist at Ames Lab, who co-developed the process along with Rick Schmidt, principal scientist emeritus. “They’re the most powerful magnets in the world.” And they can be found in every computer and every hybrid and electric vehicle that rolls off an assembly line as well as a wide array of consumer, commercial and military products.

Little wonder, permanent magnets make up a $4.1 billion global industry. Over the years, however, production of neodymium-based magnets has shifted to China and other low-cost-producing nations. The hope is that the new technology will help US-based companies compete with these other nations on an economic basis.

The Schmidt-Gschneidner process leveraged know-how that had been amassed at the Ames Laboratory for more than half a century. Early lessons learned from the Lab’s World War II role processing uranium were put to use by scientists researching rare earths. As breakthroughs at the Lab continued over the years, the scientific community began to view the Ames’ facility “as one of the best places to be if you’re researching rare earths,” Gschneidner says. Now, fast forward to the early ’80s, when the discovery of Nd2Fe14B by U.S. and Japanese researchers set off a renewed flurry of related research at the Ames Lab and elsewhere.

Owing to their unique advantages of strength and durability, manufacturers began incorporating Nd2Fe14B magnets into more and more products.

Image
Ames Lab senior metallurgist Karl Gschneidner holding a neodymium-iron-boron magnet produced using a new, greener process.

The unfortunate tradeoff was an increase in the amount of unhealthy waste materials created as ever-larger amounts of neodymium for the magnets was being processed.

Indeed, the conventional refining process starts with the neodymium oxide, but goes through two steps in order to obtain the neodymium metal. Waste products are associated with both these steps, and they must be handled in an environmentally friendly manner.

In 2009, Ames Laboratory researchers began work on a greener process for refining neodymium. Instead of two steps, “It is a one-step process going from the neodymium oxide to the neodymium master alloy,” Gschneidner explains, “and since the end-products are completely utilized, there are no waste materials to dispose of.”

A green process with the potential to bring a greater share of the $4.1 billion permanent magnet industry back to U.S. shores represents a major achievement in itself. But the greatest long-term benefit of the Ames Lab process may be yet to come. Gschneidner believes that “A modification of this process should enable us to prepare a lanthanum [element 57 on the periodic table] master alloy to produce lanthanum nickel metal hydride batteries, which are used in hybrid and electrical vehicles.”

A cheaper, greener battery for the world’s growing fleet of hybrid vehicles could eliminate untold tons of CO2, and it’s just the kind of industry needed to help insure America’s economic health for decades to come.

 

 ~ By Mark Ingebretsen


For Release: Sept. 23, 2010

Contacts:
Edward Yu, Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, and Ames Laboratory, (515) 294-4955
Mike Krapfl, News Service, (515) 294-4917

AMES, Iowa – A research team led by Edward Yu of Iowa State University and the Ames Laboratory has discovered the crystal structures of pumps that remove heavy metal toxins from bacteria, making them resistant to antibiotics.

The findings are published in the Sept. 23 issue of the journal Nature.

Yu – an associate of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and an Iowa State associate professor of chemistry, of physics and astronomy, of biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology – said the finding gives researchers a better understanding of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Ultimately it could help drug researchers develop treatments to combat that resistance.

To make their findings, the researchers purified and crystallized the membrane proteins that make up an efflux pump of E. coli bacteria. The researchers prepared some samples that contained the toxic heavy metals copper and silver and some that did not.

The researchers used X-ray crystallography to compare the various structures, identify the differences and understand the mechanism that removes heavy-metal toxins from cells.

Image
Edward Yu, right, shows electron density maps of a pump that removes heavy metal toxins from bacteria. With him are post-doctoral researchers Chih-Chia Su, left, and Feng Long. Photo by Bob Elbert.
Image
This diagram shows the crystal structure of the trimeric CusA heavy-metal (copper) efflux pump found within E. coli bacteria.

Their paper specifically describes the crystal structure of CusA, one of three parts of the pumps responsible for removing toxins from bacteria. Yu said CusA is an inner membrane transporter which belongs to the resistance-nodulation-division protein superfamily. It consists of 1,047 amino acid residues and spans the inner membrane 12 times.

What those pumps do, Yu wrote in a summary of his research, is “recognize and actively export these substances out of bacterial cells, thereby allowing the bugs to survive in extremely toxic conditions.”

 The research project was supported by the National Institutes of Health. In addition to Yu, the research team includes Robert Jernigan, an Iowa State professor of biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology and director of Iowa State’s Laurence H. Baker Center for Bioinformatics and Biological Statistics; Kanagalaghatta

 Rajashankar, the operations team leader for the Northeastern Collaborative Access Team facility at Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Ill., that’s managed by Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.; Iowa State post-doctoral researchers Feng Long and Chih-Chia Su; and Iowa State graduate students Michael Zimmermann and Scott Boyken.

“This work reports the first detailed structure of a unique heavy metal transporter that enables bacteria to survive the toxic effects of silver and copper,” said Jean Chin, Ph.D., who oversees this and other structural biology grants at the National Institutes of Health. “By detailing the exact steps that a metal ion is likely to take through the transporter, this study suggests how we might block the pathway and render pathogenic bacteria sensitive to heavy metal toxins."

Yu, who has been studying bacterial resistance to antibiotics for nearly a decade, said direct information about how bacteria handle heavy-metal toxins is important information for biomedical researchers.

“We want to understand the mechanisms of these heavy-metal pumps,” he said. “And that could allow biotechnology researchers to make inhibitors to stop the pump and the antibiotic resistance.”

 

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