All students who major in chemistry or chemistry with biochemistry concentration conduct at least one semester of capstone research in close collaboration with a member of the chemistry faculty. Research activities in the department are supported by external grants and lead to publications in peer-reviewed science journals and presentations at local and national meetings. While conducting their research, students have direct access to all of the state-of-the-art equipment in the department.
Analytical Chemistry Research
Professor Kim Frederick's research group develops miniaturized devices for conducting biomedical and environmental analysis. Our devices employ microfluidic or “lab on a chip” technology to make devices that are smaller, less expensive and faster. Current projects include developing a lab on a CD player in order to do urine-based testing for malaria, a disease which kills millions every year. We are also developing automated water quality monitoring platforms to test underground and surface water for organic contaminants.
Professor Reba Howard's research group uses simple model systems—including bacterial proteins, frog cells, and computer simulations—to study how drugs such as alcohol and anesthetics affect electrical signaling in the human brain.
Professor Kelly Sheppard's research group is interested in the different pathways organisms use to translate the genetic code, in particular with regard to the amino acid asparagine (Asn).
Bioinorganic and Inorganic Chemistry Research
Professor Steven Frey's research group has two main interests. The first is to produce composites by immobilizing metal ions, metal complexes, or biological molecules on solid-state materials. Applications of these composite materials include catalysis, optical information storage, and the detoxification of environmental pollutants. The second is in the synthesis of transition metal complexes as models for the active site centers of metalloenzymes.
Environmental and Analytical Chemistry Research
Professor Judy Halstead and her undergraduate collaborators investigate the chemical characteristics of Saratoga County streams, rivers, lakes and springs and the relationships between this water chemistry, local geology and land use patterns.
Organic Chemistry Research
Professor Ray Giguere's undergraduate research group works in the area of organic synthesis, focusing on intramolecular cycloadditions (e.g., allyl cation, tandem intramolecular Diels- Alder, tandem ene/Diels-Alder). Research students in his lab actively pursue the art of organic synthesis by creating, purifying and identifying organic molecules. This research requires students to learn advanced theory and lab techniques, including how to operate modern instrumentation, such as 1H & 13C-NMR, IR, GC/MS, as well as interpret spectral data obtained from them.Physical Chemistry Research
Professor Juan Navea’s research group combines experimental and theoretical methods to study the impact of atmospheric aerosols in the physics and chemistry of the troposphere (lower atmosphere). Daytime and nighttime chemistry is simulated using particles from dust storms, volcanos, and/or human activities.