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    04/09/19

    Six chemistry students earn NSF Graduate Student Fellowship honors

Five Department of Chemistry students have received fellowships—Mckenna Hanson, Eliza Herrero, Katherine Jones, Lindsay Robinson and Celeste Rousseau—and one student—Christopher Warkentin—received an honorable mention in the highly competitive National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).

In addition, Benjamin Yeh, a Chemical Engineering & Materials Science (CEMS) student who is co-advised by CEMS Professor Aditya Bhan and Chemistry Professor Laura Gagliardi and is a member of the Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center, received a fellowship, and Caroline Buchholz, a medicinal chemistry student who is advised by Professor William Pomerantz, received an honorable mention.

The GRFP helps ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and in STEM education. The GRFP provides three years of financial support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements in STEM and STEM education. This award supports the NSF Graduate Fellows pursuing graduate education at this GRFP institution. Chemistry honorees include:

  • Mckenna Hanson who is advised by Professor Theresa Reineke
  • Eliza Herrrero who is advised by Professor Michael Bowser
  • Katherine Jones who is advised by Professor Daniel Harki
  • Lindsay Robinson who is advised by Professor Thomas Hoye
  • Celeste Rousseau who is advised by Professor Philippe Buhlmann
  • Christopher Warkentin who is advised by Professor Renee Frontiera

Caroline Buchholz is a first-year medicial chemistry student who is advised by Professor William Pomerantz. Her research focus encompasses investigating the PHD domain of an epigenetic regulating protein, BPTF, using Protein Observed 19F (PrOF) NMR.

Mckenna Hanson is a first-year graduate student who is advised by Professor Theresa Reineke. She is researching the development of macromolecules for biologic drug stabilization and the mechanisms behind the stabilization. Her goal is to derive key aspects of bio-pharmaceutical stabilization to improve design efficiency in the future. She would like to be a professor and work in academia in the futre.

Eliza Herrero is a first-year graduate student who is advised by Professor Michael Bowser. Her general research interests are in the field of bioanalytical chemistry. More specifically, she is interested in developing assays to measure the effects of artificial sweeteners on leptin signaling in fat cells. In the future, Eliza hopes to pursue a career in academia.

Katherine Jones is a second-year graduate student who is advised by Professor Daniel Harki. She is studying APOBEC3 enzymes that mutate DNA and have implications in both HIV and cancer. Her research focuses on utilizing whole protein mass spectrometry to screen fragments libraries against the protein family, with the goal of discovering selective small molecule inhibitors for use as chemical probes and possible combinatorial therapeutics. Katherine's future plans include eventually going into a position in industry, possibly within the government sector.

Lindsay Robinson is a second-year graduate student who is advised by Professor Thomas Hoye. Her general research focus is organic chemistry, and her current research project is focused on understanding the biosynthesis of a natural product (ottelione A), which is hypothesized to involve a non-enzyme mediated Cope rearrangement. Ideally, she would like to pursue teaching at a primarily undergraduate institution.

Celeste Rousseau is a second-year grad student who is advised by Professor Philippe Buhlmann. Her general research interests are in the field of analytical electrochemical sensors. Her specific research focus is on the development of methods to improve reproducibility of ion-selective electrodes so that these sensors do not require individual calibration.

Christopher Warkentin is a second-year graduate student working with Professor Renee Frontiera. He is investigating underlying mechanisms in plasmon driven chemical processes using ultrafast surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy.

Benjamin Yeh is a first-year chemical engineering graduate student who is co-advised by Professor Aditya Bhan in Chemical Engineering & Materials Science and Professor Laura Gagliardi in chemistry, and he is a member of the is a member of the Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center. His research focuses on measuring the kinetics and determining the reaction mechanism for the oligomerization of propenes and butenes on nickel-based metal-organic frameworks through experiment and computation. He hopes to pursue a career in industry and work in research and development.