2017 Benjamin P. Boussert Lecture
Dr. Emory and Dr. Hai-Lim Chan (Photo credit: Vickie Tate Thornton)
On Friday, October 6th, Dr. Emory Chan delivered an elegant lecture titled, “High-Throughput Design of Doped Colloidal Nanocrystals.” He explained the energy transfer pathways of lanthanide-doped upconverting nanoparticles and we learned about the combinatorial synthesis of these carefully designed nanoparticles, using robots called WANDA and HERMAN. We observed “the pork chop experiment,” i.e., you don’t want to cook the tissue that you are imaging. In more sophisticated experiments, an undergraduate researcher used nanoparticles to image cross-sections of rat brains. The nanoparticles were optimized for excitation at wavelengths ideally suited to the task. A serendipitous finding in the student’s work has enabled the fabrication of microscale, upconverted lasers for biological sensing and stimulation.
Dr. Chan received his BS with Honors and Distinction from Stanford University and his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley with Professors Paul Alivisatos and Richard Matthies. Over the past decade, he has served in various capacities at The Molecular Foundry, at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he is now a Staff Scientist in Inorganic Nanostructures. Dr. Chan grew up and Baton Rouge and is no stranger to LSU, with both his parents being faculty members. Professor Emeritus Hai-Lim Chan (Physics) was in attendance at his son’s homecoming lecture.
The annual lecture is named for the late Benjamin P. Boussert, an LSU University Medalist who became a graduate student in the Alivisatos Group at the University of California at Berkeley. He was tragically killed in a car accident a few months before defending his dissertation. In introductory remarks, Professor Robin L. McCarley and Dr CJ Dubois (Dupont) remembered Ben and his days as an undergraduate at LSU. In early slides, Emory Chan shared his reminiscences of his “glovebox mate” and showed a photo of their “gear.” Ben’s box was labeled the “Lair of Boussert.” Boussert family members in attendance were Anne and Christian, Joel, Kelly and Margot. In addition to Emory, other friends of Benjamin Boussert able to attend the lecture this year were CJ Dubois (and his son Benjamin) and Steve Damo and Christine Micheel (and their son Benjamin). A reception in the Benjamin P. Boussert Conference Room followed the lecture. Refreshments were provided and mementos of Ben were on display. The conference room features a stained glass window by Mary Ann Caffrey called “Benjamin’s World.”
Noémie Elgrishi, Carol Taylor, Nancy (friend of Boussert Family) and Christian Boussert
Mementos of Ben including “Life Cut Short” by Master Glassblower Christian Boussert
Matt Chambers, CJ Dubois, Ben Dubois, Lui Marzilli and Pat Marzilli
Grad students at the reception: Autumn Webb, Kathryn McKee and Thu Nguyen