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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

Dr. Mukunda M. Ghimire

Transition Metal Complexes—The synthesis and characterization of transition metal complexes for energy saving, and environmental and biomedical applications. Dr. Ghimire’s group has a particular interest in molecules for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) applications.

Dr. Anderson Marsh's student-faculty research

Dr. Anderson Marsh

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

Structure and Function—The study of protein structure and function, especially how those characteristics 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

Dr. Michelle Rasmussen

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

Dr. Elizabeth S. Sterner

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.