Research Group Profiles

Saeed Attar, Ph.D.

The Attar group’s research interests lie in organic and organometallic chemistry, catalysis and structural chemistry. The emphasis is on new methods and applications in synthesis.

Currently, the group is pursuing three avenues of research:

  • Design and synthesis of chiral organic compounds and their transition-metal complexes for potential applications in asymmetric organic reactions; synthetic methodology. 
  • Bio-organometallic chemistry of ferrocene derivatives. 
  • Synthesis and characterization of organometallic compounds with interesting structural and/or physical properties (e.g. luminescent compounds; chemical sensors).
Joseph Gandler, Ph.D.

Dr Gandler’s interests span a range of topics in physical organic chemistry including:

  • Proton transfer
  • Nucleophilic substitution and elimination reactions
  • Acid-base catalysis
  • Solvent effects on chemical reactions.
Melissa Golden, Ph.D.

The Golden group uses coordination and organometallic chemistry to solve problems concerning biologically and industrially relevant catalysts particularly those relating to sulfur containing transition metal complexes.  We are currently focusing our efforts towards the synthesis of zinc-finger models.  We are using these models to elucidate the mechanism by which platinum containing anti-tumor drugs displace zinc atoms within proteins.

Techniques used include NMR, UV-vis, IR, Crystallographic, Thermogravimetric Analysis, Mass Spectrometry, EPR, Magnetic Susceptibility, and Cyclic Voltammetry.

Alam Hasson, Ph.D.

Kinetics and mechanisms of atmospheric processes; field measurements of pollutants.The atmospheric chemistry group studies chemical and physical processes that are involved in urban and regional air pollution, as well as climate change. Current projects include:

  • Kinetic and mechanistic studies of reactions that may contribute to urban air pollution and particle growth.
  • Field measurements of pollutants implicated in adverse health effects.
  • Emission measurements of organics from agricultural sources.
Krish Krishnan: Ph.D.

The primary interest of the Krishnan group is in the development of solution-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and computational methods for the studies of biopolymers and the application of these methods to problems in biophysical chemistry and structural biology. NMR methods can provide local structural and dynamical information at atomic-level detail in systems that cannot be characterized by other structural method such as including x-ray diffraction. Examples of our current systems include peptides associated with biological antifreeze, proteins in nucleopore complex (NPC) and DNA repair proteins.

We are also interested in developing the development and application of biostatistics, bioinformatics and biometric approaches to a wide range of applications in genomics (commercial and custom microarrays) and proteomics applications, in particular to Luminex based microbead assays.

Kevin Miller, Ph.D.

The human identification laboratory conducts both length fragment and DNA sequencing analysis on forensic evidence, including skeletonized human remains and highly degraded tissues. We seek to apply recent advances in biotechnology to develop forensic methodologies for the identification of body tissues and fluids, as well as for the archaeological and anthropological investigations of past peoples.

Recent work has included the ethnogeography of human genes, preservation of biomolecules in human cremated remains, and the analysis of wound healing in cases of child abuse.

Kin Ng, Ph.D.

Dr. Ng is interested in the development of efficient and ultra-sensitive spectroscopic systems for characterization and detection of atoms, molecules, and nano-particles. Techniques employed include absorption, emission, fluorescence, and ionization.  Tools used include high temperature electrical discharges, pulsed and CW lasers, cooled detectors, and scanning microscopes. 

Eric C. Person, Ph.D.

Dr. Person’s research group conducts research in forensic chemical analysis related to clandestine laboratory evidence and the development of forensic chemistry educational resources.  Current research projects involve the development of methods for extracting amphoteric species from clandestine laboratory samples and the detection of clandestine laboratory related solvents in fire debris evidence.