On Tuesday, October 3, 2023, Professors Lawrence Que and Emily Que presented at our Inaugural Oren Anderson Memorial Lecturein Inorganic Chemistry. The lecture is named for the late Professor Oren Anderson who dedicated 37 years of teaching and groundbreaking research to the Department of Chemistry at CSU. His research focused on small and macromolecular structures with particular emphasis on protein crystallography. The Oren Anderson Lecture allows scientists to present their research in Inorganic Chemistry.

Oren Anderson was dedicated to his work and the students of the chemistry department. He insisted on teaching freshman general chemistry in addition to honors chemistry and inorganic chemistry. He also guided many graduate students in obtaining their master’s and doctoral degrees. Oren was a pioneer in protein crystallography chemistry. He shared his findings with colleagues and students at conferences and through his teaching.

The two speakers at the seminar were Professors Lawrence Que and Emily Que. Father and daughter, their professional and personal lives intersected with Oren Anderson and his family.

Lawrence Que, PhD., presentation was titled “Synthetic Analogs For The Fe(IV)=O Intermediates Generated By Nonheme Iron Enzymes To Oxidize C–H and C=C Bonds.” Lawrence shared his efforts to make and characterize synthetic analogs of intermediate Q, the dioxodiiron(IV) species capable of cleaving the 105-kcal/mol C–H bond of methane. Lawrence spoke fondly or Oren saying, “I met Oren Anderson early in my independent academic career at inorganic chemistry gatherings and we had found an immediate rapport, both scientific and personal. In the 80’s, we started a scientific collaboration during which time we co-authored half a dozen of publications in which Oren provided his X-ray crystallographic expertise to solve the structures of a number of molecules we had been able to prepare. Eventually, my young family was also invited to visit Colorado during the winter months to experience the wonderful ski slopes provided by the Rocky Mountains. Later on, Oren’s sons decided to go to college in Minnesota, which provided Oren and Jennifer further opportunities for our families to spend time together. Oren will be remembered for his dry wit and warm hospitality.”

Emily Que, PhD., presentation was titled “Fluorescent Probes For Monitoring The Dynamic Metalation State Of Metallo-Beta-Lactamases In Cells.” Through the development of these probes, Emily aims to have new tools for monitoring the impact of metal ion sequestration by host defense mechanisms and to detect inhibitor target engagement during the development of therapeutics to counter this resistance determinant.

Department Chair, Matt Shores, had the honor of working with Oren during his time at CSU. Matt had much to say about his former colleague and friend, saying, “Oren Anderson loved crystal structures and teaching inorganic chemistry and his family, not necessarily in that order. He taught at CSU for almost four decades, and he led the chemistry department as chair for ten years. Oren worked hard to make the chemistry department and the professor job more welcoming for women. He held our firstborn at division meetings so both of her parents could participate in the work of the department – I’m pretty sure he got the better end of the deal. Oren was a colleague, a mentor, and a friend. He is missed dearly. On behalf of the chemistry department, I thank Oren’s wife, Professor Emerita Jennifer Anderson, and the Anderson family for establishing the Oren Anderson Memorial Lecture in Inorganic Chemistry. We will use this endowed gift to honor Oren and promote cutting-edge inorganic chemistry research. The inaugural lecturers, Dr. Larry Que (Minnesota) and Dr. Emily Que (UT Austin) were natural choices for the first event: they both work at the interface of biology and inorganic structure, they have deep personal connections to Oren and his family, and they embody the inclusive potential for inorganic chemistry going forward.”

All Announcements