Department of Chemistry

Mathematics and Science Center,
Room 260
146 Library Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4479
(location map)
(248) 370-2320
fax: 370-2321

A gloved hand adjusting a valve on a glass vial, above a table with test tubes in a tray.


The Department of Chemistry offers exceptional opportunities year-round for students, at both undergraduate and graduate levels, to participate in faculty research.

Undergraduate students that are interested and qualified can participate in faculty research for course credit (CHM 2995/4995/4996) and/or full-time during the summer. Students should feel free to discuss research opportunities with members of the chemistry faculty. If you are interested in research (in the Department of Chemistry) and do not know where to start, consider filling out a research questionnaire for advice on potential research mentors. Specific arrangements with an individual faculty member must be made before enrollment CHM 2995/4995/4996.

Graduate students in the Ph.D. and Masters programs have the opportunity to conduct research in any branch of the chemical sciences. Research should be discussed with a faculty research advisor of the students’ choice from the list below. Course credit may be earned in CHM 6995/9999.

Chemistry Research Opportunities


John Seeley

  • Development of novel analytical methods
  • Two-dimensional gas chromatography for analysis of trace species in air
  • Analysis of biofuels

Zhe Wang

  • Green electrochemical synthesis and energy conversion
  • Advanced interface chemistry for sensors and biosensors
  • Multifunctional composite materials

Xiangqun Zeng

  • Novel sensor technique and electrode array development 
  • Novel chemical and biointerface development for life science applications
  • Characterization and applications of carbohydrates and conductive polymers
  • Analytical applications of ionic liquids water quality monitoring and modeling aquatic microbial ecology


Adam Avery

  • Molecular mechanisms of neuronal morphogenesis and disease
  • Protein biochemistry and Drosophila genetics
  • Advanced fluorescence techniques and drug development

Colin Wu

  • DNA replication, recombination, and repair
  • Mechanisms of DNA unwinding and translocation by helicases
  • Thermodynamic, kinetic, and structural understanding of protein-DNA interactions


Thomas Bianchette

  • Reconstructing natural hazards through sedimentology, palynology, and geochemistry
  • Quaternary paleoenvironments

David Szlag

  • Water quality monitoring and modeling
  • Aquatic microbial ecology
  • Harmful algal blooms and other emerging contaminants

Ziming Yang

  • Biogeochemical transformation of soil organic matter
  • Mineral-organic interactions
  • Kinetics, mechanisms, and thermodynamics of organic reactions in geological and environmental systems
  • Microbial wastewater treatment


Ferman Chavez

  • Synthetic models for metalloenzymes
  • Nitric oxide releasing materials
  • Development of synthetic nucleases
  • Ligand design for asymmetric catalysis

Evan Trivedi

  • Tetrapyrrole and lanthanide coordination chemistry; synthetic methods
  • Luminescence spectroscopy; solid state and near-infrared
  • Therapeutic development in vitro; tissue culture and fluorescence microscopy
  • Drug development in vivo; molecular imaging in small animal models


Kodiah Beyeh

  • Supramolecular chemistry
  • Weak interactions
  • Hybrid and biohybrid materials

Roman Dembinski

  • Novel synthetic methods
  • Nucleoside (DNA/RNA) analogs
  • Bioorganic and organometallic chemistry
  • Heterocyclic and fluorine chemistry

Zacharias Kinney

  • Synthetic organic and inorganic chemistry; developing synthetic approaches for photoactive materials
  • Physical organic chemistry; elucidating structure-property relationships for hybrid materials
  • Supramolecular chemistry; synthesizing novel hosts for anion recognition and sensing


Laura Kiefer

  • Reaction mechanism determination through infrared spectroelectrochemistry with a focus on greenhouse gases and inorganic catalysts
  • Determining solvent effects on catalysis reactions
  • Use of green solvents, such as ionic liquids, to optimize electrocatalytic reactions 

Alexander Rusakov

  • Relativistic quantum chemistry
    • effects of spin-orbit interaction on the quantum many-electron problem
    • the development of relativistic density functional theory and force fields with machine learning approaches
  • Theoretical chemistry of heavy elements:
    • actinide chemistry
    • chemistry of superheavy elements
  • Multi-scale modeling of significant medical isotopes:
    • the behavior of Astatine-211, Radium-223, and Actinium-225 in complex systems and solution
    • predictive models for rational design of radiopharmaceuticals for targeted alpha-particle therapy


Maria Bryant

  • Computer modeling of intermolecular forces

Linda Schweitzer

  • Environmental analytical chemistry
  • Drinking water quality and treatment processes

Michael Sevilla

  • Mechanisms of  radiation damage to DNA
  • Electron spin resonance analysis for free radicals
  • Quantum chemistry calculations of free radical properties and structure
Summer Research Fellowships

Research fellowships are available for interested undergraduate students. The Summer Research Program is a paid 12-week program (May – July). Additional information and application materials can be found on the Center for Biomedical Research website.

James Morrison Thompson Chemistry Scholarship

Tuition awards are available each semester to qualified students who elect undergraduate research in chemistry. Recipients are chosen by the faculty of the Department of Chemistry.