Chemistry and Physics Research at Chicago State University

Other research projects may be available with other chemistry and physics faculty not listed below.  You may want to contact specific individuals regarding their research and the availability of positions. 

Contact Information: Aida Abraha773-995-2491 Dr. Aida Abraha
Funding agency: Office of Research Development: EARDA Award (submitted)
Course Credit: Yes
Funding for Students:

 

 
Dr. Abraha is doing research on Alzheimer's Disease (AD). The focus of this research is on the tau protein that tangles in the brain. This protein is called neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). NFTs are partly responsible for the memory loss and behavioral changes that occur in AD.  One of the reasons for the NFTs formation is proteolytic cleavage of tau. One of the proteases associated with tau truncation in AD is calpain.

 

In my laboratory, students will learn to design primers based on the calpain cleavage sites of tau protein. They will make the construct from the PT7C-Tau cDNA, express the protein in E-coli and monitor and compare the kinetics and morphology of the truncated tau to the wild type full-length tau protein using laser light scattering (LLS) and transmission electron microscope (TEM), respectively.

Student Qualifications:

Students should complete at least one semester of general chemistry course with lab.

 

Contact Information: Kim Coble 773-995-2085

Dr. Kim Coble

Funding agency: NASA/ NSF
Course Credit:  Yes.
Funding for Students:  Yes.

Powerful new observations and advances in computation and visualization have led to a revolution in our understanding of the structure, composition, and evolution of the universe. These gains have been vast, but their impact on education has been limited. My collaborators at Sonoma State and UNLV and I are bringing new tools and advances to cosmology instruction through research on undergraduate learning in cosmology as well as the development of a series of web-based cosmology learning modules entitled “The Big Ideas in Cosmology.” I also collaborate with researchers at the University of Alaska Anchorage on examining the effect of engaging with scientific data on introductory astronomy students’ attitudes toward science. I recently joined the Undergraduate ALFALFA Team, which will involve students in radio astronomy at the Arecibo radio observatory. CSU also has access to the Global Telescope Network (GTN) for student projects.

Opportunities exist for students in astronomy education research, cosmology curriculum development, and astronomical observations and data analysis. Student should have preferably taken one of my courses (physics I or II or astronomy) or should do an independent study course with me before beginning paid research.

Student Qualifications: Student should have preferably taken one of my courses (physics I or II or astronomy) or should do an independent study course with me before beginning paid research.

 

Contact Information:

 

Mel S. Sabella 773-995-2172

Dr. Mel Sabella
Funding agency: PhysTEC, National Science Foundation
Course Credit: Yes
Funding for Students: Yes
Dr. Sabella has two main projects he is currently working on, both of which are funded by the NSF.  The first project, titled "Creating Innovative Physics Learning Environments in the Urban Classroom " is led by CSU and involves implementing new instructional materials in the introductory physics classes and assessing whether these materials are effective in promoting student understanding. Students involved with this research will analyze student responses to physics questions given in a number of settings to identify common difficulties and identify different modes of reasoning.  In this project, students will have opportunities to review their physics knowledge, learn different excel and digital video capture techniques, construct online homework problems, and work on developing and revising instructional materials.  The second project is a collaborative project led by the Ohio State University titled "Creating Research-Based Single Concept Question Sequences for In-Class Polling Systems."  The project involves creating question sequences that will be used in the lecture portion of the introductory physics classes.  Student will utilize "clickers" to respond to these questions, therefore providing an instructor with immediate feedback regarding where the class is in their understanding of different topics. The clickers provide an anonymous way for students to get more involved in the physics lecture.  Students will assist in assessing the effectiveness of the clickers in promoting understanding and will develop questions sequences that will be used in CSU classes.

Both these projects can lead to academic year projects with different types of involvement.  For more information about these projects, please talk to Dr. Sabella either by phone or email.

Student Qualifications:

Students participating in this research should have passed physics 2110 and 2220 with a grade of B or above.  Exceptions to this requirement are possible.  

 

Contact Information: Asare Nkansah773-995-4503

Dr. Asare Nkansah

Funding agency: Department of Defense
Course Credit: Yes – through independent research.
Funding for Students: Yes.

