Month: January 2017

Professor Yongku Cho receives Best of BIOT Award

By: Taylor Caron

Cho Lab

Professor Yongku Cho of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department has received a Best of BIOT (biochemical technology) award for his presentation at the American Chemical Society’s 2016 National Meeting.


His presentation was entitled “Engineering Antibody Specificity Through Multi-Dimensional High-Throughput Screens,” and is related to his research on creating a more effective antibody to potentially detect Alzheimer’s disease for which he has received a grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH).
Professor Cho’s work involves developing an antibody which will be more effective at binding to the desired target. More precisely, Professor Cho and his lab are developing an antibody which will be more specific in targeting a particular modification that occurs on the target protein known as the Tau protein. He said that his presentation at ACS was focused on their new technology that enables the precise measurement of the antibody’s ability to specifically bind to the desire target.


“The BIOT Award had to do with describing the technology of quantifying antibody specificity,” he said. “Many researchers have focused on what is called affinity, which has to do with an antibody’s strength of attracting other proteins, but specificity is the degree to which an antibody can isolate a single target. Both of these properties are equally important to make a good quality antibody.”


Professor Cho presented a webinar (an online seminar in September on this subject on behalf of the ACS. He and his research team are currently applying this knowledge to develop a highly specific and reactive antibody.

UConn CBE Welcomes Assistant Professor in Residence Jennifer Pascal

Jennifer Pascal on Sept. 15, 2016. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)
Assistant Professor Jennifer Pascal  (Peter Morenus)


By: Adam M. Rainear

The Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department is pleased to announce Jennifer Pascal as an Assistant-Professor in Residence, who will mainly have a teaching emphasis for the department.

Joining UConn after spending three years teaching at her alma mater, Tennessee Technological University (TTU), Dr. Pascal attributes her passion for teaching and education as one of the main reasons for joining UConn.

“The school I was at – I thought – had a nice balance between research and teaching,” she said. “But, it turns out they’re really pushing research.  [And] I really wanted to focus on teaching and engineering education.”

With her new role, Dr. Pascal is most looking forward to improving her classes and refining her teaching abilities.

“Just actually getting to focus on your classes, and try to make them good,” she said.  “Trying new things, because you have time now to prepare and do some different activities and stuff like that.  And then, getting to go to some of the workshops at CETL, and interacting with some of the folks over there.  It’s been exciting, those were the meetings I always liked going to.”

In her first semester here in Storrs, Dr. Pascal co-taught Introduction to Chemical Engineering (CHEG 2103), in addition to Unit Operations and Process Simulation (CHEG 4142). In the upcoming spring semester, she will teach two advanced transport special topics courses and will co-teach the chemical engineering senior laboratory.

Dr. Pascal received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from TTU in 2011, researching Modeling Electrokinetic-based Bioseparations and Learning Transport Phenomena for her dissertation.  From there, she went on to begin her career at the University of New Mexico on a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship, where she could devote a portion of her fellowship to teaching at a minority serving institution in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Though she doesn’t have specific research requirements, moving forward Dr. Pascal hopes to continue engaging in research with her new colleagues.

“I’m interested in engineering education research, so I’m trying to get some things going with that and build that up. Before I did mathematical modeling of bio-transport systems, so I’m open.”

Dr. Pascal denotes her father, a former television weatherman in Tennessee, for her passion of all-things science when she was younger.

“I grew up with all this science stuff around – he’s a big nerd – so, weather stations in our house and experiments all the time,” Pascal noted.  “He got me a microscope when I was five – and growing up around that – I’m sure influenced me.”

Professor Emeritus G. Michael Howard Passes Away


Prof. Howard at work in his UConn lab.


It is with great sadness that we say farewell to our beloved friend and colleague Prof. Emeritus G. Michael Howard.  Prof. Howard was a Professor and former Department Head of Chemical Engineering, as well as former Associate Dean for the School of Engineering during his tenure here at UConn (1961-97).  He will be greatly missed.