Research

Gettysburg College students learn chemistry by doing chemistry. Hands-on experience is our focus, from beginning lab sessions to senior capstone projects.

The department emphasizes collaborative research with faculty members, frequently leading to publications in scholarly journals and presentations at scientific meetings.

Students receive academic credit for such research projects, which culminate in an oral presentation and a written thesis. Students are encouraged to present their results at local and national scientific meetings, for which they gain preparatory experience by presenting at twice-monthly department seminars and an annual regional meeting of the Intercollegiate Student Chemists.

Stipends for summer research are available from the endowed Albaugh Fund or through external research grants. In past summers as many as fourteen students have stayed on campus and worked on summer research projects in the Chemistry Department.

Faculty members’ research specialties include:

  • Development of de novo designed proteins to function as mimics of  metallohydrolases, which function both to help understand structure function relationships in natural systems, as well as allow for the development of new applications for underutilized metals like titanium and vanadium (Buettner Lab).
  • Synthesis of organic ligands and their incorporation into self-assembled molecular squares (Jameson Lab)
  • Characterizing the interaction of water with model chemical and biochemical systems with applications to biology and the energy economy (Sengupta Lab).
  • Synthesis of complex organic molecules and applications of transition metal catalysts to organic synthesis (Funk Lab)
  • Measuring interactions of exogenous biological agents (nanoparticles and huntingtin protein are examples) with the cell membrane (Frey Lab)
  • Nanoparticle synthesis and processing, chemical modifications of nanostructured and planar surface (Thompson Lab)