Polymeric Chemistry My research focuses on the development of less expensive, more efficient new polymeric materials for electrochemical energy conversion technologies such as Polymer Electrolyte Membrane fuel cell and Direct methanol fuel cell.

A second research area of interest is the development of new polymers for medical application (drug encapsulation/drug release).

In my lab, students will learn how to synthesize a wide variety of polymers including polyesters, epoxies, polyacrylates and polyurethanes. In addition students will have the opportunity to use analytical tools to evaluate and characterize polymers.

Student Qualifications:

Students should have completed General Chemistry courses

 

Contact Information: BoB LeSuer773-995-2321

Dr. BoB LeSuer

Funding agency: Department of Defense
Course Credit: Students working during the semester are required to commit one credit hour to independent research before being eligible for pay.
Funding for Students: Students working on this project during the summer will earn a stipend based upon their research experience.  Funds are available throughout the academic year as well.
 Understanding electron-transfer in dye sensitized solar cells: The conversion of solar light to electrical energy is believed to be a major component of the mix of alternative energy sources meant to meet future energy demands.  Dye sensitized solar cells (DSCs) mimic photosynthetic processes to convert light to energy, and promise to provide flexibility and customizability that isn’t possible with commercially available silicon based devices.  Our research uses a variety of analytical tools to study the kinetics and mechanisms of electron-transfer reactions that occur in DSCs.  Students involved in this research will have an opportunity to learn more about electrochemistry, surface probe microscopy, and spectroscopy.  Through this research, we hope to better understand why a solar cell works as good (or as bad) as it does, and the principles developed in our lab will be useful in the design and optimization of high-efficiency solar cells.
Student Qualifications:

The concepts used in this research (kinetics, chemical reactions, oxidation and reduction) are covered in the second semester of General Chemistry (CHEM 1560) which is required before students can work in my lab.  Students who have performed exceptionally well in the first semester of General Chemistry should stop by my office and speak with me, as I am willing to make exceptions to this requirement.

 

Contact Information: Andrea Gay Van Duzor773-995-4437

Dr. Andrea Van Duzor

Funding agency:

National Science Foundation,

PhysTEC

Course Credit: Yes
Funding for Students: Noyce Scholars and PhysTEC Fellows only

Dr. Van Duzor is researching the use of informal science institution internships in pre-service science teacher development and two-year college/ university partnerships.  She is also interested in ways to better facilitate students connections between theory and practice in the laboratory.  Students will be introduced to qualitative education research methodologies and theoretical frameworks.  There will be opportunities to collect, transcribe, and analyze video, interview, and classroom artifact data.

Student Qualifications: Students should have successfully completed at least one semester of general chemistry.  Additionally students should should be interested in understanding learning theories.
Contact Information: Kristy Mardis773-995-2171

 Dr. Kristy Mardis

Funding agency: National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense
Course Credit: Yes
Funding for Students: Yes
Dr. Mardis has two main research areas. In the first project, Dr. Mardis seeks to understand the role of conformation on electron tranfer in c-type cytochromes. It is known that cytochromes undergo electron transfer (think photosynthesis). It would be useful in developing biomimetic solar energy devices if supramolecular assemblies of the cytochromes could be built. These assemblies would act like wires conducting the electrons to a storage device. However, it is unknown whether these assemblies must have the cytochromes lined up straight like soldiers or whether they can tilt in and out of the plane. Students on this project would learn to build molecular models of the cytochromes, run molecular dynamics simulations to simulate their behaviour in water, and compare the x-ray scattering patterns of the calculated models to experimentally available data. This project is done in collaboration with Dr. Tiede at Argonne National Laboratory. In the second project, she is working with Dr. Richter, Dr. LeSuer, and Dr. Rivas to create a database of dyes that may be used in solar cell devices.  This project involves building molecular models, calculating molecular orbitals using ab initio techniques, and predicting their absorbance spectras.  Eventually molecular dynamic simulations will be run on promising candidates.  Both of these projects can lead to academic year projects for credit or pay. I intend to take 2-3 students to Argonne again for the summer.
Student Qualifications:

 

At least an "A" or a "B" in Chemistry 1550; ideally and an "A" or a "B" in Chemistry 1560 and one semester of calculus.  No programming experience necessary, but prior experience with computers is a real plus.

