Chemistry Faculty Mentors

Joseph Bausch, Ph.D.

University of Southern California, 1990
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Office: MEN 300C; Phone: 610-519-4872

Dr. Bausch’s research interests relate to the synthesis and structural characterization of electron deficient clusters. Projects have been spawned by computational chemistry results that suggest unique methods of synthesis of known clusters and synthesis of novel ones. His group applies traditional methods to characterize these compounds, including nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometric techniques. A rather new technique for structurally characterizing these clusters, called the ab initio/IGLO/NMR method, is a computational method that can accurately predict NMR chemical shifts to allow comparison with the experimental values. His group is considered one of the pioneers of applying this computational technique to electron deficient clusters.

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Robert Giuliano, Ph.D.

University of Virginia, 1981
Professor of Chemistry
Office: MEN 300D; Phone: 610-519-5433

The research interests of our laboratory are focused on two areas:  the synthetic organic chemistry of carbohydrates, and the  synthesis of functionalized graphite nanofibers.  Structure-activity studies across diverse classes of antibiotics have revealed strong effects of glycosylation on antibiotic and antitumor activity. Carbohydrate modification by synthesis thus provides a means of developing new analogs of antibiotics for use both in medicine and in mechanistic studies. Another area of interest is the chemistry of novel carbohydrate derivatives such as vinyl glycosides and cyclopropyl glycosides.  We have developed  new methods for the preparation of these materials and are exploring their application in the synthesis of biologically important oligosaccharides.   We have recently begun research in the area of functionalized graphite nanofibers. Specifically, we are interested in exploring carbohydrate-based modification of GNFs in an effort to obtain nanomaterials with improved biocompatibility.  

1. T. Pellenbarg, N. Dimentev, R. Jean-Gilles, C. Bessel, E. Borguet, N. Dollahon, and R. Giuliano, “Detecting and Quantifying Oxygen Functional Groups on Graphite Nanofibers by Fluoresence Labeling of Surface Species,” Carbon, 48 (2010), 4256-4267.

2. V. Basava, B. Flores, M. Giovine, T. Licisyn, K. Walck, W. Boyko, and R. M. Giuliano, “Addition Reactions of Benzenesulfinic Acid with Glycals and 1,2-Dibromosugars,” Journal of Carbohydrate Chemistry, 27 (2008) 389-400. 

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Daniel Kraut, Ph.D.

Stanford University, 2006
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Office: MEN 214D; Phone: 610-519-3910

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. We make mutations to the proteasome and to its substrates, and use in vitro protein degradation assays to determine how these changes affect the ability of the proteasome to unfold its substrates.

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Kevin Minbiole, Ph.D.

University of Pennsylvania, 2001
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Office: MEN 300A; Phone: 610-519-4873

The Minbiole group is interested in organic molecules with important biological function.  One project in the laboratory concerns the identification and monitoring of anti-fungal natural products produced by the bacteria that inhabit the skin of frogs; these compounds are crucial for the frog's ability to survive fungal infection.  The other major group research aim is to develop novel antimicrobial compounds.  We are focusing on polycationic amphiphilic architectures, which are easy to synthesize, and show effectiveness in the eradication of biofilms.

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Brian Ohta, Ph.D.

University of California, San Diego, 1999
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Office: Mendel 300A; Phone: 610-519-5324

Dr. Ohta’s professional interests and research activities focus on problems in physical organic chemistry. He is specifically interested in reaction mechanisms and the relationship between chemical structure and energy. He is currently investigating the structure of semi-stable reaction intermediates in the triazolinedione “ene” reaction.

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Deanna Zubris, Ph.D.

California Institute of Technology, 2001
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Office: Mendel 300E; Phone: 610-519-4874
Web site:

The Zubris group is currently targeting several classes of organometallic compounds as potential catalysts for the coordination polymerization of olefins. Polyolefins are used in a wide range of commercial products, such as grocery bags, shampoo bottles, bulletproof vests, dishwasher-safe food containers, indoor-outdoor carpeting, textiles, and packaging materials. One of our goals is to develop catalysts for polymerization of sterically hindered olefins, such as isobutylene. Currently, we are preparing both early and late transition metal complexes for polymerization mechanisms for these catalysts.

Students in the Zubris group gain a wide range of experiences in synthetic chemistry. The
preparation of organometallic complexes draws upon fundamentals of organic chemistry, for ligand construction, and inorganic chemistry, for metallation and subsequent reactions. Some of the chemical targets are air-sensitive, requiring the use of Schlenk and drybox techniques for preparation and purification. Projects in the Zubris group involve the use of analytical methods such as gas phase chromatography, UV-Vis, FTIR, and NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and single crystal X-ray diffraction.

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Contact Us

Villanova University
Garey Hall 106
800 Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610.519.4650
Fax: 610.519.5405