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.
- Steven Beasley: “G2E3 is a functional HECT E3 Ligase” (adviser: Donald Spratt)
- Ariane Borges: “Developing KRas G12V protein inhibitor” (adviser: Arundhati Nag)
- Anamika Datta: “PEI-based polymer blends as Lithium conductors for rechargeable batteries” (adviser: Sergio Granados-Focil)
- Valerie Ivancic: “Biophysical studies of the proteolysis of amyloidogenic proteins by insulin degrading enzyme” (adviser: Noel Lazo)
- Rene Kandler: “Pulmonary Tuberculosis: background, treatment options including challenges and progress in drug development” (adviser: Arundhati Nag)
- Pramod Mishra: “Synthesis and Characterization of Thermo-Responsive Polymers” (adviser: Sergio Granados-Focil)
- Jeffrey Monroe: “The Deuteration of (QuinH)2CuBr4⋅ 2H2O: Structural Considerations” (adviser: Mark Turnbull)
- Wendy Nason: “Intercalation of Amines in Bismuth Based Dion-Jacobson Perovskite” (adviser: Luis Smith)
- Ruben Neves: “Determining HERC5 and HERC6 Biochemical Activity with Ubiquitin or ISG15” (adviser: Donald Spratt)
- Qingzhe (Mark) Tan: “Searching for Folding Pathways of Trp-cage by MaxFlux” (adviser: Shuanghong Huo)
- Muyun (Tony) Xu: “Hydrazine-Functionalized Peptide Inhibitor for Lysyl Oxidase” (adviser: Charles Jakobsche)
- Tianyi (Teddy) Yang: “Computational Study of Mechanism of Insulin Receptor Activation” (adviser: Shuanghong Huo)
- Yuxin (Evans) Yang: “Polymer Solar Cells (PSC): BDT-free donor, fullerene-free acceptor and tandem cell strategy” (adviser: Sergio Granados-Focil)
- Qiuchen (Amy) Zheng: “Helix-dipole Effects in Cell Membrane Damage by Amyloidogenic Peptides” (adviser: Noel Lazo)
- 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