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Our Faculty

Anita Mattson

Anita Elaine Mattson

Professor & Department Head-Chemistry & Biochemistry
Office: 100 Institute RD
Research in the Mattson Group is a combination of catalyst design, methodology development, and complex molecule synthesis. Our catalyst design program is focused on the synthesis and study of new families of non-covalent catalysts, including boronate ureas and silanediols, that are able to promote new reactivity patterns. The catalyst design and associated reaction development programs are currently geared toward the synthesis of enantioenriched nitrogen and oxygen heterocycles that frequently appear in naturally occurring bioactive compounds. ... View Profile
José Argüello

José M. Argüello

Walter and Miriam Rutman Distinguished Professor
Office: Gateway Park 4021
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5326
Micronutrient transition metals (copper, zinc, cobalt, nickel, iron, and manganese) play a central role in the interaction of pathogenic (and beneficial) bacteria with higher eukaryote hosts. Our research is directed to understand the bacterial mechanisms of metal homeostasis required for these interactions. In particular, we focus on the functions of transmembrane transporters and chaperone molecules that tightly control metal uptake and distribution. ... View Profile
Drew Brodeur

Drew R Brodeur

Associate Teaching Professor
Office: Goddard Hall 103D
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x4195
I enjoy teaching because it's a fantastic feeling to be able to share knowledge and lead students to that "aha!" moment as they learn the intricacies of our world. Nothing is more satisfying than hearing someone exclaim that they "finally get it!" Also, teaching is an excellent way to learn more about yourself and the subject you teach, since there are so many individuals involved in the process who all bring their unique perspectives and insight to the table. WPI students are in a league of their own in terms of preparation and desire to learn. ... View Profile
Shawn Burdette

Shawn C Burdette

Associate Professor
Office: Gateway Park 3023
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5224
Chemistry research in the Burdette group occurs at the interface of synthesis, metal ion homeostasis & signaling, cell biology and photochemistry. The group is developing molecular tools that will facilitate efforts to map cellular metal ion signaling pathways, and understand the pathologies of neurodegenerative diseases. Of particular interest is the development of photocaged complexes that are capable of releasing zinc in a light-dependent manner in biological systems. These tools are designed and synthesized to optimize the temporal and spatial control of zinc release. ... View Profile
Bruce Bursten

Bruce Bursten

Professor-Chemistry
Office: Gateway Park 3004
Phone: +1 (508) 8314115
We are currently investigating a number of fascinating problems in inorganic and organometallic chemistry. Each of these fits into the general theme of our research: the correlation of theoretical electronic structural data with the bonding and reactivity patterns of transition metal and heavy-element complexes. We use advanced electronic structure theory and modeling as probes of the bonding in and energetics of the systems. ... View Profile
Robert Dempski

Robert E. Dempski

Professor-Chemistry
Office: Gateway Park 4023
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x4193
Our research integrates investigating the structure and function of targeted membrane proteins with development of mixed reality tools for workforce development. We combine biochemical and biophysical techniques to investigate the structure and function of two classes of membrane proteins. In the first instance, we are investigating the mechanism of a zinc transporter, hZIP4. This protein has been implicated in the initiation and progression of pancreatic cancer. Despite the central role of this protein in cellular homeostasis, the mechanism of cation transport is not well understood. ... View Profile
James Dittami

James P. Dittami

Professor
Office: Gateway Park 3021
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5149
Prior to joining the faculty of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), I received a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry under Arthur G. Schultz at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and did postdoctoral studies with E.J. Corey at Harvard University. I served as Head of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at WPI from 1995-2005. The focus of my research has been the development of new synthetic methods, synthesis of natural products and design and synthesis of therapeutically active analogs. ... View Profile
Arne Gericke

Arne Gericke

Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies
Office: Life Sci. & BioEng Room 3007
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5263
The research in my lab is generally concerned with the biophysical characterization of lipid mediated protein functions.  We are particularly interested in studying phosphoinositide mediated signaling pathways. Phosphoinositide lipids represent only a small fraction of lipids in cellular membranes, yet their importance for cellular processes cannot be overstated. ... View Profile
Ronald Grimm

Ronald Grimm

Assistant Professor
Office: 3027 Life Science and Bioengineering Center, 60 Prescott Street
Phone: +1 (508) 8314165 x4165
What makes a particular material efficient at converting sunlight to electrical or chemical energy? Conversely, what makes a material a poor energy converter? The Grimmgroup is motivated by quantifying and controlling the bulk and surface properties of solar energy conversion materials. As a research group in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, we seek an atom- and bond-level understanding of material properties. View Profile
Destin Heilman

Destin Heilman

Professor of Teaching
Office: Goddard Hall 103B
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5396
Dr. Heilman is a Biochemist with sixteen years of teaching experience and extensive pedagogical innovation in both Chemistry and Biochemistry. His disciplinary research focuses on the discovery and characterization of novel virus proteins that have onco-selective toxicity. His focus on understanding these proteins has led to the development of new techniques for studying cell-selective activities and advances with novel pathways that induce programmed cell death in cancer. ... View Profile
George Kaminski

