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Research

Department of Chemistry

Research is central to the mission of Drexel University’s Department of Chemistry

Research is the heart of the Department of Chemistry at Drexel University, where students, faculty, and staff forge an interdisciplinary collaboration dedicated to advancing the forefront of the field. Faculty conduct pioneering work in research areas that include: analytical, atmospheric, inorganic, materials, organic, physical, theoretical and computational chemistry, as well as concentrations in chemical biology and chemical education. Research activity across the department has earned the support of federal agencies, such as the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in addition to funding from many private foundations.

The department’s community of scholars —faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate, and undergraduate students— is large enough to offer a range of stimulating experiences within the field of chemistry yet small enough to provide each student with individual attention to fit their interests.


Faculty Research Areas

Faculty in the Department of Chemistry are at the forefront of leading-edge research spanning a wide variety of chemistry subfields.


Analytical Chemistry

Faculty Member Contact Specialization
Joe Foley, PhD
Professor; Department Head
Disque Hall 212
jfoley@drexel.edu

Separation science and analytical chemistry, with an emphasis on the fundamentals and applications of pressure- or voltage-driven liquid-phase separation techniques including ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis.

Frank Ji
Professor; Affiliated faculty member of College of Engineering, Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Disque Hall 211
hj56@drexel.edu

Organic and Polymer Chemistry; Drug discovery; Biofilm; Phosphorus-based nanomaterials; Plasma chemistry and it’s medical applications

Kevin Owens, PhD
Associate Professor; Chair, Faculty Senate
Stratton Hall 415
kevin.owens@drexel.edu

analytical chemistry; mass spectrometry; analytical method development; time-of-flight mass spectrometry; analytical instrument development; matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization; imaging mass spectrometry; micro-organism identification by mass spectrometry; chemometrics; correlation analysis

Atmospheric Chemistry

Faculty Member Contact Specialization
Evan Wood, PhD
Associate Professor
Disque Hall 507
ew456@drexel.edu

Radical chemistry and formation of secondary pollutants in urban and forest environments, impacts of biomass burning on air pollution and climate change, pollutant emissions, and design and deployment of novel instrumentation for field studies.

Chemical Biology

Faculty Member Contact Specialization
Young-Hoon Ahn
Associate Professor
Disque Hall 506
ya426@drexel.edu

Chemical Biology; Cysteine Proteomics; Redox Signaling; Glutathione; and Post-translational Modifications.

Chemical Education

Faculty Member Contact Specialization
Daniel King
Associate Professor; Associate Department Head
509 Disque Hall
daniel.king@drexel.edu

Assessment of the use and effectiveness of personal response devices and online course videos; Development of inquiry-based (POGIL) activities that use environmental context to teach chemistry content; Assessment of active learning methods and technology in chemistry courses; Incorporation of environmental data into chemistry classroom modules; Development of hands-on activities and laboratory experiments; General chemistry, environmental chemistry and everyday chemistry.

Inorganic Chemistry

Faculty Member Contact Specialization
Jeremiah Scepaniak, PhD
Assistant Professor
Disque Hall 506
jjs452@drexel.edu
  1. Study of first-row transition metal complexes of tetrapodal pentadentate ligands composed of N-heterocyclic carbenes, particularly in relation to small molecule activation and group transfer reactions.
  2. Transformation of C-1 substrates (CO, CO¬¬¬¬2) to value added products using first-row transition metals.

Materials Chemistry

Faculty Member Contact Specialization
Frank Ji
Professor; Affiliated faculty member of College of Engineering, Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Disque Hall 211
hj56@drexel.edu

Organic and Polymer Chemistry; Drug discovery; Biofilm; Phosphorus-based nanomaterials; Plasma chemistry and it’s medical applications

Karl Sohlberg, PhD
Associate Professor
Disque Hall 222
sohlbergk@drexel.edu

Theoretical and Computational Physical and Materials Chemistry; Development of theoretical models for both electrical and mechanical molecular devices

Organic Chemistry

Faculty Member Contact Specialization
Fraser Fleming, PhD
Professor
Disque Hall 306
fraser.f.fleming@drexel.edu
Research is focused on rapidly constructing biologically relevant scaffolds as potential pharmaceutical leads. Two complementary research areas comprise most of the research effort: the use of metalated nitriles as potent nucleophiles for hindered bond construction, and the use of metalated isocyanides as precursors to peptide mimics. The research has been primarily funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.
Frank Ji
Professor; Affiliated faculty member of College of Engineering, Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Disque Hall 211
hj56@drexel.edu

