RESEARCH AND SCHOLARSHIP

Chemistry faculty maintain active research programs, involving undergraduate and graduate researchers in both laboratory and computational aspects of chemical research.

Working alongside active faculty, graduate and undergraduate students gain valuable research experience that extends far beyond typical classroom learning—presenting their research regularly at local, national and international conferences.

Chemistry faculty conduct and publish research in diverse areas such as nanotechnology, natural product synthesis, atmospheric chemistry, catalysis, computational chemistry, and biochemistry.

 

RESEARCH AREAS

ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY

Faculty focused on the area of Analytical Chemistry research:

  • power generation and renewable energy
  • environmental chemistry
  • cultural heritage science

Learn more about our faculty's research interests and current work:

Research Interests: Power generation and renewable energy.

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Research Interests: Amanda Grannas, PhD, conducts research on a wide range of topics under the umbrella of analytical environmental chemistry - including snow and ice photochemistry, the impacts of photochemistry on pollutant cycling, the role of organic matter in aquatic chemistry, Arctic atmospheric chemistry, and development of advanced analytical techniques to study organic materials in ice cores.

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Research Interests: Anthony Lagalante, PhD, conducts analytical research in environmental chemistry and cultural heritage science.  Environmental projects have used mass spectrometry (MS) to analyze molecules ranging from flame retardants to neonicotinoid insecticides.  Cultural heritage science projects seek to advance MS based imaging techniques for the study and preservation of both historic and modern objects in the museum environment.

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BIOCHEMISTRY

Faculty focused on the area of Biochemistry research:

  • molecules in superfoods
  • proteasome, a macromolecular machine inside all eukaryotic cells
  • trypanosomes, an ancient parasite
  • evolution of biological systems
  • composition and structure of biological membranes and membrane proteins.

Learn more about our faculty's research interests and current work:

Research Interests: The Eggler lab studies how molecules in superfoods stimulate the body’s antioxidant, detoxification, and repair systems through activating the Nrf2 transcription factor. Activation of Nrf2 is believed to help prevent or mitigate chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, arthritis, and asthma. We are particularly focused on the role of reactive oxygen species in Nrf2 activation.

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Research Interests: In the Kraut lab, we study the proteasome, a macromolecular machine inside all eukaryotic cells responsible for unfolding and degrading proteins. We are specifically interested in factors that influence proteasomal processivity, or the tendency of the proteasome to either degrade or release its substrates.

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Research Interests: Our laboratory works with trypanosomes. These ancient parasites are the causative agents of global disease today. We characterize proteins and biological processes in the parasites that are unique from the human host, with possible longer term therapeutic applications driving the projects we pursue.

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Research Interests: I am interested in the evolution of biological systems, especially metabolic pathways, and the use of bioinformatics and genomics to understand the connectivity and evolution of metabolic systems.  I am also interested in how combinations of molecules affect biological systems and using basic enzyme systems to understand how combinations of molecules affect the enzyme's function.

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Research Interests: Understanding the composition and structure of biological membranes and membrane proteins. Current projects include the synthesis of membrane-active aminosterols, and the cloning, expression, and characterization of bacterial proteins predicted to act like mammalian prostaglandin synthases.

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INORGANIC CHEMISTRY

Faculty focused on the area of Inorganic Chemistry research:

  • catalysis and chemical crystallography
  • photochemical and electrochemical properties of transition metal complexes
  • synthesis of organometallic compounds for use as polymerization catalysts

Learn more about our faculty's research interests and current work:

Research Interests: Catalysis and Chemical Crystallography.

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Research Interests: Jared J. Paul, PhD, carries out research involving the synthesis and study of photochemical and electrochemical properties of transition metal complexes. Current work focuses on the design of complexes with protonatable groups that can function as either water oxidation catalysts or anti-cancer agents.

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Research Interests: Deanna L. Zubris, PhD, conducts research involving the synthesis of organometallic compounds for use as polymerization catalysts. Past work has focused on catalyst development for coordination polymerization (ethylene and alpha-olefin monomers); current projects are directed towards free-radical polymerization, particularly Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization (ATRP).

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ORGANIC CHEMISTRY

Faculty focused on the area of Organic Chemistry research:

  • carboranes and computational chemistry
  • natural product synthesis and bio-organic chemistry
  • synthetic organic and carbohydrate chemistry
  • organic compounds that have antimicrobial effects
  • mechanistic and structural organic chemistry

Learn more about our faculty's research interests and current work:

Research Interests: Carboranes and Computational Chemistry.

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Research Interests: Natural Product Synthesis and Bio-organic Chemistry.

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Research Interests: The Minbiole group studies organic compounds that have antimicrobial effects.  One avenue of research investigates the antifungal chemicals produced by bacteria that inhabit amphibian skin.  The rest of the group is working to develop novel antiseptics (specifically quaternary ammonium compounds or QACs) to combat the transmission of pathogenic bacteria such as MRSA.

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Research Interests: Mechanistic and Structural Organic Chemistry.

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PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY

Faculty focused on the area of Physical Chemistry research:

  • nanomaterials and thin-films
  • charge transfer in electrochemical devices

Learn more about our faculty's research interests and current work:

Research Interests: Nanomaterials and Thin-Films.

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Research Interests: Ryan Jorn, PhD, conducts research on chemistry at interfaces and develops new methods to explore charge transfer in electrochemical devices. Existing computational chemistry methods are utilized, ranging from classical molecular dynamics to quantum mechanics, to study both the structure of electrolytes at electrode surfaces as well as transport properties. By developing multi-scale approaches, computer simulations can provide a guide to advance energy storage technology.

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Villanova University
Department of Chemistry
Mendal Hall, Room 215

Department Chair and Professor of Chemistry
Dr. Kevin Minbiole

Administrative Assistants
Melissa Steinman and Joan Kelly

RESEARCH NEWS

Daniel Kraut, PhD, associate professor of Chemistry at Villanova.

Villanova Chemist Receives $579,508 Grant from NSF to Support His Research in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.