 

 

Contact Information:

 

Edmundo Garcia 773-995-2325

 

Edmundo Garcia

Funding agency:

 

National Science Foundation
Course Credit: Yes
Funding for Students: Yes
My area of scientific research is experimental high-energy nuclear physics, also often called high-energy "heavy-ion" physics.  This research is primarily carried out at CERN, in Geneva Switzerland.  We utilize large particle accelerators (or colliders) to collide "heavy-ion" nuclei such as gold and lead traveling at near the speed of light in order to re-create the conditions of the early universe in the laboratory.  By doing this we are able to melt normal nuclear matter, the protons and neutrons, into a "plasma" of quarks and gluons in order to study, and better understand, the strong force and the theory of Quantum Chromo-Dynamics.
I am member of the ALICE collaboration, one of the four main experiments at the Large Hadron Collider. My group is involved in hardware and analysis projects. During the summer, in collaboration with IL-LSAMP we travel to CERN, my students travel to Berkeley Labs and CERN where they do research for 10 weeks.
Student Qualifications:

Student should have preferably taken Physics I  and II, or should do an independent study course with me before beginning paid research.

 

Contact Information: Robert Richter773-995-2182

sci

Funding agency: Department of Defense (DOD) Solar Cell Grant and DOD CMEC grant
Course Credit: Yes
Funding for Students: Yes

Dr. Richter is the Director is CSU’s Center for Microwave Enhanced Chemistry (CMEC).  CMEC established to enhance the professional development of undergraduate students as well as to foster intercollegial working relationships between the faculty of CSU’s Chemistry, Physics and Biology departments.  Students working in CMEC to gain extensive experience in instrument development, R&D planning, fundamental organic, analytical, microwave and physical chemistry and a variety of analytical techniques such as infrared, ultraviolet and mass spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, and liquid chromatography.  CMEC is currently involved in the following projects: 1) Investigating, understanding and exploiting microwave-enhanced heating in chemical synthesis and materials development.  2) ICP-MS method development for studying stress factors in plants. 3) Development of undergraduate laboratories using Ocean Optics spectroscopy equipment.  4) Solar Cell research and curriculum development.

Student Qualifications:

Must have completed Chemistry 1550 and 1560 with B or better average.

 

Contact Information: Felix M. Rivas773-995-2299

Dr. Felix Rivas

Funding agency: Department of Defense (DOD) Solar Cell Grant and DOD CMEC grant
Course Credit: Course credit is available through independent research throughout the academic year.
Funding for Students: Yes

Research Project I-Synthesis of Antibacterial Agents:  This research project involves the synthesis of two new antibacterial agents using solid-supported organic synthesis. New antibacterial agents are needed due to bacteria that have become resistant to know antibacterial agents (antibiotics). Resistant bacteria cannot be treated effectively with known antibiotics because they have developed a mechanism that allows then to survive in the presence of these known antibiotics. Our goal is to use solid-supported organic synthesis to synthesize new antibacterial agents similar to Cicadapeptins I and II. The new antibacterial agents will have as key elements unusual amino acids that induce a particular three-dimensional structure. Students will have the opportunity to synthesize their own molecules and will evaluate their antibacterial properties in collaboration with departments in the biological sciences.      Research Project II- Synthesis of Chiral Ligands for Stereoselective Carbon-Carbon Bond Formation:  The stereoselective formation of carbon-carbon bonds is of paramount importance in the synthesis of drugs that posses one or more stereogenic centers. To allow the synthesis of such molecules organic chemists have developed an array of stereoselective reactions. Our goal within this project is to contribute with new and better ligands that can be use on reactions with low stereoselectivity. The ligands to be synthesize will serve as the scaffold on metals that are use to facilitate carbon-carbon bond formation. The project will explore how the combination of phosphorous and nucleophilic carbenes on a single ligand will work together to yield stereoselective bond formation.

Student Qualifications:

Must have completed Chemistry 1550 and 1560 with B or better average. Exceptions to this requirement are possible.