Organic and Polymer Chemistry; Drug discovery; Biofilm; Phosphorus-based nanomaterials; Plasma chemistry and it’s medical applications

Peter Wade
Professor Emeritus
Disque Hall 508
wadepa@drexel.edu

Exploration of a newly discovered [3,3]-sigmatropic rearrangement; development and exploitation of a carbon-based hemiacetal mimic; exploration of cycloaddition reactions involving nitroethylene derivatives and novel nitrile oxides

Physical Chemistry

Faculty Member Contact Specialization
Myungwoon Lee, PhD
Assistant Professor

ml3784@drexel.edu

Neurodegenerative protein aggregation; Membrane associated amyloid fibrils; Molecular structures, dynamics, and intermolecular interactions of biological macro molecules; Solid-state NMR and Cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM)


Theoretical and Computational Chemistry

Faculty Member Contact Specialization
Karl Sohlberg, PhD
Associate Professor
Disque Hall 222
sohlbergk@drexel.edu

Theoretical and Computational Physical and Materials Chemistry; Development of theoretical models for both electrical and mechanical molecular devices

Labs and Facilities

The Department of Chemistry has a variety of instruments that are available for use on a fee basis. Researchers interested in using instrumentation pay a training fee before using the services on a time basis, or in some cases can opt for a pay-per-sample arrangement. In addition to the labs and facilities listed below, the chemistry department maintains a small desktop molecular modeling facility running Hypercube’s Hyperchem and the Schrodinger Suite —Maestro, Bioluminate, etc. Full-time technical support includes two departmental electronic instrumentation specialists, a laboratory manager and two laboratory technicians.

Instrumentation Specialist

Please email any questions you may have to our instrumentation specialist Joshua Williams, PhD, jrw437@drexel.edu. You may also call 215.895.1980, or stop by Stratton Hall, room 406.

Mass Spectrometry Facility

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Center (NMR)

Instrumental Analytical Laboratory

Maryanoff Fellowship: First-Year Summer Research Program

The Drexel 2020 and 2021 Maryanoff Scholars pose for a photo with Bruce (BS ’69, PhD ’72) and Cynthia (BS ’72) Maryanoff and Joe Foley, PhD, department head of chemistry, following their research presentations.

Thanks to the generous support of two Drexel alumni, selected students are able to participate in a chemistry research program during the first summer after their freshman year.

Bruce and Cynthia Maryanoff met while Bruce was a PhD student and Cynthia was an undergraduate, both working under the late Robert Hutchins, PhD, a Drexel professor and department head of chemistry. Hutchins’ mentorship would inspire the Maryanoffs to give back to Drexel to provide other undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct research to further achieve their educational and career goals.

Meet the 2021 Maryanoff Fellows

Apply by January 23, 2023

The Maryanoff First-Year Summer Research Program is open to all first-year Drexel science students who are interested in chemistry research in the following areas: atmospheric chemistry, materials chemistry, and/or physical chemistry. Accepted students receive a 10-week stipend for up to $4,000, depending on the number of research hours performed. Free summer lodging though a commuter opportunity will also be available to applicants. After completion of the research, students are each required to make a 10-minute presentation, date to be determined, to the program donors, Drs. Bruce and Cynthia Maryanoff.

Eligibility

The Maryanoff program is open to students who are eligible for employment and who are majoring in: Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies and Sustainability, Geoscience, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, and Science (undecided).

How to Apply

  1. Submit a brief essay, one page or less, on why you wish to be involved in research. Please include your name, university ID number, and major at the top of your application. Save your application in Microsoft Word as follows: FirstName-LastName-Maryanoff-Application. For example: “Ravi-Patel-Maryanoff-Application.doc”
  2. Identify your first, second, and third choice of the research project on which you wish to work, chosen from the areas below:
    • Atmospheric Chemistry: Ezra Wood, PhD
    • Materials Chemistry: Frank Ji, PhD
    • Physical Chemistry: TBD

    View Project Descriptions.

  3. Declaration that the student will conduct research for a 10-week period of approximately 40 hours/week. The start date which typically falls on the first day of classes for the summer term, may be subject to change based on the campus accessibility due to the pandemic.
  4. Indication of whether you would like to be considered for the commuter opportunity, as well as a lodger. The commuter option is highly recommended due to the uncertainty in the availability of campus housing under the pandemic.

Applications are due on or before Monday, January 23, 2023 for full consideration. Applicants will be notified by end of February 2023.

Email applications to: Jun Xi, PhD, associate teaching professor, jx35@drexel.edu.