Discover the research opportunities available to our students.

Research Opportunities

The best way to learn science is to take part in science. Students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry are strongly encouraged to join other students in the research laboratory of one of our faculty members. There, you will learn technical skills while developing both the creative and critical thinking skills needed to find employment as a professional upon graduation.

Some of our faculty have research programs that can accommodate freshmen, so it is never too early to think about joining a research lab. Typically, students meet with a faculty member to learn about what chemical problems they are trying to solve and what their approaches are. You can expect to do research for credit during the academic year and there are opportunities to get a paid summer position (housing included) to experience a more immersive research environment.

Dr. Joshua Blose’s Lab

Dr. Blose’s lab focuses on understanding how nucleic acids like DNA and RNA fold and function in a cellular environment.  Using multiple spectroscopic techniques along with adding osmolytes and macromolecular crowders to our solutions, we desire to add to the understanding of nucleic acid structure and function in vivo.

Dr. Mark Heitz’s Lab

Molecular solvation is central to condensed phase chemistry and chemical applications. We use steady-state and pulsed laser techniques including picosecond time-resolved fluorescence and femtosecond transient absorption to study solvation dynamics in systems that focus on ionic liquids and biomolecular based solutions.

Dr. Markus Hoffmann’s Lab

With polyethylene glycol (PEG) used as an environmentally friendly solvent in synthetic chemistry, a better understanding of its properties are needed. With collaborators from Germany, we use NMR spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations to explore solute-solvent interactions in PEG.

Dr. Robert LeSuer’s Lab

Dr. LeSuer’s lab uses digital fabrication tools such as 3D printers and CNC mills, along with inexpensive electronics to design new ways to make measurements. Further, our aim is to make these new tools customizable, flexible, and broadly accessible.

Dr. Carly Reed’s Lab

Our goal is to better understand how structural changes to the iridium complex impacts its selectivity towards DNA by synthesizing iridium (III) complexes and testing their ability to bind to various types of DNA. These types of complexes with DNA find application in label-free switch-on fluorescent analyte sensing platforms.

Dr. Sarah Saputo’s Lab

Dental caries is a highly prevalent disease that is associated with an elevated abundance of the acidogenic bacterium Streptococcus mutans. We focus on the isolation and characterization of compounds that reduce the pathogenicity of oral pathogens.

Dr. Michael Coleman

The Coleman Research group works to develop sustainable synthetic methodologies towards the construction of complex materials from readily available starting materials in a highly selective and efficient manner. We seek to discover novel enabling chemical technologies that interface both inorganic and organic chemistries into useful organometallic-mediated transformations.