 

Contact Information: Valerie Goss 773-995-3892

Dr. Valerie Goss

Funding agency:

NSF - Through RISE and LSAMP

Course Credit: Yes
Funding for Students: Yes

Topics of interest in the group are centered on understanding binding and structural properties of nanostructures that have important implications for increasing storage capacity in molecular electronics, minimizing high temperature destabilizing effects in energy systems, and maintaining bioactivity of bound molecules in biosensors. DNA origami nano technology, scanning microscopy (SEM and AFM), and electrochemistry are applicable techniques.  Our research group focuses on creating transforming technology - sub-10 nm fabrication methods - that will advance US capabilities for a range of science, technology, and security objectives.  Immediate applications are in computation and environmental sensing.  Ultra-small circuits could mediate between electronic devices and molecules, enabling close integration of electronics with sensors and with living organisms.  Capabilities such as real-time chemical detection and rapid image processing are possible future applications.  To meet the challenge, one promising technology is nanoimprint lithography (NIL) which uses a mold stamped into a resist to render patterned features. Student researchers in our group will assistant in the development of this technique. Many variations of this basic method have been developed.  We aim to develop DNA origami (smart molecules) that are functionalized to accept 1-D and 2-D nanomolecules (suitable for studying light-induced energy transfer), and to show that we can use folded DNA molecules to localize nano components on a nanoimprint surface with exquisite precision, as small as 2 nm, to create functional structures.

Student Qualifications:

Completion of Chemistry 1550 with a grade of B or better.  Exceptions are possible.

 

Contact Information:

Amber Wise 773-995- 2170

Dr. Amber Wise

Funding agency: Center for STEM Education and Research Pilot Grant
Course Credit: Yes
Funding for Students: yes if completed RISE / TILT program

My research centers around environmental analysis of water, soil and possibly plant material.  This project is in its infancy, so students involved would have the opportunity to help steer the future direction of research.  Initially, experiments will involve testing local sources for so-called “emerging contaminants” such as pharmaceuticals, antibacterial agents and/or pesticides in water samples.  As the project expands, we will identify other chemicals and other locations that are of interest to fill in data gaps.  Students involved would have the opportunity to work with a variety of separation techniques and analytical methods.  A second area of interest is implementing Green Chemistry into undergraduate education and I hope to design some new undergraduate lab experiments or classroom exercises that utilize Green Chemistry theory while furthering student’s knowledge of general chemistry or organic chemistry topics.

Student Qualifications:

Students should have completed two semesters of general chemistry, but others will be considered depending on interest area and other experience. 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Information:Aida Abraha 773-995-2491Dr. Aida AbrahaFunding agency:Office of Research Development: EARDA Award (submitted)Course Credit:YesFunding for Students:

 

 Dr. Abraha is doing research on Alzheimer's Disease (AD). The focus of this research is on the tau protein that tangles in the brain. This protein is called neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). NFTs are partly responsible for the memory loss and behavioral changes that occur in AD.  One of the reasons for the NFTs formation is proteolytic cleavage of tau. One of the proteases associated with tau truncation in AD is calpain.

 

In my laboratory, students will learn to design primers based on the calpain cleavage sites of tau protein. They will make the construct from the PT7C-Tau cDNA, express the protein in E-coli and monitor and compare the kinetics and morphology of the truncated tau to the wild type full-length tau protein using laser light scattering (LLS) and transmission electron microscope (TEM), respectively.

Student Qualifications:

Students should complete at least one semester of general chemistry course with lab.

 

Contact Information:Kim Coble 773-995-2085

Dr. Kim Coble

Funding agency:NASA/ NSFCourse Credit: Yes.Funding for Students: Yes.

Powerful new observations and advances in computation and visualization have led to a revolution in our understanding of the structure, composition, and evolution of the universe. These gains have been vast, but their impact on education has been limited. My collaborators at Sonoma State and UNLV and I are bringing new tools and advances to cosmology instruction through research on undergraduate learning in cosmology as well as the development of a series of web-based cosmology learning modules entitled “The Big Ideas in Cosmology.” I also collaborate with researchers at the University of Alaska Anchorage on examining the effect of engaging with scientific data on introductory astronomy students’ attitudes toward science. I recently joined the Undergraduate ALFALFA Team, which will involve students in radio astronomy at the Arecibo radio observatory. CSU also has access to the Global Telescope Network (GTN) for student projects.

Opportunities exist for students in astronomy education research, cosmology curriculum development, and astronomical observations and data analysis. Student should have preferably taken one of my courses (physics I or II or astronomy) or should do an independent study course with me before beginning paid research.

