PhD Candidate Yamuna Phal wins 2021 FACSS SciX Conference Poster Award


Joseph Park, Illinois ECE

Illinois ECE PhD candidate Yamuna Phal won the poster award at the 2021 FACSS SciX Conference for her poster presentation "Vibrational Circular Dichroism Imaging: A new tool to examine biological materials." The Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Sciences (FACSS) SciX 2021 was held in Providence, Rhode Island. 

FACSS is an international conference at the forefront of analytical chemistry and allied sciences. Phal is advised by Illinois ECE Professor Rohit Bhargava, Founder Professor of Bioengineering at Beckman and Director of Cancer Center at Illinois. 

Typical VCD measurements require at least three hours using current commercial spectrometers. With the developed technique, the measurements can be acquired in under two minutes. Her research focuses on two significant bottlenecks in VCD instrumentation: limited SNR and long acquisition times that have made FT-IR VCD instruments impractical for acquiring measurements in imaging applications. Yamuna's research is a crucial advancement in bringing molecular chirality into the microscopy domain.

Yamuna was also an invited speaker for a special session on Structure Elucidation of Chiral and Biological Molecules at SciX 2021. She presented on "Vibrational circular dichroism measurements using IR microscopes: opportunities and challenges."

Yamuna's work was published in Analytical Chemistry and featured on their cover earlier this year.