SURE Program Faculty and Research Projects

Analytical Chemistry

Anne Co
There are several energy materials related projects available this summer in the Co lab. Summer students will learn how to synthesize materials for battery anodes, cathodes or catalysts for fuel cell applications. Students will also learn how to assemble, test the materials they made, and assess their performance.

Amanda Hummon
Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics
We are working on examining protein changes that correlate with treatment with platinum drugs. Roughly half of all chemotherapies involve platinum drugs and we have developed a methodology to map the distribution of the compounds and their metabolites. This project will focus on correlating those distributions with protein expression changes.

Zachary Schultz
Laser Spectroscopy
We are interested in developing clinical diagnostics using laser spectroscopy for label free identification of small molecule metabolites. The research project will involve the combination of Raman spectroscopy and nanomaterials to generate enhanced signals from target biomolecules following chemical separations. The observed signals will be used to develop assays relevant to diseases, such as cancer.


Venkat Gopalan
Molecular Biology and Enzymes
Our overarching objective is to understand how proteins modulate RNA structure and thereby broaden the functional repertoire of ribonucleprotein (RNP) enzymes. To accomplish this goal, we employ archaeal RNase P, a catalytic RNP, as an experimental model.

Jane Jackman
Molecular Biology and Enzymes
The Jackman lab investigates the biochemical mechanisms of enzymes that catalyze key reactions during the maturation of the critical non-coding RNA molecule, tRNA. We study enzyme that utilize unusual chemistry for biological reactions, and use the tools of mechanistic enzymology (kinetics, protein engineering, biophysical structural approaches) combined with the power of model organism genetics to make new discoveries about the molecular mechanisms and biological functions of these unusual enzymes in living cells.

Thomas Magliery
Protein Engineering
The Magliery lab studies the sequence basis of protein stability and other physical properties using high-throughput, statistical, and rational approaches. Summer students could participate in fundamental studies in protein stability or in applied protein engineering for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.

Karin Musier-Forsyth
Molecular Biology and Enzymes
A summer research student in my lab would work on a project related to protein-RNA interactions. They would learn how to prepare both RNA and protein interaction partners and assay their interaction via either enzymatic assays, binding assays and/or other biophysical assays. Projects include protein-RNA interactions involved in fidelity mechanisms in translation (e.g., aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases) or in retorviral (e.g., HIV-1) replication.

Dehua Pei
Peptide Chemical Biology
Discovery and applications of cell-penetrating peptides for drug delivery; Development of macrocyclic peptides against intracellular protein-protein interactions as research tools and therapeutics

Inorganic Chemistry

Joshua Goldberger
Summer Undergraduate Research positions are available in the Goldberger Research Group at OSU for students interested in creating new kinds of inorganic solid-state crystalline materials for thermoelectrics, which are materials that convert heat directly into electricity. Over the course of the summer researchers will get hands on training in solid-state synthesis, structural characterization and property measurements.

Christine Thomas
The ultimate goal of the research project is to design functional catalysts using Earth-abundant transition metals for the development of more sustainable and environmentally friendly technology. The project will involve the synthesis and characterization of new transition metal complexes as catalysts for both the activation of naturally abundant small molecules (e.g. carbon dioxide, water, oxygen) and organic transformations.

Shiyu Zhang
We are a group of chemists looking to apply synthetic inorganic chemistry to tackle unmet challenges at the frontier of bioinorganic chemistry, energy storage and energy conversion. We are particularly interested in developing Earth-abundant catalysts for the conversion of methane to methanol and synthesizing new redox-active molecules that can be used as catalysts for carbon dioxide or proton reduction. Summer students can expect to gain experience in the synthesis of organic, inorganic and organometallic compounds, characterization of air-sensitive, temperature-sensitive complexes, spectroscopy, and electrochemistry.

Organic Chemistry

Craig Forsyth
The Ohio Five-OSU Summer Undergraduate Research Experience in the Forsyth Lab will involve the synthesis and characterization of novel anticancer compounds. Cyclic depsipeptides related to the apratoxin natural products (e.g., J. Chen and C. J. Forsyth, “Total Synthesis of the Marine Cyanobacterial Cyclodepsipeptide Apratoxin A,” Proc. Nat’l Acad. Sci., USA 2004, 101, 12067-12072) will be assembled via advanced organic synthesis and tested against human cancer cell lines.

David Nagib
Our research is focused on harnessing the untapped reactivity of cheap and abundant chemical feedstocks in organic synthesis to enable the late-stage functionalization of complex natural products and other medicinally-relevant molecules. We have recently developed new approaches for selective C-H and C-O functionalization of alcohols and carbonyls, using a combination of radical (1 e-) and closed shell (2 e-) processes that act in concert with one another. These new radical chaperone strategies have enabled the development of chemical transformations that are applicable to molecules of interest in the areas of biology, materials, and renewable energy.

Christo Sevov
Research in the Sevov lab focuses on the development of catalytic organic reactions that are driven by electrical energy. Students participating in the summer program will be exposed to electrochemistry, organometallic catalysis, and synthetic organic methods development.

Physical Chemistry

Rafael Bruschweiler
Metabolomics, NMR Spectroscopy, Computational Chemistry
Chemical and structural analysis of complex biological metabolite mixtures by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry for the characterization of health and disease, e.g. cystic fibrosis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease with mouse models. This work, which falls in the emerging field of ‘Metabolomics’, involves the preparation of samples, NMR and MS measurements, data processing and quantitative analysis in terms of metabolite composition and their role in specific biochemical pathways. The ideal candidate is interested in sophisticated instrumentation as well careful and quantitative analysis of the results. The candidate will work closely with an OSU graduate student during the initial phase of the project.
Computational chemistry of multidimensional spectroscopic data collected by NMR spectroscopy. This project has the goal to develop better methods for sensitivity and resolution enhancements, including the speed up of experiments toward high-throughput applications and automated analysis for real-world applications in chemistry, biochemistry, structural biology, and biomedicine. The ideal candidate has some background and interest in computer programming using Matlab, Python, or C/C++ and the optimal graphical display of experimental and simulated data. Mathematical interest in matrices would also be useful. The candidate will work closely with an OSU graduate student during the initial phase of the project.

Christopher Jaroniec
NMR Spectroscopy
One of our current major projects deals with providing a molecular and structural basis of the amyloid strain and transmissibility barrier phenomena for a family of mammalian Y145Stop prion protein variants. To this end we are undertaking the structural studies of supramolecular amyloid fibril aggregates composed from these proteins by using advanced multidimensional solid-state NMR spectroscopy techniques supplemented by additional biochemical and biophysical experiments. Other major research directions in the group involve studies of chromatin structure and dynamics by solid-state NMR, and the development of new solid-state NMR methods for protein structure determination based on paramagnetic tagging.

Bern Kohler
Laser Spectroscopy
The Kohler Research Group uses femtosecond laser spectroscopy to study photoactive molecules and materials, including systems of interest for solar energy conversion. Undergraduate researchers can join projects on the photochemical and photophysical dynamics of DNA and DNA-templated silver nanoclusters, natural and synthetic melanins, and metal oxide nanoparticles.

Steffen Lindert
Computational Chemistry
Summer projects in the Lindert lab will focus on computer-aided drug discovery. Students will use computers to find small molecules that can bind and modulate proteins and enzymes. Projects focusing on cancer, heart failure, neurodegenerative disease, and antibacterial resistance are available.

Alexander Sokolov
Computational Chemistry and Theory
The student will use new computational quantum chemistry methods to simulate excited-state properties of small molecules with complicated electronic structure. The student will also learn how to write computer programs using the Python language to analyze the results of the computations.