Faculty Profiles

faculty photo imageSameh Helmy

Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Chemistry Department
Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Sameh Helmy is currently serving at Reed College as Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry teaching Organic Chemistry Lecture and Laboratory. Sam completed his undergraduate studies at California State University, Chanel Islands in 2010, where he conducted research on the synthesis of water-soluble curcumin analogues as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease under the direction of Dr. Philip Hampton. Sam went on to conduct his doctoral studies in the Read de Alaniz group at the University of California, Santa Barbara, graduating in 2015. His research culminated in the discovery and development of a novel class of photochromic molecular switches termed donor-acceptor Stenhouse adducts.  These unique molecules have been applied to a diverse range of fields including: light controlled drug delivery, catalyst recycling, and as an indicator for impact and thermal stress in polymer composites. Following his doctoral studies he joined the laboratory of Sumita Pennathur (Mechanical Engineering, UCSB) researching surface modification of silicon micro/nano-channels, and developing methods for nanoscale detection of biomolecules and carbohydrates. Sam’s current research interests focus on molecular systems capable of converting visible light to mechanical motion, and developing new reaction platforms for the rearrangement of heterocycles.

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