Research in our group is mainly conducted by talented research assistants and undergraduate students with diverse cultural and educational backgrounds. These students challenge themselves intellectually and are interested in problem solving, critical thinking, and teamwork. They are passionate about research that has implications and applications in human health, energy and the environment.  



Hamzah Sawab

Bachelors in Science in Biochemistry

Research Assistant


My research involves tuning the plasmonic properties of hybrid membrane-coated nanorods for cellular labeling and enhancing the optical resolution of optical coherence tomography (OCT). These optical agents will allow us to label regenerative stem cells so we can track their migration and survival in the eye using OCT for future stem cell-based therapies for macular degeneration.



Eleanor Adams

Major: Biochemistry

Research Assistant

Honors College 

Build Exito Scholar

OHSU/PSU School of Public Health

Phi Delta Epsilon (International Medical Organization)

Phi Sigma Iota (International Foreign Language Honors Society)

President of Spanish Club

United Indigenous Students in Higher Education member (UISH)

Member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma


My research involves understanding the role of metal ions on beta amyloid stability and activation of redox active stress.  I utilize fluorescence-based and atomic force microscopy methods to study complex interactions between molecules that have the ability to reverse the detrimental effects of metallated-beta amyloids species.  I am currently working on developing a high throughput assay for Alzheimer’s disease drug discovery


Henry Wu

Major: Chemistry


Research Assistant


My project is centered around developing strategies for controlling silver ion release. The main objective behind this project is to: 1) control silver ion release for use as anti-microbial agents, and 2) study the nanotoxicological effects of AgNPs and their impacts on human health and the environment. IN addition to this work, I am also collaborating with Ken Stedman (Virologist, Biology department) and his student Diana Demchenko to evaluate the silver nanoparticles as anti-viral agents.