The Chemistry Department consists of twenty five full time faculty, ten adjunct faculty, three postdoctoral fellows, and nine full-time support staff. Information about our faculty and staff can be found by following the links on the left of this page.
2013 New Assistant Professors:
Dr. Bryan Eigenbrodt:
Dr. Bryan Eigenbrodt began his appointment in the Department of Chemistry in August of 2013. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry from York College of Pennsylvania in 2006 and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Maryland in 2011. His graduate work was conducted under the supervision of Professor Robert Walker and his Ph.D. thesis was entitled “Correlating Electrochemical Performance with In Situ Optical Spectroscopy in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells”. Upon obtaining his Ph.D., Dr. Eigenbrodt was awarded a National Academies of Science Post-Doctoral Fellowship that allowed him to conduct alternative energy research in the Aerospace Systems Directorate at the Air Force Research Laboratory, located at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Dr. Eigenbrodt’s current research interests focus on studying the chemistry of alternative power generation devices and renewable biofuels. Specifically, his research will focus on studying the chemistry of solid oxide fuel cells catalysts and fuel reaction mechanisms in these devices at temperatures greater than 800°C. His second research interest focuses on exploring effective means for generating biofuels from different microalgae specimens. Dr. Eigenbrodt and his wife are both excited to be in the Philadelphia area, and he is looking forward to teaching and conducting research at Villanova.
Dr. Ryan Jorn
Ryan Jorn joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry at Villanova in August 2013 as an assistant professor. Ryan earned a B.A. in Chemistry and Physics from Ripon College in 2003 while engaged in research projects ranging from computational modeling of percolation phenomena in materials to the construction of particle detectors for cosmic ray experiments. He received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northwestern University under the advisement of Tamar Seideman in 2009 for his work on modeling electron transport in nano-scale molecular junctions. His graduate studies focused on developing new methods to describe current-induced motion and reactions at conductive surfaces resulting from the competition between vibrational excitation in molecular subsystems during charge transport and energy dissipation. After finishing his doctoral work, Ryan stayed in the Chicago area as a post-doctoral researcher working with Gregory Voth at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory from 2010 to 2013. During this time, his research interests focused on modeling renewable energy materials in proton exchange fuel cells and electrolytes for rechargeable batteries. His current research interests focus on developing new methods to describe charge transport at condensed phase interfaces relevant to electrochemical systems, reactions at electrochemical interfaces, the application of computational chemistry techniques to describe materials starting from the atomistic length scale, and understanding the switching behavior of electron transport from the tunneling to hopping regime. Current materials of interest include electrolytes for lithium-ion rechargeable battery systems and the formation of solid electrolyte interphases during charge cycling.
We also welcomed in 2013:
Dr. Wilma Febo-Ayala joined the Department of Chemistry as a visiting assistant professor in August 2013. She earned a B. S. in chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico, Cayey campus in 2000. She was research fellow at NIST in Gaithersburg, MD every summer as an undergrad where she worked preparing ceramic oxide phase diagrams and then synthesizing amphiphilic anchors for self-assembled monolayers. She earned her Ph.D. in organic/bioorganic chemistry in 2006 from Purdue University in Prof. David Thompson’s research group working on the synthesis and characterization of bolaamphiphiles to be used in a sensor to study membrane proteins. She then moved to the University of Pennsylvania for a postdoc in Prof. Gary Molander’s lab synthesizing functionalized potassium organotrifluoroborates for Suzuki-Miyaura cross-couplings. She has taught undergraduate general- and organic chemistry lectures and laboratories at the University of Puerto Rico (Mayagüez), Franklin & Marshall College and Ursinus College. Wilma is delighted to join the Villanova family.
Michael Heinrich joined the Department of Chemistry as a Visiting Asst. Professor in August 2013. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Bucknell University in 2006 before moving to Philadelphia to study biophysical chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the research group of Dr. Tobias Baumgart, where he studied lipid membranes and phase separation in monolayers and bilayers of giant unilamellar vesicles. While in this group, he built and characterized a unique optical-trap addition to a fluorescence microscope, which led to his dissertation on the biophysics of lipid and protein sorting in model membrane curvature gradients. He received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry in 2011, after which he taught at Ursinus College and then Delaware County Community College. He is currently teaching general chemistry, physical chemistry lab, and a graduate course on microscopy.
Tiffany Mathews received her PhD in chemistry from Pennsylvania State University and is currently teaching General and Analytical Chemistry at Villanova.
2012 New Assistant Professor:
Dr. Aimee Eggler
Aimee Eggler began her appointment in the Villanova University Department of Chemistry in August 2012. She received her B.S. in Chemistry with highest honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1996, with joint research advisors Dr. Joseph Konopelski at UCSC and Dr. Joel Coats at Iowa State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2002 in the research group of Dr. Michael Cox. She began studies on the Nrf2 transcription factor in 2003 during postdoctoral training with Dr. Andrew Mesecar at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Nrf2 activation defends cells against oxidative and electrophilic stresses, resulting in protection of higher organisms from chronic diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Eggler continued studies on Nrf2 as an Assistant Research Professor first at UIC, with independent funding from a National Institutes of Health RO3 grant, and subsequently at Purdue University. Her group’s current research interests are in both the molecular and cellular mechanisms of Nrf2 activation, by molecules from edible and medicinal plant sources. Growing up in central Pennsylvania, Aimee is delighted to be back in PA, and at Villanova in particular.
We also welcomed in 2012:
Dr. Marta Guron began her appointment at Villanova in August of 2012. She earned a B.A. in chemistry from Cornell University, working with Frank DiSalvo on solid-state chemistry of ternary nitrides. She then earned her Ph.D. in 2009 in inorganic chemistry under Larry Sneddon at the University of Pennsylvania, synthesizing high boron content polymers as ceramic precursors and engaging in interdisciplinary research with the materials science department there. While finishing her Ph.D., she began teaching at Immaculata University, followed by several appointments at various local institutions, such as Bryn Mawr College and the Community College of Philadelphia. Prior to coming to Villanova, she dedicated a year to teaching Honors and AP Chemistry at the high school level. She is thrilled to be joining the faculty of Villanova in the area she loves, together with her husband, Rev and two kids.
Dr. Stephanie A. Katz began her appointment in the Villanova University Department of Chemistry in January 2012. She earned a B.A. in chemistry from Franklin and Marshall College in 1989, working with Marcus Thomsen on Laser deposition of iron pentacarbonyl. She then earned a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1994 from the University of Colorado in Boulder in the research group of Arlan Norman, where she studied and synthesized novel skeletally stabilized phosphazanes and boraphosphazanes. She did her post-doctoral research in the biochemistry group of renowned biochemist Marvin Caruthers, also at University of Colorado, where she synthesized precursor oligonucleotides for antisense research. Her research took a back seat to her love of teaching and for the past 20 years, she has taught students of all ages, from 6th grade to adults, for which she has received several notable teaching awards. For the past 10 years, she has been an educational consultant; both field-testing and writing innovative curricula, with the goal of helping students find success in the classroom. Stef is thrilled to be part of the chemistry department at Villanova where she can dedicate her full time to educating her students.