Research & Internships.
Student research is central to our program. All students experience research through our Research in Chemistry course, and can also participate in the Drew Summer Science Institute. Faculty and RISE Fellows pursue a variety of projects for students, including the synthesis of novel transition metal clusters, exploring enzyme catalysis, atmospheric chemistry and drug discovery. Many students begin their research experience after their first year at Drew.
To begin your research career, read more below, then knock on our office doors and introduce yourself.
Chemical reactions which take over 100,000 years at physiological pH and temperature can occur in less than a second in an enzyme active site. Our research explores enzymes that process DNA, RNA, and signaling molecules by studying how the reaction occurs in both solution and an enzyme. We combine laboratory results with computer modeling to visualize the mechanisms, and compare the solution and enzyme mechanisms to reveal the enzyme’s catalytic strategies.
Airborne particles, such as sea spray, smoke, and mineral dust, play an important role in controlling Earth’s climate. The climate-important properties of the particles, however, change when they react with pollutants such as ozone (O3). The atmospheric chemistry research group at Drew investigates how common pollutants alter the properties of airborne particulates, so that we can better understand Earth’s climate. The work of several students was recently published in Environmental Science & Technology.
Developing, implementing and assessing student-centered pedagogies: Developed POGIL materials for analytical chemistry and assessed their efficacy for student learning, and trained faculty to implement these techniques. Currently PI for the collaborative NSF-IUSE grant, “Eliciting and Assessing Process Skills in STEM,” (PIs: Suzanne Ruder and Renee Cole) which involves the development, validation and dissemination of assessment tools to assess student process skills in active learning classrooms, as well as generating and facilitating faculty development workshops.
Synthesis and reactivity of dibridged triosmium carbonyl clusters: While triosmium carbonyl clusters in general have been extensively studied, dibridged alkoxy systems, Os3(CO)10(μ-OR)2 are not well represented. In our lab we are investigating the chemistry and reactivity patterns of these systems with a focus on aspects of this chemistry that have potential application in a variety of fields including, catalytic models, cytotoxic activity and nanomaterials.
Research with Dr. Porras is at the intersection of organic chemistry and inorganic chemistry. The primary focus is on the synthesis and application of Iridium complexes that act as light harvesting molecules. These complexes convert energy from light into energy used to drive chemical reactions. By changing the structure and properties of the complexes, you can systematically control the performance of the complexes. By driving reactions with light, you dramatically simplify a synthetic reaction and can apply these reactions to a host of target products including pharmaceuticals, where this type of research is already being applied.
A unique reagent which is gaining popularity in the synthetic community is Samarium diiodide (SmI2). This single electron reductant was not discovered until 1980 and a lot of work still needs to be done to uncover all the ways this reagent can work. In our lab we are designing new reactions to form carbon-carbon bonds using SmI2! In addition to using synthetic organic chemistry techniques, careful air-free procedures have to be used in order to carry out the SmI2 methods.
Research interests include: Synthesis of organo silicon analogues of biomolecules including amino acid analogs. Synthesis of organometallic complexes. Microwave chemistry. Development of green chemistry and inquiry-based laboratory experiments.
I develop analytical methodology using a variety of instrumentation for various applications. In one project, we analyzed ancient pottery shards for their elemental composition in order to better understand the origin of these samples. The samples were broken down to elemental constituents and dissolved using strong acids and microwave digestion and then analyzed using ICP-OES. In another project, sludge samples from a superfund site were analyzed using GC-MS to determine the volatile organic components.
The Charles A. Dana Research Institute for Scientists Emeriti (RISE) at Drew University will offer you unique opportunities to engage in undergraduate research under the supervision of retired industrial scientists. Experiential learning at its finest, RISE projects cover topic areas, including drug discovery, industrial microbiology, mathematics and more.
Molecular Biologist, Fellow since 2011, formerly Research Fellow of Oncology and Virology drug discovery research at Schering-Plough Co. | More
Statistician, Director of RISE from 2008 to 2018, Fellow since 2004, formerly Executive Director, Bellcore and Telcordia Technologies. | More
Physicist, Systems Engineer, Fellow since 2012, formerly Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems and Chief Engineer, Bell Laboratories. | More
Assistant Director of RISE. Microbiologist, RISE Fellow since 2016, RISE Associate since 2012. Formerly Senior Investigator, Bioprocess R&D, Merck Research Labs. Currently President of Phoenix BioConsulting, LLC and CTO of Kalion, Inc | More Spectroscopist, RISE Fellow since 2016, RISE Associate since 2012, formerly member of Small Molecule Structure Elucidation Group at Schering-Plough and Merck. | More
Drug Development with RISE Fellow Dr. Vince Gullo
Biotech Research with RISE Fellow Dr. Neal Connors
NMR Analysis with RISE Fellow Dr. C. Anderson Evans
Assistant Director of RISE. Microbiologist, RISE Fellow since 2016, RISE Associate since 2012. Formerly Senior Investigator, Bioprocess R&D, Merck Research Labs. Currently President of Phoenix BioConsulting, LLC and CTO of Kalion, Inc | More
Spectroscopist, RISE Fellow since 2016, RISE Associate since 2012, formerly member of Small Molecule Structure Elucidation Group at Schering-Plough and Merck. | More
Northern New Jersey is home to many pharmaceutical, cosmetic and chemical companies — and many of them offer internships.
Recent Drew Chemistry student internships include drug discovery assays at Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals and studying environmental chemistry at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.