Nanoparticle Uptake (May 2016 – May 2017)

National Institute of Standards and Technology
Supervisor: Dr. Kavita Jeerage

At NIST, I worked with citrate-stabilized gold nanoparticles in mammalian cell assays. In the course of my experiments, I used DLS and zeta potential analysis and microplate reader absorbance and luminescence measurement to characterize my nanoparticle functionalization and cell culture conditions.

My work over Summer '16 was presented in the NIST Student Colloquium in Non-Destructive Quantitation of Gold Nanoparticle Uptake By Microplate Reader Absorbance Analysis. You can see one of my favorite parts of working with nanoparticles in the video below (during a nanoparticle redispersion, you can see the gradual separation of the nanoparticle cluster at the bottom of the aliquot; it's pretty beautiful as it transitions from a lump of particles to a vivid red). 

IMG_3395.JPG

Currently, a manuscript on my research is in preparation under the title "Nondestructive Evaluation of Gold Nanoparticle Uptake by Mammalian cells."

 This is a close-up of a very bubbly 96-well plate; the pinkish material is a nanoparticle suspension. To learn more about how the color of the suspension is determined, visit the  Wikipedia page on colloidal gold.

This is a close-up of a very bubbly 96-well plate; the pinkish material is a nanoparticle suspension. To learn more about how the color of the suspension is determined, visit the Wikipedia page on colloidal gold.

Synthetic Chemistry (September 2014 – May 2016)

University of Colorado Boulder, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Goodwin Lab
Supervisors: Dr. Kaushlendra Kumar, Dr. Andrew Goodwin

In the Goodwin lab, I worked primarily on functionalizing certain Claisen rearrangement-capable aromatic compounds with alkyne moieties. These compounds were made with the ultimate purpose of being incorporated in hydrogels to produce mechanoresponsive stress-sensing gels. My work in the lab included preparing and executing synthesis experiments ranging from simple esterification to neat Claisen reactions and subsequent preparatory TLC. I characterized my compounds primarily with 1H NMR and TLC, and I strongly recommend Jacquie Richardson's Loudon Chapter Reviews through the CU Organic Chemistry Department for anyone interested in synthesis.

I practically lived in this area for a while – we moved to a nicer lab after a year.

Synthesis can be super gross looking. After a couple weeks of extended washing, this nasty nugget turned out to be the thing I was trying to synthesize.

Watch above as I add some stuff to some other stuff to make it change colors – it's truly the best part of chemistry.

Cardiology (May 2014 – December 2015)

IMG_3435.JPG

Anschutz Medical Campus, Moulton Lab
Supervisors: Dr. Karen Moulton, Dr. Mary Weiser-Evans, Marcella Engle-Raust

At Anschutz, I worked in the Moulton cardiology lab on a gene expression project relating to atherosclerosis. My duties involved immunohistochemistry, tissue culture, confocal and epifluorescent microscopy, assisting with dissections, acid digestions and further ICP-MS preparation, and extensive documentation. Our work was presented at NAVBO 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts, and is continued in the Moulton and Weiser-Evans labs.