Faculty Research Interests
Annabel M. Edwards, a biophysical chemist, uses attenuated total reflection infrared spectroscopy to study the environment of water molecules adsorbed into thin films made from waxes prevalent in plant cuticles. Time-dependent measurements of the rate of water penetration into the films allow her to further explore the molecular level mechanism for water transport through the wax portion of the plant cuticle.
Jordan L. Fantini, an organometallic chemist, is interested in the synthesis and characterization of methylene-bridge-substituted calixarenes. These molecules provide access to new structural motifs in calixarene chemistry. A methylene-bridge substituent allows for modification of the solubility, conformational rigidity, and conformational preferences of a calixarene in comparison to the unsubstituted species.
Michael M. Fuson, a physical chemist, uses NMR spin relaxation and molecular dynamics simulations to study the internal motions of flexible polymers and peptides in solution. He has mentored 22 student researchers during his career, leading to six publications and 20 presentations with student co-authors. Dr. Fuson is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the 400 MHz Bruker Avance NMR.
Peter L. Kuhlman, a biochemist, is currently serving as Chair of the department. His overarching interest is in molecular evolution. Recent studies include the purification and characterization of RNA polymerases from plant tissue, the expression of recombinant proteins in bacterial cells, the characterization of transcription patterns in live plants, searching for rapidly-evolving proteins, and modeling protein structure. Dr. Kuhlman maintains active research collaborations with faculty at Indiana University, the University of Toronto, and Eastern Kentucky University. Visit Dr. Kuhlman's Research Page
Sonya L. McKay, a biophysical organic chemist, is interested in research using NMR and nonnatural amino acids to understand how the molecular level interactions dictated by the primary structure of peptides and proteins influence secondary and tertiary structures and protein folding. She is also investigating the synthesis of a chemically acylated collagen protein for its use as a drug delivery vehicle.
Joseph J. Reczek, a synthetic organic/materials chemist, is interested in developing new organic materials, potentially for use in molecular electronics, and specifically for use in low-cost solar cells. His research integrates organic synthesis and characterization of self-assembling liquid crystalline materials along with the actual fabrication and testing of devices. Visit the Reczek Group's Research Page
Charles W. Sokolik, a bioanalytical chemist, is engaged in a research collaboration with Gary Nishioka, Ph.D. (President, H & N Instru-ments, Newark, OH). Together they have designed, built, and refined an electrostatic print-ing instrument that synthesizes small microarrays of peptides or enzymes on silicon chips.
Kimberly Musa Specht, a chemical biologist, is interested in the chemistry of biological surfaces, particularly those that contain sugars, and the role of the sugars at these surfaces. Research in the group includes synthesis of a glycosylated silicate-polymer as a model surface for probing carbohydrate interactions, and the cloning, expression and characterization of penicillin-binding proteins from Bukholderia cenocepacia to study their interactions with antibiotics. Visit the Specht Group's Research Page
For more information about our faculty and their research, please see the individual faculty profiles on our Faculty and Staff page.