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Committee Members

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Brittany
Ginnaty

Iowa State University 

Brittany Ginnaty is a second-year graduate student in Analytical Chemistry at Iowa State University. She is advised by Dr. Robbyn Anand. Brittany previously received her B.A. degree in Chemistry from Concordia College in Moorhead Minnesota. Her research currently focuses on single cell analysis and characterizing the dielectrophoretic properties of patient WBC's from buffy coat layers following cell separation treatments. (When she has time to relax) Brittany enjoys playing with her cat Smokey, knitting/crocheting, video games, and baking too many treats.

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Ernesto
Soto

Iowa State University 

Ernesto Soto is a fourth-year graduate student at Iowa State University, advised by Dr. Kirill Kovnir. He graduated from Illinois State University with an M.S. degree in Chemistry, and a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin- Superior. His research centers around the study of transition metal silicon phosphides for their application as nonlinear optical materials and electrocatalysts. He is proud to represent the Latinx population and the LGBTQ+ community. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, reading, gaming, and eating.

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Umesha
Peramune

Iowa State University 

Umesha is a fourth-year graduate student in the Anand Group at ISU. She obtained her BSc. Degree in Chemistry from University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka. Her research in Dr. Anand's group focuses on developing electrochemical biosensors, and using ion concentration polarization for preconcentration and separation of charged analytes. In her free time, Umesha likes watching movies and listening to classical Sri Lankan music.

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Brendan
Wall

Iowa State University 

Brendan Wall is a third-year graduate student in Organic Chemistry at Iowa State University. He is advised by Dr. Brett VanVeller. Previously, Brendan graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. His research focuses on synthetic methods towards accessing medicinally-important heterocycles, and application of heterocycles as fluorescent reporters. In his free time Brendan likes running, biking, video games, and spending time with his cat Mochi!

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Sanduni Devasinghe

Iowa State University 

Sanduni is a third-year graduate student in the Anand Group at Iowa State University. She earned her BSc. degree in Chemistry from University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka. Within Dr. Anand's research group, she dedicates her efforts to improving point-of-care microfluidic packed bed devices to detect various viral pathogens. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends.

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Emily
O'Brien

Iowa State University 

Emily is a third-year graduate student in organic chemistry at Iowa State University under the supervision of Dr. Brett VanVeller. Before Iowa State she obtained a B.A. in chemistry at Central College in Pella, Iowa. Emily's current research focuses on the modification of peptides backbones during solid-phase synthesis. Outside of the lab, you can find Emily in the gym lifting, on the football field (American tackle) with her teammates or sitting down with a good book. 

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Aishwarya Mantravadi

Iowa State University 

Aishwarya Mantravadi is a fifth-year graduate student at Iowa State University, advised by Dr. Julia Zaikina. She graduated from the University of Mumbai with a Master of Science degree in Chemistry. She is an inorganic solid-state chemist. Her research work is centered on the use of unconventional synthetic routes towards accelerated discovery of novel materials for magnetic and energy conversion applications. In her leisure time she likes to cook, hike and travel and wishes to visit all the US National Parks someday. 

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Aparna Krishnamurthy

Iowa State University 

Aparna Krishnamurthy is a fourth year graduate student at Dr. Robbyn K. Anand's group at Iowa State University. She previously completed her masters and undergraduate degrees in Chemistry (hons.) from the University of Delhi, India. Presently, her research focus is to electrokinetically manipulate the composition of nanoliter-scale water-in-oil droplets in a microfluidic device for a variety of applications. In her free time, Aparna likes to paint, try out different types of food and musical instruments.

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Ethan
Leung

Iowa State University 

Ethan Leung is a second year graduate student at Iowa State University. He is co-advised between Dr. Robbyn Anand and Dr. Jared Anderson. Ethan received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he conducted research under the guidance of Dr. Lloyd Smith. His research involves exploiting favorable features of electropolymerizable materials for the production of platforms that can be used to solve pressing analytical challenges related to human health. In his free time, Ethan enjoys playing instruments, swimming and experiencing new places and activities.

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Eleni
Spanolios

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Eleni Spanolios is a fifth-year graduate student in Christy Haynes's Lab at the University of Minnesota. They received their B.A. in Chemistry from New College of Florida in Sarasota, FL. She studies how nanomaterials found in batteries interact with the environment using electrochemical techniques. When not doing research, Eleni enjoys advocacy work, mountain biking, baking, hanging out with their dog and chickens, is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community.

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Tianyi
Zhang

Iowa State University 

Tianyi Zhang is a third-year Ph.D. student in the lab of Dr. Robbyn K. Anand at Iowa State University. She received her B.S. in Chemistry from Shandong University, China. Her research is focused on the development of periodic voltammetry on bipolar electrodes and microfluidic device development for electrochemical detection of DNA and cells. Tianyi enjoys playing video games, cooking, and baking cakes in her spare time. She loves her pets!

