Student with Nigel Yarlet in the Haskins Laboratories looking under the hood

Faculty-Student Chemistry Research

Faculty members are actively engaged in a broad variety of research projects, including:

  • The synthesis of naturally derived compounds to act as antibacterial agents and the modification of fabrics that kill bacteria and fungi on contact (Dr. Rizzo);
  • Biochemistry of various parasitic protozoa, particularly human African trypanosomiasis and opportunistic parasites of HIV positive individuals (Dr. Yarlett);
  • Ab initio calculations of molecular systems and their spectroscopic properties using Gaussian09. Application of various computer programs including PythonPrescription, AutoDockVina, and MGLTools to predict 3D protein structure of enzyme active sites and substrate biding energies (Dr. Athanasopoulos);
  • Fluorogenic compounds for use as biomarkers and mercury sensors (Dr. Dai);
  • Investigation of factors that lead to increased oxidative and nitrative stress under conditions of inflammation and in disease states (Dr. Upmacis);
  • Utilization of nanoparticles in removal of heavy metals in aqueous samples and land pollutants (Dr. Mojica);

Student Research and Internships

Undergraduate students have the opportunity to be involved in research projects, which have four major educational goals:

  1. Stimulating students interest in chemistry through research projects in contemporary issues;
  2. Providing students with the opportunity to apply modern instrumentation in experimental investigations;
  3. Fostering collaborative interaction among students; and
  4. Encouraging students to pursue careers in the discipline of chemistry.

Qualified students are encouraged to participate as early as the sophomore year in the research conducted by department faculty in such areas as synthesis of bioactive molecules, development of intracellular probes, molecular modeling, biochemical parasitology, just to name a few. During the academic year students can pursue research (for credit) in the department as well as an affiliated research laboratory. Particularly well qualified students compete successfully for prestigious external fellowships from the Goldwater and Beckman Foundations, Pfizer Corporation, as well as the Dyson College Undergraduate Student-Faculty Research Initiative to support their research work in the department. Qualified students who complete a significant body of research work have the opportunity to prepare their research for presentation at a national or international conference.

Below is a list of just a few available internships for graduates & undergraduates. For further information, please contact the chair of the department, Dr. Demos Athanasopoulos at

On-campus Opportunities

Our researchers carry out studies in a number of areas, providing a research-intensive learning environment by supporting the integration of research and chemistry/physics/environmental science courses into the undergraduate curriculum. Several Department of Chemistry faculty members engage in scholarly research with undergraduate students. Many of the faculty have extramural funding and continually publish in peer reviewed scientific journals with undergraduate student authors.