Opportunities for Research
Doctoral students pursue their course needs and research interests with supportive confidence among faculty whose work is recognized through funding by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
Students also can leverage the department’s size and collaborative nature to take part in interdisciplinary research groups in faculty labs as well as partnerships with Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Graduate students publish their work in scientific journals and present their work at conferences including The Protein Society’s annual symposium and Clark’s Graduate Student Multidisciplinary Conference, among others, with funding assistance available from the department and professional organizations.
Funding for Research
Research assistantships are available as funding allows. The department also provides funding for graduate students to attend conferences at which they present their research. Students are encouraged to seek additional support for research and travel expenses as well.
Doctoral Student Research Interests
Our Ph.D. students conduct research in a variety of areas, from ubiquitin ligases to amyloid fibrils to ion-conducting polymers to polymer-based heat reservoirs, which often lead to publication in journals. This scholarly work often becomes the basis of their dissertations.
- Ahmed Alamoudi: “Functionalization of Linear Poly(ethylenimine) as DNA-Binding Polymer for Gene Therapy Application” (advisor: Sergio Granados-Focil)
- Steven Beasley: “Continuing studies on HECT E3 Ligases” (advisor: Donald Spratt)
- Ariane Borges: “Sythesis of macrocyclic peptides for comprehensive peptide library for screening inhibition of K-Ras G12V / SOS interaction” (advisor: Arundhati Nag)
- Valerie Ivancic: “Biophysical studies of the proteolysis of amyloidogenic proteins by insulin degrading enzyme” (advisor: Noel Lazo)
- Emma Kane: Research in progress (advisor: Donald Spratt)
- Rene Kandler: “Exploring cyclization parameters and catalysis of peptides for cyclic peptide libraries and other applications” (advisor: Arundhati Nag)
- Merc Kemeh: Research in progress (advisor: Noel Lazo)
- Pramod Mishra: “Solid-solid phase change materials (S-S PCMs) based on thermally cross-linked polymers” (advisor: Sergio Granados-Focil)
- Jeffrey Monroe: “The Deuteration of (QuinH)2CuBr4⋅ 2H2O: Structural Considerations” (advisor: Mark Turnbull)
- Wendy Nason: “Intercalation and Exfoliation of Bismuth Based Dion-Jacobson Perovskite in Non-Polar Solvents” (advisor: Luis Smith)
- Qingzhe (Mark) Tan: “Searching for Folding Pathways of Trp-cage by MaxFlux” (advisor: Shuanghong Huo)
- Valeria Gutierrez Venegas: “Silica-Based Mesoporous Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Electrolytes” (advisor: Sergio Granados-Focil)
- Muyun (Tony) Xu: “A liquid phase peptide synthetic method for glutamyl hydrazide peptides” (advisor: Charles Jakobsche)
- Tianyi (Teddy) Yang: “Allosteric mechanism of CBL-substrate binding” (advisor: Shuanghong Huo)
- Yuxin (Evans) Yang: “Synthesis of Lithium Ion Conducting Polymer Blends” (advisor: Sergio Granados-Focil)
- Qiuchen (Amy) Zheng: “Helix-dipole Effects in Cell Membrane Damage by Amyloidogenic Peptides” (advisor: Noel Lazo)
- Qiuchen Zheng, pub. 2019, “Biophysical Chemistry of Amyloidogenic Peptides and Proteins in the Absence and Presence of Polyphenols”, Advisor: Noel D. Lazo
- Jeffrey C. Monroe, pub. 2019, “The Design, Synthesis, and Characterization of Low-Dimensional Antiferromagnetic Materials”, Advisor: Mark M. Turnbull
- Yaya Wang, pub. 2017, “Structural and functional studies of HERC6 and HERC5: HECT E3 ubiquitin ligases”, Advisor: Donald E. Spratt
- Michael Blair Reardon, pub. 2017, “Syntheses of a Natural Product and Rationally Designed Organic Molecules with Biological and Magnetic Properties”, Advisor: Charles E. Jakobsche
- Joshua Ross Boykin, pub. 2017, “Characterization of Local Structures in Layered Niobates Using Solid-State NMR and Rapid Microwave-Assisted Synthesis and Exfoliation of Their Alcohol Grafted Derivatives”, Advisor: Luis J. Smith
- Kai Peng, pub. 2016, “Lysyl Oxidase: Expression, Purification, Characterization and Studies of Inhibition by βAPN” Advisor: Frederick T. Greenaway
- Hanzhong Liu, pub. 2016, “Solvent Effect on Protein Folding and Network Presentation of Protein Kinetics”, Advisor: Shuanghong Huo
- Jia Wei, pub. 2015, “Controlled ROMP of cyclobutenes by tuning the steric bulk of the monomer pendant chains: An efficient route towards well-defined cyclobutene-based diblock copolymers”, Advisor: Sergio Granados-Focil
- Xiaorui Chen, pub. 2015, “Study of Ion-conducting Block Copolymers for Battery and Fuel Cell Applications”, Advisor: Sergio Granados-Focil
- Robert Paul Doyle, pub. 2014, “Improvement of Poly(Ethylene Imine) Ion Conduction Through Selective Polymer Design”, Advisor: Sergio Granados-Focil
- Kevin J. Robbins, pub. 2013, “Ligand-detected 1H NMR Studies of Thioflavin T – Amyloid Fibril Complexes” Advisor: Noel D. Lazo
- Jue Fan, pub. 2013 “Exploration of Novel Kinetic Tools to Study Protein Folding and Conformational Space of IAPP”, Advisor: Shuanghong Huo
- Jhashanath Adhikari Subin, pub. 2013, “Structural Investigation of Layered Niobates by DFT Calculations”, Advisor: Luis J. Smith