Student Qualifications:Student should have preferably taken one of my courses (physics I or II or astronomy) or should do an independent study course with me before beginning paid research.

 

Contact Information:

 

Mel S. Sabella 773-995-2172

Dr. Mel SabellaFunding agency:PhysTEC, National Science FoundationCourse Credit:YesFunding for Students:YesDr. Sabella has two main projects he is currently working on, both of which are funded by the NSF.  The first project, titled "Creating Innovative Physics Learning Environments in the Urban Classroom " is led by CSU and involves implementing new instructional materials in the introductory physics classes and assessing whether these materials are effective in promoting student understanding. Students involved with this research will analyze student responses to physics questions given in a number of settings to identify common difficulties and identify different modes of reasoning.  In this project, students will have opportunities to review their physics knowledge, learn different excel and digital video capture techniques, construct online homework problems, and work on developing and revising instructional materials.  The second project is a collaborative project led by the Ohio State University titled "Creating Research-Based Single Concept Question Sequences for In-Class Polling Systems."  The project involves creating question sequences that will be used in the lecture portion of the introductory physics classes.  Student will utilize "clickers" to respond to these questions, therefore providing an instructor with immediate feedback regarding where the class is in their understanding of different topics. The clickers provide an anonymous way for students to get more involved in the physics lecture.  Students will assist in assessing the effectiveness of the clickers in promoting understanding and will develop questions sequences that will be used in CSU classes.

Both these projects can lead to academic year projects with different types of involvement.  For more information about these projects, please talk to Dr. Sabella either by phone or email.

Student Qualifications:

Students participating in this research should have passed physics 2110 and 2220 with a grade of B or above.  Exceptions to this requirement are possible.  

 

Contact Information:Asare Nkansah773-995-4503

Dr. Asare Nkansah

Funding agency:Department of DefenseCourse Credit:Yes – through independent research.Funding for Students:Yes.

Polymeric Chemistry My research focuses on the development of less expensive, more efficient new polymeric materials for electrochemical energy conversion technologies such as Polymer Electrolyte Membrane fuel cell and Direct methanol fuel cell.

A second research area of interest is the development of new polymers for medical application (drug encapsulation/drug release).

In my lab, students will learn how to synthesize a wide variety of polymers including polyesters, epoxies, polyacrylates and polyurethanes. In addition students will have the opportunity to use analytical tools to evaluate and characterize polymers.

Student Qualifications:

Students should have completed General Chemistry courses

 

Contact Information:BoB LeSuer773-995-2321

Dr. BoB LeSuer

Funding agency:Department of Defense Course Credit:Students working during the semester are required to commit one credit hour to independent research before being eligible for pay.Funding for Students:Students working on this project during the summer will earn a stipend based upon their research experience.  Funds are available throughout the academic year as well. Understanding electron-transfer in dye sensitized solar cells: The conversion of solar light to electrical energy is believed to be a major component of the mix of alternative energy sources meant to meet future energy demands.  Dye sensitized solar cells (DSCs) mimic photosynthetic processes to convert light to energy, and promise to provide flexibility and customizability that isn’t possible with commercially available silicon based devices.  Our research uses a variety of analytical tools to study the kinetics and mechanisms of electron-transfer reactions that occur in DSCs.  Students involved in this research will have an opportunity to learn more about electrochemistry, surface probe microscopy, and spectroscopy.  Through this research, we hope to better understand why a solar cell works as good (or as bad) as it does, and the principles developed in our lab will be useful in the design and optimization of high-efficiency solar cells. Student Qualifications:

The concepts used in this research (kinetics, chemical reactions, oxidation and reduction) are covered in the second semester of General Chemistry (CHEM 1560) which is required before students can work in my lab.  Students who have performed exceptionally well in the first semester of General Chemistry should stop by my office and speak with me, as I am willing to make exceptions to this requirement.

 

Contact Information:Andrea Gay Van Duzor773-995-4437

Dr. Andrea Van Duzor

Funding agency:

National Science Foundation,

PhysTEC

Course Credit:YesFunding for Students:Noyce Scholars and PhysTEC Fellows only

Dr. Van Duzor is researching the use of informal science institution internships in pre-service science teacher development and two-year college/ university partnerships.  She is also interested in ways to better facilitate students connections between theory and practice in the laboratory.  Students will be introduced to qualitative education research methodologies and theoretical frameworks.  There will be opportunities to collect, transcribe, and analyze video, interview, and classroom artifact data.

