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December 10, 2018 at 1:04 pm

Meet the 2018-19 NQPI Graduate Student Fellowship Awardees

Six graduate students were chosen on a competitive basis to receive a one-semester stipend through the Nanoscale and Quantum Phenomena Institute.

Yuan Zhang

Yuan Zhang

Environmental & Plant Biology
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Allan Showalter

Zhang’s research focuses on studying how different sugar decorations affect the biological functions of a class of highly glycosylated plant cell wall proteins called arabinogalactan proteins. She uses Arabidopsis thaliana as a model plant species for her studies and applies the CRIPSR/Cas9 gene editing approach to characterize how sugar decorations affect arabinogalactan proteins.

Saeed Nazemidashtarjandi

Saeed Nazemidashtarjandi

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Amir M. Farnoud

Nazemidashtarjandi’s research focuses on the interaction of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) with cell plasma membranes. ENMs are increasingly incorporated into our daily lives through cosmetics, personal care items, coatings, electronics, medical devices, and even the food industry. He looks at how different ENMs may have adverse effects to human health by altering cell membrane properties and inducing membrane damage in biological systems.

Ahmed Aboelenen

Ahmed Aboelenen

Chemistry & Biochemistry
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Michael P. Jensen

Aboelenen is designing a model, non-heme iron complex that can oxidize the dioxygen molecule into the more reactive species superoxo, hydroperoxo, and the high valent iron-oxo. These molecular species are potent oxidants and are important for the oxidation of organic substrates.

Uvinduni Ishanti Premadasa

Uvinduni Ishanti Premadasa

Chemistry & Biochemistry
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Katherine Cimatu

Premadasa’s research provides a pathway for developing polymer coatings with better physicochemical properties through strategic structural modification of the monomer units. Her main goal is to investigate the fundamental aspects of potential relationships between liquid-air interface conformations, polymerization processes, and polymer surface conformations using sum frequency generation spectroscopy. Her research provides a pathway for developing polymer coatings with better physicochemical properties through strategic structural modification of the monomer units.

Ali Khaledi-Nasab

Ali Khaledi-Nasab

Physics & Astronomy
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Alexander Neiman

Khaledi-Nasab studies the collective dynamics of excitable elements coupled in tree networks. These networks are relevant to sensory neurons such as touch and pain receptors. His research is aimed at understanding the mechanism of information coding in these networks.

Note: This section, which originally appeared in NQPI’s fall 2018 print newsletter, has been edited for clarity in the online edition. (12/10/2018)

Yahya Taha Ayed Al Majali

Yahya Taha Ayed Al Majali

Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Keerti Kappagantula

Al Majali’s research aims to enhance the mechanical and electrical properties of poly-lactic acid polymer by mixing it with two types of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), pristine and functionalized. The functionalized CNTs will be responsible for improving its mechanical properties, whereas the pristine CNTs will increase its electrical conductivity.

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