REU Projects | Chemistry and Biochemistry | SIU

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REU Projects

Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences:

There are almost 50 neurodegenerative diseases caused by the expansion of short nucleotide sequences in the human gene. The expansion of such repeat mutations results in the production of toxic proteins in the cell that eventually attack our neuromuscular system and cause myriad of neurodegenerative conditions. ALS is a rare disease that can lead to death at an early age and is transferrable to the young generation. Current methods of detection are expensive and tedious. We are developing impedance-based immunoassays for such biomarkers, which can be eventually translated to small flexible point-of-care devices. In this summer, we will be testing our developed system in patient-derived serum. The success of the project will lead to huge development in the field of neurodegenerative diagnostics.

Biological Sciences:

Physics:

The REU student will participate in the growth and characterization of magnetic thin-film heterostructures and spintronic memory devices. In this interdisciplinary project, the student will learn how materials research can address current industry and technology demands and how a material property translates into a working, room-temperature device. At the fundamental level, the student will understand how size, structure, and topology can influence the physical properties of electronic and magnetic materials. The student can experience several experimental methods ranging from thin-film growth to structural analysis to physical property and device measurements (magnetoresistance, Hall effects, magneto-optics). The student may also participate in theoretical projects dealing with electronic structure and topological properties of magnetic materials.

Engineering: