Research & Faculty

At Pitt, you’ll work with one of our outstanding research faculty and a graduate student mentor to pursue your summer project. Our department has research programs in a diverse range of areas. Specific faculty you’ll have the opportunity to work with in Summer 2024 include:

Kay Brummond

We are a team of synthetic chemists regulating chemical reactivity of small organic molecules with a focus on the dearomative dehydro-Diels–Alder reaction.

As a member of our research team, you will synthesize, purify, and confirm structure of new compounds with potential application to organic photovoltaic materials.  
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Lillian Chong

The Chong lab develops advanced molecular simulation methods for studying the mechanisms of complex processes such as protein binding, protein switching, and chemical reactions to rationally enhance their kinetics.

As a student in the Chong lab, you will learn molecular simulation, rare-event sampling, and Python coding for research in computational biophysics.

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Alex Deiters

The Deiters lab works in the areas of chemical biology and synthetic biology and develops chemical approaches and tools to better understand and treat human diseases.

Students in the Deiters lab learn small molecule synthesis, nucleic acid synthesis, protein expression and modification, cell culture, and cell imaging, as well as a wide range of skills and techniques in preparation for careers in the pharmaceutical industry, biotech industry, and academia.

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Seth Horne

The Horne Lab applies protein-inspired artificial scaffolds as functional biomimetic agents and tools to understand natural protein behavior.

As a student in the Horne Lab, you will learn methods for the chemical synthesis of protein mimetics as well as biophysical methods that reveal their folds and functions.

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Geoffrey Hutchison

The Hutchison lab spans simulation, machine learning, and experiments to design new organic materials with electronic and electromechanical properties. We focus on organic solar cells, piezoelectrics, spin and charge transport, and understanding the stability and degradation of target molecules.

As a student in the Hutchison lab, you will learn molecular simulation, materials characterization, collaboration between experiment and simulation, and Python coding for research in cheminformatics, organic materials, and computational chemistry.

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Grace Kenney

The Kenney Lab leverages bio(inorganic) chemistry, bacteriology, and bioinformatic strategies to discover novel microbial chemistry in genomic dark matter

Projects in the Kenney lab are interdisciplinary and can involve some combination of computational work to identify interesting microbial enzymes and pathways, in vitro elucidation of enzyme mechanisms, characterization of natural product structure and function, and in vivo work in microbes to investigate the roles of these systems in nature 

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Kazunori Koide

We synthesize complex bioactive small molecules, develop new synthetic methodologies, and synthesize/apply fluorescent probes to interrogate biomolecules in live cells.

An REU student will synthesize and apply a new fluorescent probe for biology.  

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Jennifer Laaser

The Laaser Lab investigates how different types of chemical interactions influence the phase behavior and viscoelasticity of charged polymer complexes.

As a student in the Laaser Lab, you will learn polymer synthesis, physical characterization, and simple robotics for chemical research.

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Haitao Liu

The H. Liu Lab uses DNA nanostructure to pattern nanoscale features on polymers.

You will learn synthesis of DNA nanostructures, surface characterization techniques (Atomic Force Microscope, X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, etc). 

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Tara Meyer

The Meyer Lab prepares and examines the properties of polymers as a function of their sequence.

As a student in the Meyer Lab, you will learn polymer synthesis, physical characterization, and experimental design.

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Nathaniel Rosi

The Rosi Lab develops peptide-based methods for nanoparticle assembly and specifically examines peptide sequence as a handle for controlling the metrics and properties of 1-D nanoparticle superstructures.

As a student in the Rosi Lab, you will learn how to synthesize and characterize peptides and nanoparticle superstructures.

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David Waldeck

The Waldeck group investigates how the electron spin affects the interactions and reactivity of chiral molecules and materials

Students in the Waldeck group perform synthesis and characterization of chiral materials, investigate how magnetic materials affect chemical reactions, and study enantioselective electrochemical processes. 
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Yiming Wang

The Wang Lab investigates the development of new organic reactions using transition metal catalysts.

As a student in the Wang lab, you will learn how to synthesize and purify small molecular building blocks, ligands, and catalysts and learn how to optimize new transition metal catalyzed reactions that employ these starting materials.

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Peter Wipf

Our lab is working in the field of synthetic organic chemistry, with major projects in natural products total synthesis, strain-release methods, heterocyclic and medicinal chemistry.

In the Wipf group, you will gain experience in the preparation, purification, characterization, and biological analysis of organic molecule, as well as in techniques related to photo- and flow chemistry. 
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