Community Forum in Chemistry
Fall 2007 Schedule

Hale Imiloa 111 (view map of campus)
University of Hawai’i - Windward Community College
45-720 Kea'ahala Road
Kane'ohe, Hawai’i 96744

Download a flyer in PDF
View main page

Header for Community Forum in Chemistry

Tuesday, September 4
1:30-2:30 p.m.
M. Lee Goff, Ph.D

Dealing with the Addicted Maggot

In cases of death by homicide, suicide or accident, insects are often the only eyewitnesses to the event.  Presence of drugs or toxins in a body can further complicate the reconstruction of the circumstances of the death and the insects will often provide significant clues.  These applications will be illustrated using actual cases from Hawaii and other parts of the world.

M. Lee Goff (Ph.D. in Entomology, University of Hawaii) is the Chair of the Forensic Sciences Program at Chaminade University and consultant for the TV series, CSI.

Picture of scientists

Wednesday, October 3
1:30-2:30 p.m.
Ralf I. Kaiser, Ph.D.

Extraterrestial Formation of the Molecules of Life

Ever since the pioneering detection of CH, CH+, and CN more than half a century ago, there has been an increase in the number of chemicals identified in interstellar space, including amino acids and sugars. Yet, the answer to the question "How do these molecules arise in the interstellar medium and in our solar system?" remains highly speculative. In this talk, synthetic routes to the biologically important molecules in cold interstellar environments and in our Solar System, and its implications to the origin of life, will be discussed.

Ralf I. Kaiser (Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Munster, Germany), is a Professor at the Chemistry Department, UHM, and was recently awarded the UH Regents Excellence in Research.

Picture with amino acid


Monday, October 29
1:30-2:30 p.m.
Gabor Mocz, Ph.D

DNA Microarrays in Disease Detection and Diagnosis

DNA microarrays are prefabricated chips containing an arrangement of several DNA fragments or oligonucleotides that are used to detect active genes in a sample cell, for instance in a tumor tissue. It has brought about a revolution in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of biological processes. The technology involved and the underlying chemistry will be discussed together with examples that illustrate successful application in health and disease.

Gabor Mocz (Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Eotvos Lorand University, Hungary) is the Director of the Molecular Biology Core Facility at U of Hawaii-Manoa.

Picture of human with scientifice instruments



Thursday, November 29
1:30-2:30 p.m.
Paul M. Fox, Ph.D.


After the anthrax attacks in 2001 that resulted in five deaths, Congress took steps to establish molecular laboratories in various states, including Hawaii, to deal with possible bioterrorism events. This talk will illustrate some of the current molecular technologies being utilized for testing, as well as exploring the historical context of bioterrorism.

Paul Fox (Ph.D. in Biochemistry, University of Hawaii) works with the Bioterrorism Response Laboratory at the State of Hawaii Public Health Lab.

Picture of scientists in biohazard lab


What is the Community Forum in Chemistry?  

• Its goal is to increase learning in chemistry for all students (and community members).

• A practicing professional discusses a chemistry related topic that is relevant to everyday lives.

• During the forum audience participate by asking questions, sharing views and comments.

• Serves as a bridge between classroom and real-world applications.

Picture of people doing chemistry
  Co-sponsored by
This project is coordinated by Leticia U. Colmenares
, Assistant Professor in Chemistry - 236-9120

ACS Logo
the American Chemical Society
- Hawaii Section

Logo for INBRE Logo for VMR