UMass Amherst professor named one of 12 young chemists to watch

Lili He's work involves lasers and netallic nanoparticles to find small amounts of targeted agents in complicated mixtures.
Lili He's work involves lasers and netallic nanoparticles to find small amounts of targeted agents in complicated mixtures. | File photo
University of Massachusetts Amherst assistant professor of food chemistry Lili He recently snagged a place of honor in the latest issue of Chemical & Engineering News, where she was one 12 young chemists featured for solving scientific problems.

“This group is monitoring our food supply for contaminants, tackling unyielding diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and finding better ways to convert sunlight into electricity,” wrote the editors. “You’ll want to keep an eye on these agents that, with the help of our advisers, we’ve selected. We expect them to help safeguard the planet for future generations. And unlike James Bond, they won’t need Q to outfit them with exotic gadgets for saving the world. They can build their own.”

He, given the code-name “Contaminant Catcher,” was selected for her work with surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, which uses lasers and netallic nanoparticles to find small amounts of targeted agents in complicated mixtures. This means that He is able to better monitor and analyse food contaminants.

“I am very honored to have been chosen to be part of this special group,” He said. “I appreciate the organizing committee for recognizing the value of chemists working in food science applications.”

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