Johnson presents research at national conference

October 9, 2013
Ross Johnson

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — Ross Johnson, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville recently presented his research at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in Indianapolis, Ind. Johnson, who is originally from Appleton, Wis. is a biology major with an emphasis in biohealth and physiology and a chemistry minor. He has been working on research projects under the supervision of Dr. Soma Chattopadhyay, assistant professor for the chemistry department, since fall 2012. Last spring, Johnson was encouraged by Chattopadhyay to submit an abstract to the American Chemical Society, which was accepted.

Johnson’s research explored the fabrication of OLEDs, or organic light-emitting devices as a hands-on teaching module for potential use, in an undergraduate laboratory setting. Chattopadhyay explained that the goal was to enable students to fabricate and test their own OLEDs during a typical three-hour laboratory class.

Usually this type of lab is only seen in graduate level courses, but this research may change that. OLED technology has found applications as displays in digital cameras, mobile devices and portable medial players, among others. “The point,” Chattopadhyay explains, “is for students to see ‘what goes on behind these displays’ and what makes them work.”

Johnson presented his research at the 246th American Chemical Society national meeting held in Indianapolis from Sept. 8 - 12. This is an international conference attended by people from all over the world that showcases research conducted by students and professionals in many different areas of study related to chemistry.

While presenting his poster at the ACS national meeting, Johnson commented that he made “many connections through networking” during the conference.  “People would walk by and stop to ask questions,” Johnson remarked. One of the individuals indicated that they were working on a similar project geared towards high school students and were interested in collaborating.

Johnson was awarded the Pioneer Undergraduate Research Fellowship last spring for his latest research project on developing drug delivery systems and is very grateful for the award. He is currently working with Chattopadhyay to develop a biodegradable drug delivery vehicle that would distribute drugs directly to the diseased area with minimal side effects. With support from grants awarded to his mentor, Chattopadhyay and access to equipment provided by the chemistry department, Johnson has been able to move forward with his research projects.

After his experience with research, Johnson is considering a career in medical research. “Research is something I want to go into,” he said. Johnson is contemplating going to medical school in Wisconsin after he takes the medical college admission test. He explored this idea when he interned at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison as part of the RUSH program.

“Perseverance,” said Johnson, is a huge part of research and sometimes you “have to think about what you can do differently.” There are always “road blocks,” Johnson commented, but “you have to think outside the box.”

Contact: Dr. Soma Chattopadhyay, chemistry department, (608) 342-1662, and Ross Johnson, student,

Written by: Megan Schmidt, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194,


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UW-Platteville's Ross Johnson Studies Light-Emitting Diodes

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