Chemistry Summer Research Program-Instructors

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Raja Annamalai

Raja Annamalai
Assistant Professor

Research in my group centers around the development of new methods to synthesize organic molecules and in the use of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) to study hydrogen bonding interactions between organic molecules.  To that extent, I currently have 4 projects ongoing in my group:
1) Use of NMR as a secondary method to determine the surface area of different nanomaterials. - The design of materials and molecules on the nano scale has led to a number of exciting discoveries.  One aspect of nanomaterials that lends them their unique properties is the fact that they have a high surface area compared to their size.  As such, a simple method to determine their surface area would be beneficial.  We are exploring the use of NMR for this purpose.
2) Quantifying hydrogen bonding between organic molecules via NMR. - Hydrogen bonding is of major importance both in biology and chemistry.  As such, we are exploring the strength of hydrogen bonds between various types of molecules.
3) Development of green organic chemistry lab experiments. - In an effort to lower our environmental impact by decreasing waste and to make our organic labs safer by eliminating potentially hazardous materials, we are developing labs that are greener while also being highly instructional. 
4) Development of green methods for organic transformation. - Many organic reactions require the use of hazardous and expensive organic reagents.  We explore methods by which safer and cheaper means can be used to carry out the same useful transformations.

Brian Barry

Brian Barry
Assistant Professor

Dr. Brian Barry has been an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry since the Fall of 2014.  He was born and raised in Iowa City, IA and received his undergraduate degree (B.S. in Chemistry, 2004) from Northern Iowa University and his Ph.D. (Inorganic Chemistry, 2010) from the University of Iowa.  He was then a postdoctoral fellow at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM for three years before taking his first professorship at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  In Dr. Barry’s lab students rationally design and synthesize molecular catalysts to be used in various applications.  One of his currently funded projects looks at the electrocatalytic reduction of CO2, aiming to produce useful chemicals while also reducing atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

Qiong (June) Li

Qiong (June) Li
Professor and Department Chair

Dr. Li earned her B.S. of Chemistry from Inner Mongolia Normal University in China, M.S. from Beijing Research Institute of Petroleum Processing, and Ph.D in Organic Chemistry from Northeastern University in Boston. She then worked as a postdoc at University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA. She also taught at West Liberty State College in WV before joining UW-Platteville Chemistry program in 2001. Her research activities are focused on investigating electronic and steric effects on the conformations of 1-arylpiperazines in solution by various NMR techniques and studying structure-activity relationships in the cleavage of DNA by arenediazonium salts. Her hobbies are skiing, dancing and traveling.

Chanaka Mendis

Chanaka Mendis
Professor of Chemistry and Acting Assistant Provost

Dr. Mendis earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in Chemistry at Georgetown University in Georgetown, Washington DC after earning his B.Sc. in Chemistry at SUNY/College at Old Westbury in Old Westbury, NY.  Dr. Mendis’s research interests lie in the areas of gene profiling, cell death, and signal transduction.  His projects are focused on designing drugs that will be potent yet effective over long periods by targeting and blocking cellular activities that make these drugs ineffective.

Mohammad G. Rabbani

Mohammad G. Rabbani
Assistant Professor

Dr. Rabbani received his Ph.D. from Osaka City University, Japan, and then post-doctoral training at Virginia commonwealth University. After joining at University of Wisconsin-Platteville as a faculty in Inorganic Chemistry in 2013, he received multiple research grants to engage undergraduate students in research activity. His main research entails the design and synthesis of nanoporous materials for potential applications in gas storage and separation, heterogeneous catalysis in conversion of CO2 to useful chemicals, and drug storage. His research activities, particularly, on carbon dioxide separation from landfill gas, have been highlighted multiple times by the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Wisconsin System Technology Foundation, Telegraph Herald News, American Chemical Society, etc. He published more than 20 articles in peer reviewed journals and he has about 1,000 citations which attest the significance of his research. Students in his reach group receives significant training in materials synthesis, varieties of instrumentation for materials characterizations, data analysis and presentation skills. Activities in his research group create enthusiasm in STEM education for young students. His hobbies include gardening and traveling.

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