COSAM News Articles 2023 November Annual Schneller Frontiers Lecturer shares research on separating proteins with research links to historical figures

Annual Schneller Frontiers Lecturer shares research on separating proteins with research links to historical figures

Published: 11/21/2023

By: Maria Gebhardt

Christy F. Landes, the Jerry A. Walker Endowed Chair in Chemistry, and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, spoke to a packed room on Nov. 16 at 3:45 p.m. for the annual Schneller Frontiers Lecture. Her talk, Towards predictive protein separations: Imaging protein dynamics at nanoscale interfaces, spoke about a topic of an imaging method for solving problems in chromatographic separations also known as separation science--originally researched in the 1950s but now becoming more feasible to solve. 

“Dr. Landes’ talk gave us a prime example the power of interdisciplinary collaboration for making advances on otherwise intractable scientific problems. Her work demonstrates the expanded impact of research that comes from a comprehensive approach supported by broad expertise,” said Doug Goodwin, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “I am so grateful that Dr. Landes gave our students an opportunity not only to hear about this compelling topic, but also to observe the fruit of a collaborative research strategy.”

Landes began the talk sharing the importance of lecture series like this one.

“I appreciate faculty like Dr. Schneller that are leaving a legacy to support students and faculty in the university through lecture series like this one,” said Landes.

Then she began to talk about her research on protein separations. However, she was seeking answers that could not be easily found.

“Sometime the answer is in the literature,” Landes added.

And that is exactly where she found information from historically significant chemists Henry Eyring and J. Calvin Giddings. They published a paper in 1955 on a related topic, protein separations.  

She then found a PhD dissertation, A Theory of Fused Salts and on the Stochastic Theory of Chromatography, that opened her eyes.

“It was a pivotal contribution,” said Landes.

Donald A. McQuarrie was a doctoral student when he added research to this topic in the 1960s.

Her research group uses super-resolution imaging to further explore and understand macroscopic separation of proteins. To learn more about her research, visit the Landes Research Group website.

The Schneller Frontiers Lecture was endowed by professor and former COSAM Dean Stewart and Mrs. Schneller in 2015. The co-hosts were Chris Grieco and Paul Ohno.

Previous lecturers include:

  • Melanie Sanford, University of Michigan, 2016
  • Sarah Reisman, California Institute of Technology, 2016
  • Shannon Stahl, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2017
  • Theodor Agapie, California Institute of Technology, 2019
  • Wilfred van der Donk, University of Illinois, 2019
  • Livia Eberlin, Baylor College of Medicine, 2021
  • Emily Balskus, Harvard University, 2022


Latest Headlines
Select a year below.

Stay Connected