Faculty Research 

All sub-disciplines of chemistry are represented by the exciting research being carried out by faculty at CSUS’s department of chemistry.  Students can work with faculty on projects relating to the development of new and novel pharmaceuticals, understanding natural and human disturbed processes occurring in our environment, elucidating important biochemical pathways, chemical instrumentation development, novel compound syntheses, computational chemistry, and chemical education, to name a few.  Opportunities exist to carry out interdisciplinary research with researchers in other departments as well as with other universities and outside agencies.  Many of our faculty have been awarded research grants from external funding agencies to support their work.  The department is well equipped to carry out research with modern instrumentation that is available for student use.  Most importantly, students get to work alongside their research advisors and learn in an ideal collaborative atmosphere.

 The following is an alphabetical list of faculty in the chemistry department who are involved in research with graduate students.  A short description of research interests is given.  Please contact the individual faculty member for more information, or see their individual websites if available.

Susan Crawford (webpage):  Professor Crawford is involved in several projects using NMR as a primary tool.  One is the application of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy toward understanding the deterioration of water quality in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  Another involves the migration of ions in zeolites.

Roy Dixon (webpage): Professor Dixon is an analytical chemist interested in development of high performance liquid chromatography detectors and analysis methods. He also is working to use such methods to detect organic compound present in atmospheric particulate matter. Organic compounds from wood smoke currently are being studied to determine how wood smoke affects air quality in the Sacramento region.

BenjaminGherman (webpage):  Professor Gherman's research focuses on the computational modeling of bioinorganic chemistry. The principal goal of his research involves the application of computational chemistry methods to study the catalytic chemistry of metalloenzymes and related biomimetic systems. Professor Gherman also maintains several collaborations, for example with Professor Spence using computational methods to study cyclization reactions of enediynes and with Professor Miranda using computational methods to study the electrochemistry of and reactions catalyzed by metal-salens.

Jacqueline Houston (webpage): Professor Houston's research involves studying reaction rates and mechanistic pathways of ligand substitution at oxo-centered transition metal clusters and polyoxometallate anions using NMR. Understanding the kinetics of ligand substitution at metal-oxo clusters has applications in catalysis and materials as well as geoscience.

Cynthia Kellen-Yuen (webpage):  Professor Kellen-Yuen is interested in the area of catalysis, specifically in the design and synthesis of chiral metalloporphyrins for use in chiral and stereoselective transformation including asymmetric cyclopropanation and stereoregular polymerization of epoxides.

Claudia Lucero (webpage): Professor Lucero’s research focuses on the development of novel strategies that allow for reactions to run in tandem without the need to purify at each step.   An attractive feature to tandem strategies is the use of the same catalyst to mediate two sequential reactions.   The goal is to construct enantiomerically pure molecules, in an expeditious and efficient manner, and to employ these building blocks for the syntheses of biologically active agents.  The research will also focus on studying the mechanisms of the reactions to explain results.

Mary McCarthy Hintz (webpage):  One of Professor McCarthy Hintz's interests is the study of Vitamin D 24-hydroxylase as an enzyme that inactivates Vitamin D.  She is also developing projects in the area of biochemical education.

Kathie McReynolds (webpage):  Professor McReynolds' research interests involve the development of new delivery vehicles and targeting strategies of known inhibitors of HIV.  The goal of these projects is to increase the selectivity of a drug for the virus-infected cells, and also to improve the antiviral action of moderately active compounds.

Justin Miller-Schulze (webpage): Professor Miller-Schulze is an Analytical and Environmental Chemist focused on the development and/or adaption of analytical methodology to quantify chemical tracers in environmental or biological matrices. These tracer chemicals are typically small organic molecule tracers that are indicative of a specific activity (for example, caffeine in a river as a tracer of human wastewater).  Environmental and biological concentrations of these tracers are usually very low (parts-per-trillion), so quantification involves sensitive techniques such as mass spectrometry preceded by gas or liquid chromatography. 

James Miranda (webpage):  Professor Miranda's research focus is centered around the development of new reactions for the synthesis of structurally complex biologically active molecules.  We seek to use a wide variety of reactive intermediates in constant pursuit of this goal.  Equally important to this task is also the pursuit of understanding these novel reactions at an elementary, mechanistic level.

Jeffrey Paradis (webpage):  Professor Paradis’ research focuses on the scholarship of teaching.  Initially he is revising Chemistry 106 to meet new State standards.  He is interested in studying how new teaching methods affect student learning. 

Linda Roberts (webpage):  Professor Roberts is interested in structural analysis of human apolipoprotein A-I and investigation of infection mechanisms of filamentous phages.

Tom Savage (webpage):  Professor Savage’s research focuses on understanding the regulatory mechanisms controlling the biosynthesis of commercially-important plant products.

John Spence (webpage):  Professor Spence investigates the synthetic organic chemistry of macrocycles related to porphyrins and calixarenes and their potential to fight cancer.