What advice do you have for undergraduates who are just starting out in research?Don't get frustrated. Research is hard and a lot of trial and error. Just take everything in stride and don't ever miss an opportunity to learn something new.
Maloney, A.J.; Dong, C.; Campbell, A.S.; Dinu, C.Z. Emerging enzyme-based technologies for wastewater treatment. ACS Green Polym. Chem. III: Biobased Mat. and Biocatal. 2015, (Accepted).
Campbell, A.S.; Dong, C.; Maloney, A.; Hardinger, J.; Hu, X.; Wu, N.; Dinu, C.Z. A systematic study of the catalytic behavior at enzyme-metal-oxide nanointerfaces. NanoLIFE. 2014, 4 (2), 1450005-1450016.
When you were 10 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Astronaut (when I was really little, I wanted to be a cow)
What are your current plans/career goals beyond the undergraduate?
I plan on pursuing a Ph.D. in chemical engineering. Specifically, I hope to conduct research in relation to the pharmaceutical industry. I hope to develop more efficient production methods for pharmaceuticals to decrease operating costs thereby making them less expensive and more accessible for the general public. I plan on working in either academia or industry.
How long have you been involved in undergraduate research?
Since the fall of my freshman year, every semester and every summer.
Why did you choose get involved in undergraduate research?
I love the challenge, and I knew I wanted to go to graduate school.
How did you find/connect with your first faculty research adviser?
I couldn't get away from her! I met her at several competitions/events throughout my senior year of high school. I was also referred to meet her by a few family friends.
What is your current research?
We are developing a technology that would be capable of rapid, efficient decontamination of surfaces for civilian and military applications. Specifically, we are attaching enzymes (biological catalysts) to nanomaterials that could be embedded in paints or composites. The enzymatic system has two components: glucose oxidase, which uses glucose to produce hydrogen peroxide, and chloroperoxidase, which uses hydrogen peroxide and chloride ions to produce hypochlorous acid (bleach). Essentially, we are creating bleach at the nanointerface from table salt and sugar.
What skills have you learned by doing research that you would not have learned otherwise (i.e., from lecture alone)?
Other than obvious laboratory techniques, it has helped hone my scientific communication skills. These skills have been cultivated through presenting my research at conferences as well as through training other students in the laboratory. Additionally, I have been fortunate to conduct research abroad so it has widened my perspective and made me a more well-rounded student.