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Kuziva
Madungwe

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Kuziva is a second-year graduate student at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities advised by Dr. Philippe Bühlmann. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and Biological Sciences from Mount Holyoke College. Her research focuses on developing ionophore doped textile and paper-based ion selective electrodes for the detection of clinically relevant ions. Outside of lab, Kuziva enjoys playing squash, traveling and exploring different food spots in the Twin Cities.

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Atreyee Mukhopadhyay

Iowa State University 

Atreyee is a fifth year graduate student in Dr. Arthur Winter's research group at Iowa State University. She completed her B.S. and M.S. in Chemistry from Presidency University in Kolkata, India. Her current research focuses on synthesizing different BODIPY photocages with absorptions in the far-red and near IR regions for applications in biological systems as well as incorporation in polymer chemistry. She is a trained Indian classical dancer and enjoys travelling and reading the most in her free time.

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Indika
Warnakula

 University of Kansas

Indika Warnakula is a fourth-year graduate student in Prof. Susan Lunte’s research group at the University of Kansas. He completed his bachelor’s degree in physical science at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. His research area is bio-electroanalytical chemistry and current research work focuses on the development of a bipolar electrode-based fluorescence system for the detection of electrochemically active species with a better limit of detections. In his free time, Indika enjoys reading about history and watching sci-fi movies.

 

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Kajol
Tonk

Iowa State University 

Kajol is a third-year graduate student, in Dr. Aaron Sadow’s research group at Iowa State University. Her academic roots trace back to Miranda House, where she earned the Bachelor’s degree, and then completed Master’s from IIT Delhi, India. Her research is focused on the transformation of plastic waste into high-value products like fuels, utilizing the hydrogenolysis route and addressing one of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time. In her downtime, she enjoys cooking, painting and travelling.

Midwest Representatives

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Naila
Haroon

University of Missouri, Saint Louis 

Naila is a second-year graduate student in Dr. Keith J. Stine’s lab at the University of Missouri, Saint Louis (UMSL). She has completed her master’s degree in chemistry at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Pakistan. Her research at UMSL is focused on Surface Nanobioscience. She uses electrochemical techniques to create modified electrodes as a substrate to study and detect biomolecules. In her free time, Naila likes to spend time with her son and husband, going out and sketching.

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Vishakha Jayasekera

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Vishakha Jayasekera is a fifth-year graduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Prof. Liangcheng Du’s group. She received her B.Sc. (honors) degree in Chemistry from the Institute of Chemistry, Ceylon in Sri Lanka in 2018. Her current graduate research focuses on genome mining and studying biosynthetic mechanisms for natural products from the Gram-negative bacteria, Lysobacter. She served as the Treasurer of the Phi Lambda Upsilon – Rho chapter at UNL for the year 2021 and is very passionate about teaching organic chemistry to undergraduate students. During her free time, she would like to play a good game of badminton and enjoys travelling with friends, Netflixing and trying out new restaurants.

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Ekta
Verma

Indiana University

Ekta is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Dr. Sara Skrabalak lab at Indiana University Bloomington. She is working on colloidal and electrochemical synthesis of metal nanoparticles. Further, analyzing their behavior at single-particle level and working on high-throughput characterization of metal nanoparticles.  Ekta enjoys dance, hiking, cooking and exploring new places.

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Carmen
Magestro 

University of Notre Dame

Carmen Magestro is a second year graduate student in Organic Chemistry at the University of Notre Dame. She is advised by Dr. Brittany Morgan in research focused on developing methods for covalently targeting dynamic and/or disordered proteins. Previously, Carmen graduated with a B.A. in Chemistry and Biochemistry, and a B.Mus. in Music Performance from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. In her free time, Carmen likes to rock climb, crochet, and read.

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Maximillian Chibuike

University of Kansas 

Maximillian is a 4th-year graduate student in analytical chemistry in Dr. Steven Soper’s research lab at the University of Kansas (KU). Maximillian received his B.Tech. in Chemistry from the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria, and his M.S. in Chemistry from New Mexico Highlands University, New Mexico, USA. His research work is centered on nanoscale protein and peptide sensing and sequencing via resistive pulse sensing (RPS) using an immobilized enzymatic nanofluidic device fabricated with thermoplastics with the use of nanoimprint lithography (NIL). Currently, I am working on the use of a nanofluidic device consisting of dual in-plane nanopores to identify peptides by measuring their electrophoretic mobility, expressed as the time-of-flight (TOF) of single peptides generated from the proteolytic digestion of intact proteins as they move between nanopores. I enjoyed cooking, making friends, traveling, reading current affairs, and following world politics. 

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Emmanuel
Aidoo 

 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Emmanuel is a graduate student in Chemical Biology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, working in Dr. Catherine Eichborn's lab. I completed my MSc in Biochemistry at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. Currently, my research at UNL focuses on the interaction between fluorogenic dyes and RNA aptamers. In my free time, I enjoy watching soccer.

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