CENTER FOR UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
 
 
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Pamela N. Waldron-Moore
Associate Professor and Chair
Oscar Bouise Professor of Global Studies Department of Political Science Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive, New Orleans, LA 70125
Tel: 504-520-7405; Fax: 504-520-7938

I hope to continue research in Environmental Justice issues (e.g. perception of environmental threat; concern for the environment; environmental activism) and Gender Equity issues (e.g. gender equity and the law; political implications of gender equity; economic explanations).


Maryam Foroozesh - Organic Chemist

Dr. Foroozesh’s research group is involved in the design, synthesis and bioassays of new families of potentially selective mechanism-based inactivators for certain P450 enzymes involved in human carcinogenesis. The target compounds are designed based on structural similarities to the known substrates of these enzymes. Once a newly synthesized target compound is isolated, inhibition studies are performed in order to determine the type and extent of inhibition. The selective inhibitors are provided to our collaborators for further in vivo and in vitro studies.  Dr. Foroozesh has also recently initiated a collaborative project involving the design, synthesis, and biological studies of ceramide analogs with the potential of causing reversal of chemoresistance in breast cancer cells. 


Frank R. Wesselmann
Assistant Professor
Department of Physics and Dual-Degree Engineering
Xavier Universiy of New Orleans
(504) 520-5149


Internal Structure of the Proton and Neutron

Using a medium energy electron beam at one of the nations premier nuclear physics laboratories (DOE's TJNAF), we explore the internal structure of nucleons (protons and neutrons).  Of special interest are spin properties, the intrinsic angular momentum of all elementary particles.  Experiments are large affairs, big equipment and sizable collaborations.  Work might consist of building or modifying detectors, data analysis, or simulations.  Some programming experience is desirable, but not impreative.  Depending on scheduling, actual participation in the data collection at the lab may be possible, involving domestic travel.  Suitable for physics, engineering, and computer science majors, maybe others with a good math and science background.  Academic level is less important than schedule and physics background.


Vladimir Kolesnichenko
Assistant Professor
Inorganic Chemistry
Xavier University
New Orleans, Louisiana
504-520-5430


Dr. Kolesnichenko specializes in inorganic chemistry.  His research interests are in synthesis of metal clusters with the sizes ranging from molecular to nanometer scale, and in studying of their structure and coordination, colloidal and surface chemistry properties.  The prospective applications of currently developed magnetic nanomaterials include magnetic storage media, microelectronics, catalysis, biology and medicine (MRI contrast agents, magnetic drug and radioisotope carriers).  The following methods are used for characterization of the obtained materials: Electron Microscopy, X-ray Diffractometry, Dynamic Light Scattering, Magnetometry, FT-IR and Mass-spectrometry, and chemical analysis.

Students, who are interested in hands-on experimentation, completed at least one semester of organic chemistry and with the major of chemistry are especially welcomed to join.


Elliott D. Hammer, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
John LaFarge Professor in Social Justice
Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive, Box 115
New Orleans, Louisiana  70125
504-520-7636

Dr. Hammer's research in social psychology focuses on the cognitive
aspects of person perception, specifically in terms of stereotypes and
prejudice.  He employs an experimental approach to determine the factors
that combine personal (e.g., racial identity, racist experiences,
political beliefs) and situational factors in determining the formation
of evaluations and impressions.


Dr. Gloria Thomas MaGee, Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry, Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive, New Orleans, LA 70125
504-520-7380 ofc / 504-520-7942  fax
magee.gloria@gmail.com

I am interested in Chemistry majors who have received a grade of B or better in Organic Chemistry.  Gloria Thomas MaGee – Analytical Chemist.  Dr. MaGee’s research interests are primarily in electrophoretic and microfluidic analyses using laser-induced fluorescence detection.  Her research includes applications of biological relevance (e.g., estrogen metabolite analysis, evaluation of bioaffinity in transcription factor assays, amino acid profiling in fish), microfabrication and 
characterization of polymeric devices, and fluorescence microscopy.


Galina Z. Goloverda
Novel Magnetic Nanoparticles for Biomedical Application

A long-term goal of this project is to develop novel biocompatible magnetic nanocrystalline materials with suitable properties to be used for targeted drug delivery. The focus of the project is to achieve better-defined and better-characterized nanoscale particles of magnetic materials (presumably Fe, Co, Ni, their oxides and metal/oxide composites) that would be non-toxic and stable in human fluids at physiological pH values.  We intend to significantly improve the nanocomposite performance by using newly developed relatively low molecular mass capping ligands as opposed to currently used polymers that substantially hinder magnetic properties of the carrier-particles.  This work involves multidisciplinary efforts: Materials Science/ Synthetic Organic Chemistry/ Biomedical Research.  Students:  Chemistry majors sophomores and up.


Dr. Jiana Zhang
Department of Chemistry

I am interested in synthesis and characterization of nanostructured materials. The materials I am currently working on may possess special physical properties such as superparamagnetism, magnetoresistance, semiconductivity, or thermoelectricity. I intend to use wet chemical synthetic methods such as hydrothermal synthesis, organic precursor method, sol-gel process and spin-coating to fabricate nanoparticles, nanocomposites and thin films under the mild conditions. After synthesis, these materials will be studied using X-ray diffraction, infra-red spectroscopy, thermal analysis, scanning electron microscopy, and magnetic and electrical measurements. Most instruments are available on Xavier campus. Students who are interested in materials research or would like to learn hand-on techniques in chemistry labs are suitable to work in my research lab. I prefer chemistry majors at junior or senior level who have completed general chemistry and organic chemistry lectures and labs. Engineering students who have completed these courses are also welcome.


Ralph Adamo
Department of English

I am engaged in three different areas of research. One is a continuing study of poetics, especially contemporary poetics, which in my terms means the period beginning in the 1960s but especially as it is informed by movements and philosophical positions associated more with the late 1970s.

The second area of active research for me involves a study of issues in contemporary K-12 education theory and practice. I am especially concerned with the events and models associated with post-Katrina education revival and 'reform' in New Orleans, a subject I have studied an written about already.

My third continuing area of research involves noir fiction, especially American, from the period of the 1920s to the present. In this examination, am particualrly concerned with issues of language.

Most any Xavier student with a liberal arts bias or specific interests in my fields would be an appropriate student for me to work with. I plan to apply for funding under the undergrad research aegis for a project this summer in which I willl expand my investigations into the way the new paradigms in public education are affecting actual students and their families.


Peter Barrett
Assistant Professor of Biology

Peter Barrett (Biology) is a C. elegans geneticist, with particular interests in molecular biology, cell biology, and neuroscience. His research with the nematode worm C. elegans involves three primary areas: 1) gene targeting, including novel approaches for targeted gene alteration in C. elegans; 2) genetics and behavior, especially the role of neuropeptides in worm behavior; 3) morphogenesis, the cytoskeleton, and tumor suppressor genes in C. elegans. Students in his laboratory thus have a variety of choices for possible projects, each of which would introduce them to several different yet intersecting techniques: standard molecular biology work such as PCR and cloning; C. elegans microinjection and transgenesis; behavioral and drug studies; C. elegans genetics, such as crosses and mutageneses; and cell biological studies using his library of C. elegans strains and the various microscopes available in the department and elsewhere on campus. In addition to the above, all students in his lab learn the basics of C. elegans growth, culture, and maintenance, including basic microscopy skills. Dr. Barrett takes a structured approach to teaching his students, and involves them in all aspects of each of their individual projects, as well as the other ongoing projects in the lab.

Types of students preferred: Biology/Biology Pre-Med majors; Freshmen, Sophomores, and Juniors are all encouraged to contact Dr. Barrett directly about research opportunities.  (Preference may be given to Freshmen and Juniors in particular years.)  Previous research experience preferred, but is not necessary.


Dr. Harish Ratnayaka
Office: 410 NCF
Phone: (504) 520-5709
Email: hratnaya@xula.edu

Investigations on stress tolerance mechanisms of vegetable crops
Objectives of the research are to
1. Understand how different components of photosynthesis are iffected by different abiotic stress
2. Which antioxidant systems are involved in stress tolerance/response
3. Which aspects of leaf ultrastructure are affected by the stress
Current work is on spinach and chili peppers.  Students will learn how to measure photosynthesis and other leaf gas exchange variables, plant growth, pigment concentrations, cellular damage due to stress etc. among others.


Dominique M. Gendrin, Ph.D.
Professor of Communication

AT&T Endowed Professor
Department of Communications
Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive
New Orleans, LA 70125-1098
(Office)504-520-5460

dgendrin@xula.edu

Dr. Gendrin's research focuses on the relationship between social cognition/intrapersonal communication and the social construction of self and relational schemas across cultures/ethnicities and contexts.  She uses a quantitative approach to analyze the link between cognition and interpersonal communication. For example, she has investigated the mental processing of conversations in predicting marital conflict, second language learning, and mental well-being among muted groups. She is currently working on a project examining African American and Vietnamese American college women’s construction of self, relational schemas, and mental processing of conversations.


 
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