Student Qualifications:Students should have successfully completed at least one semester of general chemistry.  Additionally students should should be interested in understanding learning theories.Contact Information:Kristy Mardis773-995-2171

 Dr. Kristy Mardis

Funding agency:National Institutes of Health and Department of DefenseCourse Credit:YesFunding for Students:YesDr. Mardis has two main research areas. In the first project, Dr. Mardis seeks to understand the role of conformation on electron tranfer in c-type cytochromes. It is known that cytochromes undergo electron transfer (think photosynthesis). It would be useful in developing biomimetic solar energy devices if supramolecular assemblies of the cytochromes could be built. These assemblies would act like wires conducting the electrons to a storage device. However, it is unknown whether these assemblies must have the cytochromes lined up straight like soldiers or whether they can tilt in and out of the plane. Students on this project would learn to build molecular models of the cytochromes, run molecular dynamics simulations to simulate their behaviour in water, and compare the x-ray scattering patterns of the calculated models to experimentally available data. This project is done in collaboration with Dr. Tiede at Argonne National Laboratory. In the second project, she is working with Dr. Richter, Dr. LeSuer, and Dr. Rivas to create a database of dyes that may be used in solar cell devices.  This project involves building molecular models, calculating molecular orbitals using ab initio techniques, and predicting their absorbance spectras.  Eventually molecular dynamic simulations will be run on promising candidates.  Both of these projects can lead to academic year projects for credit or pay. I intend to take 2-3 students to Argonne again for the summer.Student Qualifications:

 

At least an "A" or a "B" in Chemistry 1550; ideally and an "A" or a "B" in Chemistry 1560 and one semester of calculus.  No programming experience necessary, but prior experience with computers is a real plus.

 

 

Contact Information:

 

Edmundo Garcia 773-995-2325

 

Edmundo Garcia

Funding agency:

 

National Science FoundationCourse Credit:YesFunding for Students:YesMy area of scientific research is experimental high-energy nuclear physics, also often called high-energy "heavy-ion" physics.  This research is primarily carried out at CERN, in Geneva Switzerland.  We utilize large particle accelerators (or colliders) to collide "heavy-ion" nuclei such as gold and lead traveling at near the speed of light in order to re-create the conditions of the early universe in the laboratory.  By doing this we are able to melt normal nuclear matter, the protons and neutrons, into a "plasma" of quarks and gluons in order to study, and better understand, the strong force and the theory of Quantum Chromo-Dynamics.
I am member of the ALICE collaboration, one of the four main experiments at the Large Hadron Collider. My group is involved in hardware and analysis projects. During the summer, in collaboration with IL-LSAMP we travel to CERN, my students travel to Berkeley Labs and CERN where they do research for 10 weeks. Student Qualifications:

Student should have preferably taken Physics I  and II, or should do an independent study course with me before beginning paid research.

 

Contact Information:Robert Richter773-995-2182

sci

Funding agency:Department of Defense (DOD) Solar Cell Grant and DOD CMEC grant Course Credit:YesFunding for Students:Yes

Dr. Richter is the Director is CSU’s Center for Microwave Enhanced Chemistry (CMEC).  CMEC established to enhance the professional development of undergraduate students as well as to foster intercollegial working relationships between the faculty of CSU’s Chemistry, Physics and Biology departments.  Students working in CMEC to gain extensive experience in instrument development, R&D planning, fundamental organic, analytical, microwave and physical chemistry and a variety of analytical techniques such as infrared, ultraviolet and mass spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, and liquid chromatography.  CMEC is currently involved in the following projects: 1) Investigating, understanding and exploiting microwave-enhanced heating in chemical synthesis and materials development.  2) ICP-MS method development for studying stress factors in plants. 3) Development of undergraduate laboratories using Ocean Optics spectroscopy equipment.  4) Solar Cell research and curriculum development.

Student Qualifications:

Must have completed Chemistry 1550 and 1560 with B or better average.

