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Chemistry & Biochemistry Hands-On Research

The chemistry and biochemistry department offers research opportunities to students from every science and engineering discipline. As an undergraduate researcher, you’ll work closely with faculty mentors who are passionate about teaching and scientific discovery, using state-of-the-art instrumentation in our research laboratories.

Research Opportunities

We believe that mentored hands-on research is essential for chemistry and biochemistry students. That’s why you’ll be in the lab early and often, with lots of individual attention from your professors. Meet our faculty and learn more about their areas of expertise and current projects below.

Dr. Daniel Morris in a laboratory setting.

Dr. Daniel Morris, Analytical Chemistry

Dr. Morris’sresearch interests involve the role of metal ion binding in oxidative DNA damage and the development of microfluidic devices for chemical analysis (lab-on-a-chip).

Dr. Michelle Hoffman speaking and gesturing.

Dr. Michelle Hoffman, Analytical Chemistry

Dr. Hoffman’s current research interests involve the development of a portable microfluidic analysis system to quantify and remove specific heavy metals (i.e. lead, cadmium, mercury) through the use of a bio-regenerative detector.

Dr. Mark Brandt working with a student in a laboratory.

Dr. Mark Brandt, Biochemistry

Dr. Brandt studies the human estrogen receptor, a protein of great importance in both normal development and in breast cancer. He is also a driving force behind the Interdisciplinary Research Collaborative (IRC), a program that offers students the opportunity to perform paid full-time summer research.

Dr. Ross Weatherman wearing a lab coat.

Dr. Ross Weatherman, Biochemistry

Dr. Weatherman’s research involves making and testing new compounds to dissect the molecular mechanisms of action responsible for the actions of estrogens and antiestrogens in breast cancer and other tissues in the body.

Dr. Rebecca DeVasher wearing a lab coat and goggles.

Dr. Rebecca DeVasher, Green Chemistry

Dr. DeVasher has begun an active research program in green chemistry, developing new methods and technologies that reduce or eliminate the use of chemicals hazardous to human health and the environment.

Dr. David Erwin

Dr. David Erwin, Inorganic Chemistry

Dr. Erwin conducts research that seeks new energy sources, including the synthesis of new organometallic compounds (species composed of transition metals bonded to large organic molecules) that can catalytically produce fuels from small molecules such as carbon dioxide gas and hydrogen gas.

Dr. Stephanie Poland wearing a lab coat and goggles while working in a laboratory.

Dr. Stephanie Poland, Inorganic Chemistry

Dr. Poland’s work centers on the synthesis and development of biodegradable plastics using transition metal catalysts. In particular, focus is given to the synthesis of poly (trimethylene carbonate), PTMC, and various derivative polycarbonates that have use in biomedical applications such as sutures and drug delivery devices.

Dr. Bruce Allison working with a student in a laboratory.

Dr. Bruce Allison, Inorganic Chemistry

Dr. Allison’s research focuses on synthetic organic projects. His most recent research involves the synthesis of sattabacin, a molecule found to have anti-viral properties, but which exists only in very small quantities in nature.

Dr. Michael Mueller speaking with a student in a hallway.

Dr. Michael R. Mueller, Physical Chemistry

Dr. Mueller’s current research focuses on combustion chemistry on biofuels in terms of corrosive issues, lubricity, and emissions; and a computational research project that combines reactant and intermediate structure to calculate rate constants for organic reactions.

Dr. Luanne Tilstra working with a student in a laboratory.

Dr. Luanne Tilstra, Physical Chemistry

Dr. Tilstra is a polymer chemist by training, but her current research includes physical biochemistry, studying insulin aggregation, the conditions which cause it and the degree to which it occurs.

Quote

Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world.

- Louis Pasteur

French chemist and microbiologist

Facilities & Resources

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to work in our recently renovated facilities, including a modern biochemistry research-teaching lab, three research labs, fully equipped organic and freshman labs, and an instrument facility.

Female student wearing latex gloves mixes liquids in a laboratory.

Equipment

In the lab, you’ll use equipment such as our Varian Gemini 300 MHz and Anasazi 90MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance devices, a Shimadzu GC-2010 Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer, and High Performance Liquid Chromatography.

Male student observes solution in a test tube.

Laboratories

Our fully equipped labs andcomplete stockroom staffed by full-time technicians will give you hands-on experience and undergraduate research opportunities.

Male student observes solution in a test tube.

Laboratories

Our fully equipped labs andcomplete stockroom staffed by full-time technicians will give you hands-on experience and undergraduate research opportunities.

Rose Hulman Campus Map.

Contact Us

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Moench Hall F110
5500 Wabash Avenue
Terre Haute, IN 47803
812-877-8166