This holiday season, I am grateful for our safe and “new normal” return to campus and the tremendous success of our students and faculty on many fronts over the past year. Per the strategic vision that we unveiled in the last newsletter, we have made great strides to be “a community of researchers with molecular, cellular, and computational minds.”
I am especially proud of the new initiatives aimed at building our broader community by bringing together our students, faculty, alumni, staff, and friends. I hope you will be moved by the compelling stories of our community members captured in this newsletter as I have been since joining CCB two years ago.
We will continue our community-building activities with a focus on inclusion and excellence. I thank all of you for your advocacy and stewardship.
I wish you all happy holidays!
Chair and Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology (CCB)
Dr. Woo Lee
CCB Department Chair
New course offering will kickstart a cycle of learning and doing for the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
The summer program with Jersey City Medical Center offers early hospital and clinical experience for future medical professionals.
Valedictorians Jenna Pralat and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Chu have already proven themselves to be catalysts for innovation
The Ajay Café was established as an integral area of the recently renovated CCB office complex to promote student-faculty interaction. Here, students have can relax, eat, enjoy free, freshly-ground gourmet coffee, and interact with faculty and staff. Ajay Café is supported by generous contributions from faculty, staff, and friends. The café was named in celebration of Professor Ajay Bose’s extraordinary impact on student success.
Students gather in Ajay Café
New campus-wide resource integrates cutting-edge technology with course curricula
Jeff Hale, Stevens alumnus and founder of Hale MedChem Advisors, and Professors Kenny Wong, Woo Lee and Rahul Khade sit on a panel during the department's alumni weekend.
In collaboration with Development and Alumni Engagement, the alumni weekend event was held on June 3, 2022 to renew our vision for chemical biology. Stevens was among the first to establish the field of chemical biology in 1979, and today remains at its forefront. Chemical biology, as an interdisciplinary field of study between chemistry and biology, has transformed how we study and improve human health. The Stevens chemical biology program has produced many successful alumni who are working as leaders and innovators in various healthcare sectors. The roundtable event brought together our distinguished alumni, guests, and faculty to ponder the question: “What is the future of chemical biology?”
The event featured Dr. Jeff Hale '85 as the main speaker. Hale, B.S. in chemistry, is the Founder of Hale MedChem Advisors and retired in 2021 as Vice President at Merck where he led infectious diseases and neuroscience discovery efforts. Prof. Kenny Wong, Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in the department, moderated panel discussion with:
- Oscar Puig, Head of Clinical Biomarkers & Diagnostics, BeiGen
Yong Zhang, CCB Professor, Computational Chemistry
- Benjamin Tycko, M.D./Ph.D., Co-Director, Institute for Cancer and Infectious Disease, Center for Discovery and Innovation, Hackensack Meridian Health
We heard many alumni participants’ appreciative comments about the event as a unique venue for intellectual discussion during the festive weekend.
An advocate for diversity and inclusion, Christina Puntiel ’20 M.S. ’21 accepts a full-time position at Bristol Myers Squibb while continuing to give back to underserved communities
Reflections on career, leadership and saying ‘yes’ to opportunities
Mike McGuire ’78 came out of retirement to take on an important mission — improving the availability of life-saving generic drugs in the United States
Professor Woo Lee received a $35,000 grant from the New Jersey Health Foundation for his project “Human Lung-on-Chip Model for Interleukin-6 Inhibition Strategy Evaluation."
Professor Yong Zhang received a $208,000 grant from the National Institute of Health for his project “Computational Analysis of Biocatalytic Carbene Transfer Reactions.”
As we close the fall semester and reflect on the advancements made within the CCB Department over the past year, we would like to express our sincere gratitude for the support from our alumni and friends. Our growth and success would not be possible without your various contributions. Financial donations to the CCB Special Initiatives Fund ensure we can continue to explore transformative scientific ideas for global societal impact and expose our students to diverse research and internship experiences.
This year, we seek to raise $25,000 to help support 8 summer interns at the Jersey City Medical Center, 10 senior research projects, and 5 masters research projects. Your gift contributes directly towards strengthening these student-centric and career-building activities.
Together, we are shaping the future of our students.