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Research Opportunities


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The Master of Science in Chemistry and Biochemistry program at Boise State University provides students with advanced training in modern chemical research methods. Our faculty members have research projects that span the chemistry disciplines, and have opportunities in the following areas:

  • Antimicrobial Drug Discovery
  • Archaeometry
  • Astrobiology
  • Bacterial Quorum Sensing
  • Buckminster Fullerenes
  • Cancer Treatment Research
  • Carbon Nanotubes
  • Chemical Biology

  • Cosmochemistry and Meteorites
  • DNA Nanotechnology
  • Enzymology
  • Infectious Disease Research
  • Nanostructured Materials
  • Natural Products
  • Supramolecular Assembly
  • West Nile Virus Vaccines


Faculty Advisors

Faculty listed below are accepting graduate students for the 2017-2018 academic year. More specific information can be obtained by following the links provided.

Kevin Ausman (Materials Chemistry, Physical Chemistry)
The Ausman Group at BSU focuses on the potential health and environmental risks of nanomaterials and their commercialization barriers, with a particular focus on Buckminsterfullerenes and single-walled carbon nanotubes.

Eric Brown (Bioinorganic Chemistry)
Dr. Brown’s research group aims to provide insight into the structure and function of metalloenzymes by using synthetic low molecular weight complexes to model the structural and functional units of the enzymes.

Michael Callahan (Analytical Chemistry)
The Callahan Lab is an analytical chemistry research group with interests in cosmochemistry, astrobiology, prebiotic chemistry, archaeological science, and food, energy, and water (FEW) systems.

Henry Charlier (Biochemistry)
Dr. Charlier’s overall research interests involve the fields of enzymology and protein chemistry, with projects involving the study of carbonyl reductase, alcohol dehydrogenase, and phosphotriesterase.

Adam Colson (Inorganic Chemistry, Organometallic Chemistry)
The Colson research group investigates the potential pathways by which discrete molecular species become continuous solid-state materials, which could enable the rational design of new classes of functional materials and advanced catalysts and eventually facilitate their production at commercial scales.

Ken Cornell (Biochemistry)
Primary investigations in the Cornell lab include the identification of new targets for antimicrobial drug development, as well as studying modified chemotherapeutics with the goal of improving their overall efficacy.

Jeunghoon Lee (Materials Chemistry)
Research in Dr. Lee’s group focuses on 1) synthesis and DNA-functionalization of inorganic nanoparticles, 2) development of novel colorimetric biological sensing technologies, and 3) characterization and analysis of new nanostructures.

Owen McDougal (Natural Products Chemistry, Computational Chemistry)
Dr. McDougal’s research projects under investigation at Boise State University include, but are not limited to: 1) conotoxin peptides as therapeutic drugs for Parkinson’s disease, 2) computer-aided molecular drug design, and 3) steroidal alkaloids as cancer treatments.

Rajesh Nagarajan (Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry)
The Nagarajan lab’s long-term focus is to design quorum sensing inhibitors that act by preventing the generation of autoinducer signals, with an immediate focus on understanding the molecular basis of the signal fidelity enforcing mechanism in bacterial quorum sensing.

Don Warner (Organic and Medicinal Chemistry)
Students in Dr. Warner’s research group synthesize potential chemotherapeutics and study the mechanisms by which the new drugs fight cancer. Particular emphasis is placed on drugs with anticancer activity that results from covalent or non-covalent DNA interactions.


Research Equipment and Instrumentation

Mike Callahan with Chemistry and Biochemistry students Melissa and Alison, next to NMR machine

Chemical Analysis

  • Spectroscopy: Absorption (FTIR, NIR, and UV/vis), Fluorimetry, Raman, Polarimetry, Atomic Absorption, and NMR (600 and 300 MHz)
  • Chromatography: GC and GC/MS, Ion Trap LC/MS, ESI TOF LC/MS, HPLC, FPLC, MALDI-TOF Imager
  • Miscellaneous: Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis/Zeta Potential, High Temperature Tube Furnace, Computational Modeling

Molecular Biology

  • Tissue Culture: Tissue Culture Hoods, CO2 Incubator, EVOS Fluorescence Microscope
  • RT-PCR Thermocycler, Incubator-Shaker, UV/Fluorescence Imager

Shared Equipment Access

  • BMOL: TOF MS, LIT MS, ETDII Ion Trap MS, mini-CAVE, MicroCT X-Ray Scanner, Spectropolarimeter, MALS, Analytical Ultracentrifuge
  • Condensed Matter Physics: XPS, Diffractometer, Zetasizer
  • Flow Cytometry Facility: Cell Sorter, Flow Cytometer
  • MSE: AFM, TEM, SEM, XRD, EDS, EBSD, XPS, ID-TIMS, LA-ICPMS, LEAP, SEM/FIB