Student & Faculty Research

Student-faculty research in the sciences at LVC has been a hallmark and point-of-pride for our faculty ever since the late Dr. H. Anthony Neidig ’43, chair and professor emeritus of chemistry, launched one of the nation’s first undergraduate research programs in the 1940s. After earning his Ph.D., Dr. Neidig returned to The Valley and began winning national research grants to engage his students in hands-on research. That student-faculty collaboration continues today with current faculty, including the following student-faculty research projects in chemistry:

Dr. Mukunda M. Ghimire research group

Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry–Our primary research interest is in the area of inorganic and organometallic chemistry. Our research efforts cover several important areas including luminescent materials, supramolecular chemistry, a study of organometallic and coordination complexes and their biomedical properties, spectroscopic and photophysical studies, metal-metal, and metal-ligand bonding and interaction, and sustainable metal-mediated catalysis.

Dr. Anderson Marsh's student-faculty research

Surface and Environmental Chemistry—The study of reactions at surfaces, particularly those that have environmental significance. Current interests involve how natural and naturally-derived substances can interact with molecules and extract them from the environment.

Dr. Walter A. Patton's student-faculty research

Dr. Walter A. Patton

Protein Structure and Function—The study of how proteins are impacted by the solution environment. Studies involve the use of molecular probes and instrumental methods to assess changes to protein structure.

Dr. Timothy J. Peelen's student-faculty research

Dr. Timothy J. Peelen

Organic Synthesis—The synthesis of carbon-containing molecules with pharmaceutical applications. Molecules are designed and synthesized that contain -SF5 groups, which are more electron-withdrawing than the traditional -CF3 functionality. Additional interests involve the interaction of chiral (“handed”) molecules with one another.

Dr. Michelle Rasmussen's student-faculty research

Electroanalytical Chemistry, and Biosensors—The application of biological and electrochemical systems for diagnostics and technology development. One focus of this work involves the development of a biosensor for the early diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. Other work involves the development of electrochemical methods to determine the identity and concentration of chemicals secreted at the roots of food crops, with applications to solar energy conversion, and fuel cell development.

Dr. Elizabeth S. Sterner's student-faculty research

Materials and Polymer Chemistry—The design and synthesis of high performance soft, polymeric materials. One aspect of this work focuses on developing new functional materials for medical PPE, including puncture-resistant gloves and antimicrobial gowning. Further work examines body armor plastics for improved shelf life and easier processing, as well as developing novel super-soft and super-tough materials for electrical applications.