Chemistry

Students may apply to one or more of the below projects, indicating this in their statement of interest, or they may apply for "Chemistry: General," indicating in their statement of interest their skills and background and some faculty with whom they would be interested in working.  Chemistry Faculty List

Title Name Email Project Name Project Description Requirements
Prof. P. V. Ramachandran chandran@purdue.edu Anti-bacterial drug discovery Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become a significant and urgent global public health concern.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has categorized bacterial threats into three levels namely: urgent, serious, and concerning.   The three bacterial threats in the urgent category are Clostridium difficile (C. diff.), drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae (N. gonorrhea), and Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).  We have discovered molecules that are active against C. diff. and N. gonorrhea.  Students in our research group study the chemistry of anti-bacterials and synthesize potent analogs of the active molecules. Students should have completed undergraduate level organic chemistry courses and be experienced in basic organic chemistry laboratory techniques.
 Prof. Julia Laskin jlaskin@purdue.edu Mass Spectrometry Two projects are available in my laboratory, In one project, we are using ambient ionization mass spectrometry for imaging of biomolecules in biological samples (e.g. tissue sections, microbial communities, and other) with high sensitivity and spatial resolution. In another project, we are using mass spectrometry to prepare well-defined ions for deposition on surfaces. This approach allows us to generate well-defined surfaces for subsequent characterization of their physical and chemical properties. Analytical chemistry/lab, physical chemistry/lab.
Asst. Prof. Gaurav Chopra gchopra@purdue.edu Chemical Immunology: design, synthesis, and validation of cell-specific immunomodulators for cancer and neurodegeneration Immune system is a fascinating complex chemical system that consists of cells that respond to its environment to produce a desired effect. You all have experience with your immune system whenever you got an infection but the immune system can be used to treat devastating diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Undergraduate students in my lab will have the opportunity to work on projects in the area of chemical immunology. This includes, design, synthesis and validation (mouse work) of small molecules drugs and using the immune “cells as drugs” for chemically perturbing the inflamed environment in neurological (Alzheimer's disease) and cancers. Each student will be working with a graduate student or postdoctoral scholar with work ranging (depending on their interest) from computational drug design, synthesis of the compounds, cell culture and primary cells/tissue work to develop immunomodulatory drugs. The immune system is affected in almost every disease and using the immune system to find treatments for diseases is a major interest in our lab. Experience with chemical synthesis, and/or biological assays and/or handling animals will be preferred, depending on the area of interest. Basic knowledge of the immune system will be useful for your project but not required. Students from Biology, Biomedical Engineering, etc. are also encouraged to apply.
Asst. Prof. Gaurav Chopra gchopra@purdue.edu Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Chemistry We really live in special times where we have so much data, e.g. Jean-Louis Reymond at U. Berne in Switzerland has collected a list of 166 Billion compounds that are chemically feasible organic molecules. Our lab is interested in developing methodology to model chemical systems. We discover “chemical rules” from large datasets and known databases of experiments and chemical reactions along the use of machine learning to guide further experiments. We develop CPU, GPU (graphical processing unit) based cheminformatics, chemical/structural modeling, machine learning methods for retrosynthesis prediction, docking and drug design tools for our software suite, namely, CANDIY (Computational Algorithms for Novel Drug Identification/Informatics for You). Undergraduate students in my lab will have the opportunity to work on projects in the area of using machine learning and chemical data to do retrosynthetic route prediction before doing synthesis, developing “computational assays” that are essential for predicting biological activity of the molecules in cells, etc. We are interested in developing molecules that perturb the immune cells for the treatment of neurological (Alzheimer's disease) and cancers. Some experience in scripting (perl, python, etc) and programming (C++) will be very useful with a basic knowledge of tools existing in machine learning (optional). Basic knowledge of organic synthesis, chemical interactions, or experiments done to test compounds in biological assays will be preferred but not required.

Students in Chemistry, Physics, CS, Math and ECE are all welcome to apply.

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