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Research in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department

Are you interested in doing research in Chemistry and Biochemistry? Some great ways to learn more about research in the department is to attend the annual Science Poster Session in the fall, read the posters in the hallway, or read the faculty research links. You should let a faculty member (with availability listed below) know that you are interested as soon as possible to join a lab on campus.  If you have an interest in participating in research, you can email the faculty member to set up a meeting to discuss their research.  

Academic Year Research

Students can do research with a faculty during the academic year (Fall or Spring Terms) for credit (either 0.25, 0.5, or 1 credit).  Each amount of credit has different expectations for time invested by the student.  Students present their research at the end of the semester in the form of a poster.  Individual faculty member may have additional requirements so that you should talk to them individually about the what they expect.  Typically a student should have at least one course in the subspecialty of the faculty member before requesting a research position.   

Winter Term Research

Another possibility for doing research with a faculty member is to work full time in the laboratory for Winter Term credit as a supervised internship.  

Summer Research Internship

An excellent way to get an in depth research experience is to work with a faculty member full time over the summer.  There are several ways to apply for these opportunities:  

1. Student Faculty Summer Research Internship: During the spring semester (March 1) students and faculty can apply together for research to fund a student for a summer internship (usually 8-10 weeks).   In order for students to make use of this option, they should contact a faculty member by the end of the Fall term or Winter Term and show their interest in this program.  Each faculty member may have different requirements for participation in a summer research project.   Faculty taking students for the summer of 2018 will be listed by the beginning of Spring Term, but we highly encourage students to contact individual faculty members before that! 

2. Science Research Fellows Program:  If you are a member of the SRF program, you are guaranteed a summer research experience the summer after you sophomore year.  The deadline for lateral entry is in late October for first year students and Feb 1 for prospective students.  Students in this program choose between faculty members who have submitted research projects to the SRF program.   

Faculty Member

Area of Research


Position open for WT 2018

Positions open for Spring 2018

Positions open for Summer 2018

 Daniel Gurnon  A deleterious genetic mutation can lead to a genetic disease; understanding which mutations are deleterious and which are benign is a crucial goal in modern medicine. However, there are currently tens of thousands of mutations whose effects are unknown so-called "Variants of Unknown Significance" (VUS). The Gurnon lab selects a protein, linked to a rare disease, that contains at least one VUS. We then work to determine the effect of the mutation(s) on protein structure and function. Helpful to have Chem 120 and Chem 240  No Not currently Yes
 Jackie Roberts  
Jackie Robert's group focuses on determination of the structure/function of metal sensitive transcription factors through protein crystallography and fluorescence spectroscopy .
Helpful to have Chem 120, Chem 240 Yes Yes No
 Jeffrey Hansen In Jeff Hansen's research the group works on further developing an aldol/epoxidation reaction using a flow reaction process.  Using this reaction we create interesting new compounds and test them for possible biological activity.   Chem 120 is prerequisite Positions filled  Yes Yes
Bridget Gourley  Projects in Professor Gourley’s lab focus on physical properties of chemical systems.  I am particularly interested in how electromagnetic fields (i.e. light and magnetic fields) interact with molecules in ways that can tell us about the motion of molecules at a nanoscale.  We consider both individual small molecules and reverse micelles (soap bubbles turned inside out) which are nice model systems that allow us to make inferences about a variety of more complicated biomolecular systems.  Students interested in learning more should email Professor Gourley to set up a time to talk.  There are projects for students at all academic levels.  ? Yes  Yes
 Hilary Eppley The Eppley lab does inorganic reactions in ionic liquids.  These non-traditional solvents can lead to new products including inorganic polymers and complexes with multiple metal ions.    Chem 130 and Chem 170 are prerequisites No Maybe Yes
David Harvey
Prof. Harvey's interests are in the development of new curricular materials to support teaching and learning in analytical chemistry or in other related areas. Active areas of interest are the design of new experiments and using the statistical software program R to develop case studies and models that explore topics of importance to analytical chemistry.
Chem 260 is a prerequisite No Yes (1-2) Yes (1)