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Benzene - Undergraduate Chemistry Society

Our current student board consists of three co-presidents: Dara Weiss, Eleanor Mayes, and Claire Liu. The current faculty advisor for Benzene is Professor Ka Yee Lee of the Department of Chemistry.

Faculty Advisor

Professor Ka Yee Lee

Faculty Advisor for Benzene, Professor in the Department of Chemistry

Ka Yee Lee has been Professor of Chemistry at the University of Chicago since 1998, and currently serves as Director of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center. Lee conducts research on lung surfactant, a complex mixture of lipids and proteins that assists the breathing process. Other projects aim to elucidate the membrane disruptive mechanism of antimicrobial peptides, the effects of cholesterol on membrane structure and assembly, the role of lipids in immunological response, as well as the mechanism of membrane sealing by polymers.


Student Board

Dara Weiss

Dara is a rising third year in the college, majoring in chemistry and minoring in Portuguese. She has been working in Dr. Bozhi Tian's lab for a year. Her research interests are focused around silicon nanowire semiconductor properties and biocompatible device fabrication. Aside from lab research, she enjoys reading and keeping up with LIGO research when she can.


Eleanor Mayes

Eleanor is a second year undergrad student, intending on majoring in chemistry and molecular engineering. She hails from Narberth, Pennsylvania, and fell in love with chemistry after immolating a pile of gummy bears. She is currently a member of the Jordan group where she researches polymer catalysts- specifically aliphatic backbones in PO Palladium catalysts. When she's not watching cool chemistry videos on YouTube, she enjoys drawing, as well as reading about materials science and typography.


Claire Liu

Claire is a fourth-year double majoring in molecular engineering and chemistry. She is from Naperville, Illinois and became deeply interested in chemistry after taking a chemistry applications class in high school. Working with Professor Paul Nealey in the Institute for Molecular Engineering, Claire is using advanced fabrication techniques to understand the electrochemical behavior of thin film polymer electrolytes, which has applications for new battery technologies. Previously, she worked on engineering a robust biomaterial, using advanced lithography techniques, which ultimately can be used to drive peripheral nerve regeneration. Claire also helps manage the IME website and all of the IME social media channels, as well as the Benzene website! She is an avid listener of Frank Sinatra and Riccardo Muti and goes to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera as often as she can.