 

Contact Information:Felix M. Rivas773-995-2299

Dr. Felix Rivas

Funding agency:Department of Defense (DOD) Solar Cell Grant and DOD CMEC grant Course Credit:Course credit is available through independent research throughout the academic year. Funding for Students:Yes

Research Project I-Synthesis of Antibacterial Agents:  This research project involves the synthesis of two new antibacterial agents using solid-supported organic synthesis. New antibacterial agents are needed due to bacteria that have become resistant to know antibacterial agents (antibiotics). Resistant bacteria cannot be treated effectively with known antibiotics because they have developed a mechanism that allows then to survive in the presence of these known antibiotics. Our goal is to use solid-supported organic synthesis to synthesize new antibacterial agents similar to Cicadapeptins I and II. The new antibacterial agents will have as key elements unusual amino acids that induce a particular three-dimensional structure. Students will have the opportunity to synthesize their own molecules and will evaluate their antibacterial properties in collaboration with departments in the biological sciences.      Research Project II- Synthesis of Chiral Ligands for Stereoselective Carbon-Carbon Bond Formation:  The stereoselective formation of carbon-carbon bonds is of paramount importance in the synthesis of drugs that posses one or more stereogenic centers. To allow the synthesis of such molecules organic chemists have developed an array of stereoselective reactions. Our goal within this project is to contribute with new and better ligands that can be use on reactions with low stereoselectivity. The ligands to be synthesize will serve as the scaffold on metals that are use to facilitate carbon-carbon bond formation. The project will explore how the combination of phosphorous and nucleophilic carbenes on a single ligand will work together to yield stereoselective bond formation.

Student Qualifications:

Must have completed Chemistry 1550 and 1560 with B or better average. Exceptions to this requirement are possible.

 

Contact Information:Valerie Goss 773-995-3892

Dr. Valerie Goss

Funding agency:

NSF - Through RISE and LSAMP

Course Credit:YesFunding for Students:Yes

Topics of interest in the group are centered on understanding binding and structural properties of nanostructures that have important implications for increasing storage capacity in molecular electronics, minimizing high temperature destabilizing effects in energy systems, and maintaining bioactivity of bound molecules in biosensors. DNA origami nano technology, scanning microscopy (SEM and AFM), and electrochemistry are applicable techniques.  Our research group focuses on creating transforming technology - sub-10 nm fabrication methods - that will advance US capabilities for a range of science, technology, and security objectives.  Immediate applications are in computation and environmental sensing.  Ultra-small circuits could mediate between electronic devices and molecules, enabling close integration of electronics with sensors and with living organisms.  Capabilities such as real-time chemical detection and rapid image processing are possible future applications.  To meet the challenge, one promising technology is nanoimprint lithography (NIL) which uses a mold stamped into a resist to render patterned features. Student researchers in our group will assistant in the development of this technique. Many variations of this basic method have been developed.  We aim to develop DNA origami (smart molecules) that are functionalized to accept 1-D and 2-D nanomolecules (suitable for studying light-induced energy transfer), and to show that we can use folded DNA molecules to localize nano components on a nanoimprint surface with exquisite precision, as small as 2 nm, to create functional structures.

Student Qualifications:

Completion of Chemistry 1550 with a grade of B or better.  Exceptions are possible.

 

Contact Information:

Amber Wise 773-995- 2170

Dr. Amber Wise

Funding agency: Center for STEM Education and Research Pilot Grant Course Credit:YesFunding for Students: yes if completed RISE / TILT program

My research centers around environmental analysis of water, soil and possibly plant material.  This project is in its infancy, so students involved would have the opportunity to help steer the future direction of research.  Initially, experiments will involve testing local sources for so-called “emerging contaminants” such as pharmaceuticals, antibacterial agents and/or pesticides in water samples.  As the project expands, we will identify other chemicals and other locations that are of interest to fill in data gaps.  Students involved would have the opportunity to work with a variety of separation techniques and analytical methods.  A second area of interest is implementing Green Chemistry into undergraduate education and I hope to design some new undergraduate lab experiments or classroom exercises that utilize Green Chemistry theory while furthering student’s knowledge of general chemistry or organic chemistry topics.

Student Qualifications:

Students should have completed two semesters of general chemistry, but others will be considered depending on interest area and other experience.