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Chemistry Department
Physical Research_Student1.

Physical and Computational Chemistry Research

Faculty Research Interests Organic Icon

Faculty members at USNA are not only engaged in the traditional teaching/learning processes typically associated with undergraduate institutions, but they are also a world-class faculty in terms of involvement in research. Midshipmen have many opportunities to participate in research or capstone project courses, especially during the 1st class year. Below are brief summaries of the research interests of the current Physical and Computational Chemistry faculty at USNA. More detailed summaries for the faculty are found at each faculty member's website (see links below): 

  • Prof. Mark L. Campbell

    Research Interests
    Professor Campbell's research is concerned with state-to-state dynamics of chemical reactions involving atoms and simple molecules. Laser induced fluorescence and visible chemiluminescence detection of product states are coupled with photodissociation and molecular beam techniques to study the detailed dynamical properties of single reactive collisions.

  • Prof. Mark L. Elert

    Research Interests
    Computer simulation of shock waves and detonation in condensed-phase materials. Molecular dynamics simulations are used to predict reaction products, detonation velocities, and shock wave structures.

  • Prof. Robert F. Ferrante

    Research Interests
    Professor Ferrante's primary research interest lies in the use of spectroscopic techniques (IR, UV/Vis, ESR) for the elucidation of the geometric and electronic structures of unstable or highly reactive molecules, both organic and inorganic.

  • Prof. Judith A. Harrison

    Research Interests
    Professor Harrison uses molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the factors which affect the friction between two diamond surfaces in sliding contact.

  • Assoc. Prof. Roy E. McClean

    Research Interests
    Current work focuses on the gas phase reaction kinetics of transition metal atoms with sulfur dioxide. Computational studies on transition metal/sulfur dioxide complexes are also performed, with the overall objective of determining the reaction mechanism of transition metal + sulfur dioxide reactions. The experimental work is carried out in the laser lab at USNA (chemistry department), and the Gaussian 03 suite of programs is used for the computational work.

  • Asst. Prof. Melonie Teichert

    Research Interests
    Prof. Teichert focuses on Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) which requires individuals with expertise in the discipline (chemistry) to conduct rigorous studies of teaching and learning (cognitive science, educational psychology, learning sciences). Research emphasis is currently on the Design and Assessment of Effective Learning Environments in both lecture and lab.

  • Prof. Joseph J. Urban

    Research Interests
    My research involves the application of computational chemistry techniques (a.k.a. “molecular modeling”) to problems in organic chemistry. The properties that are typically investigated involve structure, reactivity, conformation, solvation, binding affinity and the like.

  • Prof. Boyd Waite

    Research Interests
    Modeling of Signal Transduction at Cell Surfaces. Equilibrium binding immunoassay modeling

  • Asst. Prof. Elizabeth Yates

    Research Interests
    Research focuses on studying amyloidogenic proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), prion encephalopathies, etc. These diseases are commonly classified as protein-misfolding or amyloid diseases due to their association with the rearrangement of specific proteins to non-native conformations which can promote aggregation and deposition. I am especially interested in studying the physical/nanomechanical properties of lipid membranes, and how they modulate lipid-protein surface interactions and amyloid aggregation associated with neurodegenerative disease. The interaction of these proteins with various lipid surfaces has potential protein-misfolding disease implications. Various biophysical techniques are used in the lab ranging from colorimetric, biosensing assays to atomic force microscopy (AFM) to surface phenomena measured utilizing a Langmuir trough.
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