Research Opportunities

Dr. Robert Towery

My Welch research plans at Houston Baptist will obviously involve nucleic acid hybridization detection using the quartz crystal microbalance (QCM).  Several undergraduate research possibilities exist.  One such possibility is in the area of restriction enzyme effects on various probe molecules.  This gas phase project would entail treating an immobilized probe on the crystal with a restriction endonuclease.  This cleavage reaction should shorten probe molecules and cut probe loops to increase the binding capacity of complementary target molecules. Additionally, I plan to investigate the correlation of viscosity results obtained on the QCM with those obtained using the Canon-Fenske viscometer in order that interpretation of piezoelectric data can be better understood.  This liquid phase project will be completed using a teflon flow cell obtained through previous Welch funding.  Piezoelectric microbalances can be used to measure the viscosity of liquids in contact with the sensor surface.  In liquids, as opposed to vacuum or gas phase applications of the QCM, resonator characteristics can be altered by density and viscosity of the liquid.  As the viscosity of the liquid increases, accuracy and performance of the QCM diminishes.  These effects can be especially important when the QCM surface is modified with polymeric supports, as described above, in the detection of nucleic acid hybridization.  This leads to a variety of research possibilities.
Finally, a collaborative effort is planned with Dr. Eric Van Caemelbecke.  We plan to investigate nucleic acid reaction with dinuclear complexes of ruthenium and rhodium.

Links: Dr. Towery's Webpage
Email: Dr. Towery

Dr. Eric Van Caemelbecke

Welch scholars who have successfully completed the Quantitative Analysis course will have the opportunity to carry out a research project in a graduate environment at the University of Houston. They will often work in collaboration with graduate students which could lead to a co-authored publication. The projects involve synthesis, spectroscopic, and electrochemical characterization of metal-metal bonded complexes of ruthenium and rhodium. All projects require good lab skills in analytical and/or organic chemistry.
Links: Dr. Van Caemelbecke's Webpage
Email: Dr. Van Caemelbecke

Dr. Treacy Woods

Dr. Woods and her students use the tool of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectropscopy to explore the kinetics of organic chemical reactions.
Links: Dr. Woods' Webpage
Email: Dr. Woods

Dr. Taiya Fabre

Dr. Fabre is researching HPLC separation techniques in preparation for research on the Bucky Ball.
Links: Dr. Fabre’s Webpage
Email: Dr. Fabre

Dr. Saul Trevino

Dr. Trevino is researching protein solubility and stability.

Links: Dr. Trevino's Webpage
Email: Dr. Trevino

Dr. Mary Osterloh

Dr. Osterloh’s research interests are organometallic chemistry and catalysis. Current research involves development of general chemistry and inorganic chemistry lab experiments for use in our current lab courses and future lab courses.

Links: Dr. Osterloh's Webpage
Email: Dr. Osterloh