DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY
Previous: postdoctoral scholar,
University of Michigan
A: I know a lot of people who have
trained here, so I knew that the quality of students and faculty was outstanding. They have accomplished
so much! When I visited, the people
were just phenomenal.
A: Before I visited Purdue, it really
wasn’t on my map. Some of the
research I do deals with how really
deep, old groundwater interacts with
surface water like rivers, for
example. Groundwater can be a
moderator of change.
For example, if you have a
drought, will the Wabash go dry over
the course of weeks? Probably not.
But in some systems, if you had a
similar drought, the streams would
dry up. It’s a function of how well they
are connected to the groundwater
system of pumping and diversion
systems and a function of vegetation
and biologic uptake.
A: I use geochemistry to study the
geochemical composition of waters
to see how they have evolved. I use
natural tracers to age-date the waters
to understand how long the water has
been in the system. In the field I take
measurements of stream discharge,
stream geochemistry. I measure and
map water tables using shallow
geophysics and measurements down
wells. In some cases, we try to map
the water table near streams. I am
developing new ways to estimate
residence times in surface water to
understand the interactions with
groundwater. It’s difficult in streams
so we have to be creative in how we
tackle questions about groundwater
and surface water interactions.
A: California is a good example since
it is really struggling to get on top of
the water resource issue. I spent a
lot of time in New Mexico working
with water resources and with some
of the Native American tribal nations
in Arizona and New Mexico, and
they’re all concerned. Here, we have
40 to 50 inches of precipitation a year
and are accustomed to driving across
streams or seeing lakes on the way
to work. Out West you’re talking about
four inches to seven inches a year
and you’re driving over dry riverbeds.
It changes your perception about
water, especially surface water. In
the East, we usually only worry about
water when there is a drought. In the
West, it’s an everyday concern.
A: I don’t think so. My wife has actually done some research on where
the name came from and it’s interesting. It’s helped in the past. Some
students have said they took my class
just to see if it was my real name.
A: I want to try to develop a more
comprehensive and mechanistic
understanding of the way calcium
levels are regulated in the heart.
A: Phospholipase C enzymes are
regulated by many cell surface
receptors that are major drug targets.
The problem is a lot of those drugs
have side effects because they turn
off multiple pathways. But if one
targets just the phospholipase Cs,
and those that have more limited
expression in different tissues, for
example, then one can start to eliminate off-target effects and have more
localized treatment options. I’m a
crystallographer, so by having structures of these proteins, we can see
what they look like and find new ways
to inhibit them.
A: Biochemistry here has awesome
diversity — from people who work
on fluorescence to drug delivery to
crystallography. I really liked the
idea of being part of a department
that has so many interests and
different ways to collaborate. Also
there aren’t barriers between divisions, so it’s easy to talk to someone
in a totally different area of chemistry and come up with new ideas.
A: I like hiking and being outdoors.
I’m learning to be a more adventurous cook.