George A. Kaminski

Associate Professor
Office: Gateway Park 4019
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x4160
I am a computational physical chemist. My research is in the areas of force field building and applications. Special attention is given to creating polarizable force fields for organic and biophysical systems, including proteins and protein-ligand complexes. I teach classes in physical, computational and general chemistry. Simulations of proteins is very important in biomedical research because proteins play crucial role in a large number of biological phenomena, both benign and harmful. ... View Profile
Uma Kumar

Uma T. Kumar

Associate Teaching Professor
Office: 103C Goddard Hall
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5374
I enjoy teaching and interacting with the students especially in the lab when I have a chance to get to know the students and the way they think . It is particularly rewarding to me when I see the expression on their faces when they finally understand a difficult concept. View Profile
Christopher Lambert

Christopher R. Lambert

Teaching Professor
Office: Goddard Hall 128
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5443
Christopher R. Lambert, Ph.D. is a Research Associate Professor with appointments both in the Bioengineering Institute and the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. He is the Associate Director of the WPI Bioengineering Institute. He is co-founder of Active Surface Technologies a research company dedicated to the development of specialized molecular films. Professor Lambert earned a Ph.D. from the University of Paisley in Scotland, and spent two years in a post-doctoral position at the Center for Fast Kinetics in Austin, Texas. ... View Profile
John MacDonald

John C. MacDonald

Associate Professor
Office: Gateway Park 3022
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5240
The hallmark of supramolecular chemistry is the design of molecular materials and structures that exhibit useful properties resulting from the collective interaction of different molecular components. Our research focuses on understanding molecular interaction and self-assembly in solution and on surfaces in order to control molecular crystallization and assembly of complex multicomponent systems. ... View Profile
Ivan Mardilovich

Ivan P. Mardilovich

Assistant Teaching Professor
Office: Goddard Hall 226
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5405
Patricia Musacchio

Patricia Zhang Musacchio

Assistant Professor-Chemistry
Office: Office 3017 at 60 Prescott St
The Musacchio research group is interested in utilizing radical intermediates to find common ground between organic chemistry and chemical biology. Specifically, we are interested in developing radical-mediated methodologies for complex molecule synthesis, identifying new bioconjugation strategies, and establishing radical-mediate biocatalysis systems. View Profile
Carissa Olsen

Carissa Lynn Olsen

Assistant Professor
Office: Gateway Park, 3005
Membranes are composed of hundreds of distinct kinds of phospholipids, and the types of lipids that are found within a membrane bilayer impact its biophysical properties including its fluidity, permeability and susceptibility to damage. Our primary interest is in understanding the mechanisms that control the phospholipid composition and that preserve the membrane over time. We use stable isotope tracing strategies and mass spectrometry to quantify phospholipid abundance and dynamics in the model organism, C. elegans. View Profile
Suzanne Scarlata

Suzanne Frances Scarlata

Professor
Office: Gateway Park 3001
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6803
Suzanne Scarlata, Richard Whitcomb Professor of  Chemistry and Biochemistry , joined the university faculty in 2016. She studies how small molecules in the bloodstream can change the behavior of cells. In particular, she is interested in how certain hormones and neurotransmitters can activate a family of organic molecules known as G proteins (guanine nucleotide-binding proteins), which are involved in transmitting signals from various stimuli from the exterior to the interior of cells. ... View Profile
Kristin Wobbe

Kristin K. Wobbe

Director, Center for Project Based Learning
Office: 157 West St. 1st floor
Phone: +1 (617) 6975267
Project-based learning is an enormously powerful approach to education. I've been changed by it; I've watched students be changed by it. I've seen faculty develop a renewed sense of joy in teaching from using it. And now, after over a decade of using PBL with students, I'm embarking on a new phase of helping faculty implement PBL through the work of the Center for Project-Based Learning. The good news - working with faculty on PBL is as much fun as working with students! View Profile

Affiliated Faculty

N Deskins

N Aaron Deskins

Associate Professor
Office: Goddard Hall 119
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5445
Students here at Worcester Polytechnic Institute have a lot of enthusiasm and ambition, and it certainly is contagious. Teaching brings a lot of joy because of this, and I find myself often trying just to keep up with the students! WPI is also a place where you have a chance to collaborate with people of many different backgrounds and technical interests. This is exciting. For my research, I work in the area of molecular modeling: trying to understand and solve energy and environmental problems using high-powered computer simulations. ... View Profile

Our Staff

Ruben Bonilla-Santiago alt
Rubén Bonilla-Santiago, Chemistry and Biochemistry Laboratory Manager

Ruben Bonilla-Santiago

Lab Manager
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5405

Rachael Dunphy

Administrative Assistant VI
Rebecca Evanoff

Rebecca K. Evanoff

Administrative Assistant V
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x4913
Cynthia Hollifield

Cynthia J. Hollifield

Administrative Assistant VI
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5371
Paula Moravek

Paula Moravek

Operations Manager
Phone: +1 (508) 8315401