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Department ofChemistry and Biochemistry


Wheeler Lab

In the Wheeler lab, our research focuses on the biochemical reactions between proteins and nanomaterials to better understand how biomolecules alter the reactivity of nanomaterials in biological systems. The lab currently consists of Sarah Anderson (2016), Lauren Schmitt (2016), Daniel Freitas (2017), Zoe Amaris (2017), Matt Findley (2017), and Karen Mac (2018).They’ve been busy characterizing the reactions of thousands of proteins with our tiny particles!

The lab was busy this past summer with Lauren, Danny, and Zoe, who all received fellowships for their research. Lauren was one of the recipients of the first annual Bastiani award, generously funded by chemistry department alumni Richard Bastiani. Danny was honored with awards from both the Alza and Roelandt scholar programs. Zoe will receive funding for her work for the upcoming two years as a DeNardo Scholar. Their hard work on their proposals and in the lab has been enriched by on campus poster sessions to present their research and events in which the students shared their work and learned about the experiences of the scientists funding their fellowships.

Although Sarah was not in a lab at SCU this summer, she was active in research at the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry while working at UC-Berkeley. She has shared her new knowledge with the lab and we are delighted to have her new experiences to contribute to our work. Similarly, we have new contributions from the newest lab members, Matt and Karen, have begun establishing approaches to enable our lab to do toxicity studies, which is a new and exciting approach for us. We are excited to see how this new toolset enables new conclusions about our particles when applied to real cells.

When not with my students in the lab, I’ve had the opportunity to present our work at the Environmental Nanotechnology Gordon Conference and at an invited seminar at Florida Polytechnic University. It was also a joy to celebrate the graduation of our newest lab alumni, Jasmine Marckwordt and Kyle Gerner in June 2015. They both seem to be enjoying their new positions in biotechnology at nearby companies in the Bay Area.