Oversight of IMSERC is performed by a six member committee that is reappointed on a yearly basis. Table 1 shows the current advisory committee that includes Faculty representation of each of the major user groups and also the technical expertise in the core characterization techniques performed by the laboratory. Since much of the equipment in the IMSERC is heavily utilized by the chemistry teaching laboratories, Dr. Frederick Northrup and Dr. Owen Priest also serve on the advisory committee to ensure that the undergraduate needs are fulfilled.
Dr. Andrew Ott (IMSERC Director / Research Professor): Dr. Ott has been the full time Director of the Analytical Services Lab (ASL) and then the IMSERC since 2007 when the full time position was created. Dr. Ott rejoined NU after spending eight years as a Sr. Process Engineer and Group Leader in the Logic Technology Development Division of Intel. Dr. Ott has extensive experience building and maintaining vacuum, plasma, RF and chemical vapor deposition systems through his work at Intel, his post-doctoral position in the R.P.H. Chang lab at NU and his doctoral work with Prof. Steven George at the University of Colorado. In less than 10% role, Dr. Ott serves as the Director of the Masters of Quality and Regulatory Science Program through the School of Continuing Studies. Dr. Ott’s focus in the lab has been in improving the education of the users through undergraduate and graduate level classes, incorporating automation and advanced equipment to give hands-on access to state of the art instrumental analysis techniques to all user and providing off line analysis capabilities to ensure NU gets full use from IMSERC equipment.
Dr. Amy Sarjeant (Research Associate – X-Ray Crystallography): Dr. Amy Sarjeant joined the IMSERC facility in early March 2009 as an X-Ray Crystallography specialist. Most recently, Dr. Sarjeant implemented and managed the small-molecule, single crystal X-Ray facility at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to working with 11 diverse research groups and over 60 students, post-docs and visiting scholars at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Sarjeant also performed data collections and structural analyses for several external academic and industrial users, and ran a small lecture on crystallography as part of a larger analytical course. Dr. Sarjeant received her B.S. from the College of William and Mary, doing undergraduate research on the magnetic properties of solid-state materials. She received her Ph.D. at Northwestern University under the direction of Prof. Jim Ibers. She has 60 publications in major research journals, including 49 from her work at Johns Hopkins. Amy’s primary roles are centered around improving turnaround time for routine samples, expanding single crystal X-Ray capabilities at NU and forming a relationship with the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory that enables NU samples needed high intensity sources to be seamlessly analyzed using the DND or ChemMatCARS beamlines.
Mr. Saman Shafaie (Mass Spectrometry Specialist): Mr. Shafaie is primarily responsible for mass spectrometry sample analysis, instrument upkeep, trace metals analysis and the optical equipment in the IMSERC. Mr. Shafaie holds as B.S. in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin. He joined NU in 1989 as the small instrument specialist after working as a Mass Spectrometrist at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene. Mr. Shafaie was promoted to the Mass Spectrometry Specialist position in 2006 as a reflection of his performance at the time. Mr. Shafaie’s strengths are both the ability to maintain and train users on a wide variety of equipment and develop training plans that teach users concepts need to properly use instrumentation based on users past education and experience.
Ms. Charlotte Stern (Single Crystal X-Ray Crystallographer): Charlotte Stern has operated the x-ray crystallographic facility since May 1990. This includes consulting and performing data collection and full structural analysis on crystals for university faculty and outside academic and industrial clients. She maintains and trouble shoots the x-ray diffractometer, and associated computer software packages. She teaches a graduate level course in x-ray crystallography, including laboratory instruction (Chem 435). She trains and supervises students in crystallographic analysis. Charlotte received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign, Il in 1985. She worked as an assistant research chemist at the University of Illinois from 1986-1990. In the year 2008 she had 7 peer reviewed journal articles and 1 meeting abstract. She has participated in a total of 215 peer reviewed journal articles and 27 meeting abstracts.
Dr. Yuyang Wu (NMR Specialist): Dr. Wu started as ASL’s NMR specialist in 1999 and is 100% dedicated to IMSERC activities. Dr. Wu received his Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario in 1994 before completing a Post doc at UC-Davis and then joining the staff at NU. Dr. Wu has a background in heteronuclear NMR at UWO, paramaganetic protein NMR at UC-Davis, and saccharide NMR at NRC-IBS. When Dr. Wu was coming to NU, he primarily operated all the liquid NMR facility work to support NU research and education, and meanwhile he learned some solid NMR techniques at NU. Now Dr. Wu’s primary research interests are in the areas of heteronuclear NMR and Solid state NMR.
Dr. Yongbo Zhang (Research Assistant Professor– NMR Spectroscopy): Dr. Yongbo Zhang joined NU in October 2004 as the manager of then WCAS structural biology NMR facility. Dr. Zhang did his doctoral thesis work at Case Western Reserve University under the mentorship of Professors Frank Sonnichsen, Witold Surewicz, and Michael Zagorski, characterized the structure and folding of multiple proteins that cause neurodegenerative diseases using solution NMR. He subsequently received postdoctoral training in Professor Erik Zuiderweg’s laboratory at the University of Michigan working on the structure and allosteric mechanisms of Hsp70 proteins. Dr. Zhang’ role at ISMERC is to serve the structural and chemical biology communities at Northwestern and provide instrumentation and staff support for NMR techniques to probe molecular structure, dynamics, and interactions of biological macromolecules. He has established a number of productive interactions (as either collaborator or consultant) with NU faculty with non-NMR expertise.
Mr. Kevin Gilmore (Engineer): Mr. Kevin Gilmore has been with NU since 1991 and transitioned to support the then ASL upon the official closing of the electronics shop in 2004. Mr. Gilmore provides 20% support for the Physics computer labs and 80% support for IMSERC activities. Mr. Gilmore’s primary role is servicing and repairing all different kinds of electronic and computer equipment. This includes very sophisticated analytical instruments such as NMR spectrometers. Through the employment of Mr. Gilmore, the IMSERC is able to avoid the use of service contracts and dramatically reduce downtime by addressing issues either preventatively or typically in less than 24 hours. In addition, Mr. Gilmore has been integral in the installation of the new data sever that will allow all users to access and process data remotely.