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Academic Research

As a Loyola student, you have the opportunity to work alongside our talented professors to partner in collaborative research. Learn more about some recent research and projects currently underway.

Nanomaterial Synthesis

Dr. Heinecke’s research interests focus on nanomaterials synthesis and their applications in biomedicine and electronic devices. She is interested in 1) developing cationic nanomaterials as a platform for multivalent display of host defense peptides as novel antibiotic agents and 2) building defined molecular assemblies of these small materials for electron transport properties. This type of multidisciplinary research will afford students the opportunity to learn a wide variety of scientific techniques.

Synthetic Organic Chemistry

Dr. Stephenson focuses on the synthesis of sensors based on supermolecular interactions, utilizing synthetic organic chemistry to form useful new materials; in other words, his main interest is in studying the interaction of molecules in order to make biocompatible sensing materials. Specifically, Dr. Stephenson's projects work to synthesize and study new sensors based on xanthene dyes such as rhodamine B.  The sensors are formed by modifying existing dyes to have specific functions.  


Physical Chemistry

Dr. Lynn Vogel Koplitz studies non-covalent interactions in crystals using synthesis, crystal growth, X-ray diffraction, calorimetric and computational methods. Undergraduate students in her research group also collaborate with other scientists at Loyola, Xavier and Tulane to determine properties of a model set of organic salts. Their discoveries can be used in the fields of crystal engineering, supramolecular design, and drug/target interaction.

Organic Superconductor Synthesis

Nearly one-tenth of all electrical power is lost as it travels from the electric generators to the final consumers. A superconducting power grid would eliminate this wastage and have tremendous economic and environmental benefits. The best intermetallic superconductors have achieved Tc’s (the temperature at which superconductivity occurs) as high as 100 K, which allows them to operate at liquid nitrogen temperatures, but they are brittle, dense solids—a serious shortcoming for power cables. In contrast, organic materials tend to be lighter in weight and more pliable than inorganics.


Chemistry students have the opportunity to study the secondary structure of large biomolecules using circular dichroism spectroscopy under the direction of Chemistry Professor William Walkenhorst. Dr. Walkenhorst and his research students also investigate antimicrobial peptides in collaboration with scientists at Tulane.

Atmospheric Chemistry

Chemistry students under the direction of Chemistry professor Joelle S. Underwood study the water uptake processes and chemical reactions of atmospherically relevant aerosol. Students also help develop analytical techniques for studying the physical and chemical properties of atmospheric aerosol.