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Full-Time Faculty

Dr. Kelvin Billingsley

Assistant Professor Organic & Bioorganic Chemistry

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Our research focuses on the discovery and application of new therapeutics, chemical probes and methods for organic synthesis.  Motivated by an interest in human health, our program is specifically directed towards areas of medical relevance, leveraging expertise in biomedical imaging and medicinal chemistry to develop new agents for the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases.


Dr. Daniel Curtis

Associate Professor Analytical Chemistry

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Spectroscopic properties of atmospheric aerosol particles.  Laboratory and field measurements of the absorbance and scattering of light by naturally occurring aerosol particles and their interaction with pollution gases to determine their effect on global climate and visibility.


Dr. Peter de Lijser

Professor Organic Chemistry
Department Chair

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Physical organic chemistry - mechanistic and kinetic studies of reactions involving radical and radical ion intermediates. Drug discovery - rational drug design and synthesis; structure/reactivity studies of drug candidates (in collaboration with Dr. Nilay Patel in Biological Science).


Dr. Amanda Evans

Assistant Professor Bioorganic Chemistry

Dr. Amanda Evans

Research interests include immobilized whole cell engineered enzyme approaches for continuous bioprocessing ("Enz-Flow"), circularly polarized light for generating tunable molecular chirality, and microfluidic syntheses and analytics in microgravity environments. 


Dr. Allyson Fry-Petit

Assistant Professor Analytical and Materials Chemistry

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Research interests are in solid state inorganic chemistry, focused on the rational design of new materials through the use of data mining, synthesis, structural characterization and optical and vibrational probes. Experimental and analysis development of inelastic neutron measurements of dynamic pair distribution function analysis at national lab facilities is another major research interest that is resulting in collaborations with labs around the world.


Dr. Barbara Gonzalez

Professor Chemical Education

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Applying the constructivist constructs of conceptual change, problem solving, visualization and transformation of particulate and mental representations to learning in chemistry; impact of computer technology on the learner's ability to represent molecular models and to solve novel problems.


Dr. Michael Groves

Assistant Professor Physical & Theoretical Chemistry

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Development of machine learning algorithims in order to theoretically determine the structure of chemically relevant nanoparticles and surfaces; computationally determine the chemical reactivity of surfaces in applications ranging from energy generation and storage to pharmaceutical synthesis in collaboration with experimentalists. 


Dr. John Haan

Associate Professor Chemistry

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Research interests are in the area of electrochemistry to address alternative energy options, particularly those related to fuel cell technology; development of new catalysts and fuels; probing the chemistry of fuel cell reactions.


Dr. Scott Hewitt

Professor Analytical Chemistry

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Atmospheric chemistry, combustion chemistry, and archaeology, with a focus on the oxidation of hydrocarbons using gas chromatography, infrared spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry.



Dr. Paula Hudson

Associate Professor Analytical Chemistry
Vice Chair/Undergraduate Program Advisor

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Chemical and physical processes of atmospherically relevant surfaces and aerosols using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, quantitative adsorption methods and particle sizing instrumentation.



Dr. Niroshika Keppetipola

Assistant Professor Biochemistry

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Research Focus:  Understanding how post-translational modifications alter the activity of splicing factors and in turn cellular gene expression.  Key words:  Post-Translational Modifications, Alternative Splicing, RNA binding proteins.  Techniques Used:  Biochemistry and Molecular Biology



Dr. Zhuangjie Li

Associate Professor Analytical & Physical Chemistry
Graduate Program Advisor

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Characterization of atmospheric transient radical species. Kinetic and dynamic study of atmospheric chemistry of organics, halogen- and sulphur- containing compounds, and aerosols using fast flow, mass spectrometry, resonance fluorescence, FTIR spectroscopy and ab initio molecular orbital theory.


Dr. Maria Linder

Professor Biochemistry

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Mammalian copper and iron metabolism, focusing on the structure, function and regulation of proteins associated with these elements; emphasis is on mechanisms of copper transport in pregnancy and lactation, and on the intestinal absorption and storage of iron; studies use a broad variety of approaches from cell culture models, transgenic mice and tracer radioisotopes, to isolation, sequencing and characterization of proteins, as well as manipulation of mRNA/protein expression.


Dr. Marcos Ortega

Assistant Professor Biochemistry

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Biochemical, biophysical, and structural approaches to study viral replication and assembly using X-Ray crystallography and enzyme kinetics. The understanding of the biochemical structure and function of viral proteins can provide foundational knowledge about how to develop antiviral therapies.The energy intensive process of viral replication can also serve as a model to understand how biological systems use biomolecules to produce massive amounts of energy.


Dr. Andrew Petit

Assistant Professor Physical & Theoretical Chemistry

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Research interests are broadly focused on using theoretical chemistry and computers to answer fundamental questions about what happens after molecules absorb light and become excited.  Current specific areas of interest include photochemistry, the ultrafast relaxation of UV-filters in the human eye, the properties and dynamics of molecular anions, and vibrational spectroscopy at electrified interfaces.  Applications of this research involve developing better dyes, sunscreens, solar cells, and photocatalysts.  Depending on the project, students will learn quantum chemical software (such as Gaussian, Q-Chem, and Gamess), molecular dynamics software and/or computer coding. 


Dr. Madeline Rasche

Professor Biochemistry
On sabbatical 2016-2017

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Biochemical, genetic, and genomic approaches to identify the genes and characterize the enzymes involved in the biosynthetic pathways of selected archaeal coenzymes and potential applications for modulation of biological methane production and utilization by microorganisms of environmental importance.


Dr. Nicholas T. Salzameda

Associate Professor Organic & Bioorganic Chemistry

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The synthesis of novel peptide catalysts for asymmetric carbon-carbon bond forming reactions. The discovery of biologically active molecules for disruption of protein-protein interactions, focusing on targets related to human health. Both of these research objectives are centered on solid phase reaction methodology.


Dr. Fu-Ming Tao

Professor Physical Chemistry
On sabbatical Spring 2017

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Theoretical study of molecular structure and interactions using advanced computational programs and technologies; application of computational chemistry to the investigation of environmental and biological problems, in collaboration with experimental scientists.


Dr. Sachel Villafane-Garcia

Assistant Professor Chemistry

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Research interests are in chemical education research, focused on understanding how the chemistry curriculum influences students' learning, interest in science, and preparation for the workforce.