Faculty Research

Click on the name of a faculty member to see contact information as well as full research activity information.
Professor
Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry
Dr. Martin Chin is interested in the synthesis of organometallic complexes for the activation and functionalization of small molecules. The area of research involves synthesizing and testing new binuclear catalysts for the activation and functionalization of small molecules.  Professor Chin's research involves using a doubly linked dicyclopentadiene ligand with robust carbon linkers to hold the two metal centers next to each other.
Associate Professor
Synthetic Organic Chemistry and Physical Organic Photochemistry.
Synthetic Organic Chemistry and Compound Characterization.  Synthesis of novel targets for localized drug delivery.
Associate Professor
Biochemistry, Cancer Research
The dawn of the 21th century can be characterized as the golden era in biochemistry. In 2003, the human DNA genome was sequenced and we now have access to many mammalian, plant and microbial genomes. An important scientific challenge for the 21st century is interpreting the vast amounts of DNA sequence data that has become available. A portion of these sequences encode for proteins-nature's 'nanomachines'.
Professor
Inorganic Chemistry, Solid-State Chemistry, Magnetic Materials, Hydrogen-Storage Materials
Materials for Hydrogen fuel cells Overall Nature and Background of the Project The desire to reduce the use of traditional fossil fuels has sparked great initiatives into alternative ways to produce, store and utilize energy that are more environmentally. While looking into all three aspects of alternative energy is important, new ways to store energy is vital. If we cannot store the energy produced by sources such as wind, solar, biomass etc., we waste the full potential from the production of cleaner sources of energy.
Associate Professor
Chemistry Education
Broadly speaking, my research interests involve examining laboratory experiences from the perspectives of a student in a teaching lab, a researcher in a research experience and the instructor teaching in the laboratory setting.  Current projects include examining the use and implementation of pedagogies such as the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) and Argument-Driven Inquiry (ADI) in getting student to make evidence based claims, and aligning these goals and professional development with the Next Generation Science Education Standards (NGSS).  
Professor
Identifying biologically active natural products from prairie plants and cultered fungi; developing techniques to determine the absolute stereochemistry and regiochemsitry of complex carbohydrates.
A.)  Identifying biologically active natural products from prairie plants and cultured fungi.   This work involves doing bioassays on prairie plant and fungal extracts to identify compounds that have potent activity against bacterial and/or fungi.  The research also involves running bioassays for compounds that may be used in natural food preservatives. 
Assistant Professor
Protein folding and conformational changes; protein reaction dynamics and energetics; biophysical chemistry; time-resolved laser spectroscopy; sol-gel encapsulation of proteins.
I am interested in understanding how changes in a protein’s conformation affect its function, and the current focus of my research group is on understanding the mechanisms by which proteins fold.  This is part of a long-standing basic research question in Biophysics:   If we know a protein’s amino acid sequence, can we predict its structure and its function?  Further, many diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington, and Jakob Creutzfeldt in humans and mad cow and wasting disease in animals are at le
Assistant Professor
I am interested in the organic processes taking place in the atmosphere of Titan, Pluto and the early Earth. Of particular interest is the conditions that will lead to the formation of biological molecules from prebiotic hazes.
My research program will aim to explore new aspects of prebiotic aerosols and their importance both in interpreting data from missions, such as Cassini-Huygens and New Horizons, and in understanding how biological molecules may form in abiotic environments. This will be accomplished through several research topics:   Titan aerosol formation as sink for stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes:
Associate Professor
Surface Chemistry
My research focuses on reversible metachromasy of dyes on oxide powders.  Reversible metachromasy is a phenomenon I discovered (Langmuir 16 (2000) 9690) in which a dyed powder changes color reversibly due to exposure to water vapor or other vapors.  This has potential for application as a chemical sensor or a really cool paint.  This summer, students will be exploring the effects of vapors other than water on a variety of dye/oxide systems.  Students who have completed general chemistry can do these experiments, although some organic chemistry and quantitative a