Specialties: Physical, General
Research: I engage students in two distinct types of research projects. Both are concerned with different aspects of the role played by water in our lives.
1. Volumetric Properties of Water Solutions. In our research group, we are interested in the volumetric properties of solutions. To have a solution you need a solvent, say water, and a solute (what is dissolved in the solvent). The molecular structure of both solute and solvent affect the way they interact with each other. These interactions are important, among other reasons, because they influence the behavior of biological molecules (proteins, nucleic acids, etc.). We study solute-solvent interactions by measuring how the volume of the solution changes as one changes the pressure and the concentration. The way the solution behaves as a function of concentration and pressure provides information about solute-solvent interactions and allows us to tell a story about why biological macromolecules behave the way they do in water.
2. Appropriate Water Purification Interventions. Lack of access to potable water kills about 4000 children a day worldwide. For that reason, a great deal of attention is being paid to simple devices that allow people to purify water at home. It is an approach known as “Household Water Treatment and Storage” (HWTS). We use one of those devices and implement projects in rural communities in the Dominican Republic. Research in this area can be the testing of HWTS devices in the lab, which may be accompanied by a field experience.
A.B., Chemistry, Smith College, 1999
Ph.D., Chemistry, Duke University, 2004
Post-Doctoral Research, North Carolina State University, 2004-2006
Specialties: Organic, Inorganic
Research: Consumers use products made from the chemical and pharmaceutical industries daily. Environmental and economic pressures with current synthetic methods create a need for the development of new ways to make molecules. My research focuses on the use of transition-metal catalysts for organic transformations. The goal is to find a different route to making a target molecule that requires less time, energy, reagents, and waste produced. Current work focuses on the synthesis of iron complexes with N-heterocyclic carbene ligands. The iron complexes are then screened for different types of reactivity including additions, aromatic substitutions, reductions and oxidations.
B.A., Chemistry, DePauw University, 1972
Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh, 1981
Specialties: Physical, General
Research: For my doctoral research in physical chemistry I studied crossed molecular beams of metastable noble gases, and I retired a few years ago from Bell Labs after a career making integrated circuits. My research at Rollins focuses on the development of new experiments for the undergraduate organic chemistry curriculum. I have a particular interest in investigations of the bisphenol family of chemicals known to behave as endocrine disruptors.
Specialties: Analytical, General
Research: The advancement of biomaterials research has become more significant in recent years as the need for biocompatible, bioselective medical devices has grown. As surfaces of biomedical devices are often the first part of the device that interacts with the biological host, it is crucial to develop a method that is able to control and modify these surface properties. One theme in the Park research group is the development of bioselective gold nanocomposites that can serve as a platform for a new kind of cancer treatment. Gold nanoparticles are of special interest due to their unique ability to effectively convert light energy into the form of heat and potentially act as delivery vehicles of anti-cancer therapeutics to solid tumor sites. My lab will use tools in analytical and photochemistry to achieve the following objectives: (1) develop a photografting method that allows for the attachment of nearly any biomolecule onto gold nanoparticle surfaces, and (2) produce biocompatible, highly selective nano-vehicles for diagnostics and therapeutics. Other projects in the Park research group include the fabrication of thin films on a wide selection of surfaces (e.g., gold, silicon) using nano- and/or polymeric materials for biomedical applications.
Bio: As an adjunct professor in the Chemistry Department at Rollins College since 2000, my emphasis has been on teaching courses for those students not majoring in the sciences. These courses have included the Chemistry of Life and more recently and presently the Chemistry of Art. In addition, I was a visiting professor at Rollins College from 1992 to 1994, an adjunct professor at Valencia Community College from 1994 to 1996, and am presently a teacher at Trinity Preparatory School here in Winter Park, having worked there full-time since 1995. During this time I’ve taught courses in organic, inorganic, and general chemistry, including AP Chemistry since 1997. I’ve also guided the research of a couple of students at Rollins College some years ago. I really enjoy teaching in the classroom and the laboratory, and that is where I’ve spent my time and energy.
B.A., Chemistry, Biochemistry, & Biology, Wartburg College, 2002
Ph.D., Biomedical Science: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 2007
Post-Doctoral Research, Yale University, 2007-2012
Specialties: Biochemistry, General
Research: The first cancer-causing virus was discovered ~50 years ago, but we still have no vaccine or cure for it. Together with my students, we are currently exploring the interplay between cancer-causing viruses and infected human cells. We identified and are currently exploring thousands of gene transcripts that are regulated by human and viral microRNAs: tiny non-coding RNAs that base pair with specific messenger RNAs to down-regulate them. It is our hope that our research will contribute to a greater understanding of how the virus causes cancer and thereby pinpoint good targets for future anti-viral drug development. The Riley Lab’s projects are interdisciplinary, combining foundational elements of biochemistry, bioinformatics, molecular biology, cell biology, and genetics.
B.S., Chemistry, De La Salle University--Manila, 2003
M.S., Chemistry, De La Salle University--Manila, 2005
M.Phil., Chemistry, Syracuse University, 2008
Ph.D., Syracuse University, 2012
Research: Nature is an abundant source of interesting molecules, some of which demonstrate significant pharmacological or biological activities. The discovery of these activities has prompted the investigation of these molecules for pharmaceutical discovery and drug design. I am very much interested in synthesizing these small naturally-occurring molecules. In efforts to optimize their therapeutic properties, analogues are targeted for synthesis as they allow us to perform Structure Activity Relationship Studies (SARS) and better understand the structural function of the exhibited biological activity. Other research interests include solvent-free synthesis and application of environment-friendly methodologies such as sonication or microwave technology.
B.S., Chemistry, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 1994
Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Michigan, 2000
Specialties: Nuclear, General, Physical
Bio: A nuclear chemist with a passion for learning and teaching issues, James has participated in faculty professional development activities at the local, national, and international level. These activities have included the development of a Teaching Fellowship program that supports faculty interested in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning studies, the design of assessment protocols for multi-institution projects, the mentoring of university and college faculty team projects designed to improve college learning environments with an emphasis on addressing issues that often discourage women and minorities from pursuing study in the sciences or mathematics, and the presentation of NSF-sponsored Multi-Initiative Dissemination (MID) project curriculum to cohorts of science faculty from a wide-range of academic institutions. Dr. Zimmerman has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in general, nuclear, and physical chemistry and has won university awards for his teaching. His scholarly agenda currently includes program, project, and classroom assessment, integrative learning theory, and traditional faculty development.