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  • Writer's pictureAnna G

Hello, my name is Kyra Simmons. I am from Cincinnati, Ohio and I will be a senior at the University of Indianapolis this upcoming year. I am a Chemistry and Biology major with a concentration in Pre-Med. After finishing my undergraduate, I plan on applying to medical school and becoming a pediatric physician. This summer I am working in Dr. Ashley Ross’s lab and working on developing a new type of electrode material, nitrogen-doped graphene fibers, for improved neurotransmitter detection with my graduate mentor Blaise Ostertag. We will be going through the procedure of synthesizing the nitrogen-doped graphene microfibers, then we will be using fast-scanning cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) to measure real-time concentration changes of neurotransmitters based on voltage-dependent oxidation and reduction processes. We will be testing catecholamines, indolamines, and purines. We hope to see more enhanced detection of purines (adenosine and guanosine) than other neurotransmitters with this new type of electrode material due to the ideal interactions of purines at nitrogen-functionalized carbon substrates when used for electrochemical sensors.

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  • Writer's pictureAnna G

My name is Casimir Schaefer. I am studying chemistry at Bellarmine University. This summer I am excited to get a look into the graduate program that UC has to offer, working in Dr. Ryan White’s Electrochemistry lab under Sanduni Abeykoon. Initially we willl study the binding kinetics of small molecules ATP and tobramycin to their corresponding aptamers. To pursue this study, the E-AB sensor platform is combined with a flow injection analysis system that allows the determination of the observed binding rate (kobs), association rate (kon), and dissociation rate (koff) constants for the binding of the targets to their corresponding electrode-bound DNA aptamer. Furthermore, We will investigate the affect of a change in temperature on binding kinetics of Electrochemical Aptamer-Based sensors. We hypothesize that in low-temperature environments the binding rates of target to aptamer will slowdown and could be studied under minimized mass transfer limitations. Here, we use IPA to study kinetics of small molecule binding to surface-bound aptamers. These kinetic parameters further allow for the calculation of the thermodynamic binding affinity (KD,surface). The opportunity to work in a graduate chemistry research lab has offered skills and knowledge that go beyond what are available in a classroom, and I am excited to see all that I can learn this summer.

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  • Writer's pictureAnna G

Kendall is a rising senior at Louisiana State University of Alexandria in Alexandria, Louisiana. She is on track to complete her bachelor's degree in Chemistry with a minor in both mathematics and business. After graduating in Spring of 2023, she plans to join a graduate program to earn her PhD in chemistry and use the degree to work in industry. This summer, Kendall is conducting research in Dr. Jianbing “Jimmy” Jiang’s group under the guidance of graduate student, Jack McGrath. For the program, her research interest will be the synthesis and evaluation of organic redox-active materials for redox flow batteries. Redox flow batteries (RFB) are large-scale stationary energy storage machines that are highly popular due to their safety and cost efficiency benefits. The redox-active, organic materials that Kendall will help synthesize varies in redox property and solubility in both aqueous and organic systems. After synthesizing the compounds, electrochemical evaluation of the substance will be done to assess the relationship between structure and performance of the compound in a redox flow battery. The hope for this ongoing research is that the RFBs will aid in efficient energy storage and help alleviate harmful environmental factors of established energy storage solutions.

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