Dr. Eli J. Borrego
Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences
Dr. Eli Borrego is an Assistant Professor in the Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences. He explores the role of a group of hormone-like lipid signals, known as oxylipins, in plants. These molecules have revolutionized medicine, where nearly 80% of drugs target pathways under oxylipin control, but outside of mammals little is known regarding their biosynthesis, function, or signaling. The Borrego research group combines genetic, molecular, and biochemical tools with transcriptomic, lipidomic, and metabolomic technologies to answer oxylipin-related questions in biology, biochemistry, plant pathology, entomology, and mycology. The groups emphasis is to elucidate oxylipins in agro-economically relevant processes of crops, such as during defense against pathogens and insects, tolerance during drought, and heavy metal accumulation. In addition to the molecular biology and biochemistry laboratory component, this work utilizes field and greenhouse spaces.
Dr. Lucia Carichino
School of Mathematical Sciences
Dr. Lucia Carichino is an Assistant Professor in the School of Mathematical Sciences at RIT, with a specialty in Mathematical Biology. The focus of her research is on mathematical and computational models of multiscale biological systems. Her work is motivated by the need for new tools to interpret experimental data in biology and medicine. Her group develops models of ocular dynamics and mico-swimmers locomotion. In the eye, her group studies how ocular diseases are related to vascular and structural changes, and study the interaction between contact lenses, tear film and the deformable eye. In relation to mico-swimmers, her group studies hydrodynamic and biochemical interactions in sperm motility. To learn more about her research visit: https://sites.google.com/site/lcarichino/.
Dr. Micheal Coleman
School of Chemistry and Materials Science
Dr. Michael Coleman is an Associate Professor of Chemistry. His research groups interests are focused on the development of Earth-abundant transition metal complexes and innovative chemical transformations for the selective catalytic cleavage and formation of C-H, C-C, C-O, and C-N bonds from readily available organic starting materials. Special emphasis is placed on sp2-hybridized prochiral centers because of the mechanistic insights gained from the chemo-, regio-, and stereochemical outcomes.
Dr. Pratik Dholabhai is a computational materials scientist whose expertise is in the application of atomistic simulation methods such as density functional theory and molecular dynamics, and the development of kinetic Monte Carlo methods to study and design materials at the nanoscale. His research focuses on integrating fundamental physics, materials science, and chemistry in conjunction with state-of-the-art computational tools to study and design materials with novel functionalities. At RIT, Pratik leads the Multiscale Materials Modeling and Design (MMMD) group, which uses atomistic simulation methods to study materials at various length and time scales. Group Website
Dr. Elena Fedorovskaya is a Research Professor in the Integrated Sciences Academy. Elena studies how we perceive and respond to images, from simple color patches to complex scenes and visual art, using methods of psychophysics, eye tracking, and electrophysiology. Do we pay attention to some colors more than others? How do sounds affect our perception of colors and their salience? Does expertise and training matter when we view art? And can we differentiate patterns of eye movements of expert and novices using machine learning? These are some of the questions Elena is addressing in her research.
Dr. Maureen Ferran is an associate professor in the Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences. One aspect of research in the Ferran lab focuses on how two different mammalian viruses evade the host immune response and the development of viruses as a cancer therapy that specifically kill cancer cells while leaving healthy tissue alone. This work requires virus work, molecular biology, and tissue cell culture techniques. The lab is also involved in a collaborative project with Dr. Hans Schmitthenner in the School of Chemistry and Material Sciences. Dr. Hams synthesizes Molecularly Targeted Imaging Agents (MTIA) and we test them to determine if these imaging agents are able to detection and treat of breast cancer. This project also involves standard techniques in molecular biology and tissue cell culture.
Dr. Gregory Howland is an Assistant Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy. The Howland lab experimentally explores Quantum Photonic Technologies. Quantum Photonics exploits the peculiar and non-intuitive properties of single photons---elementary particles of light---to realize transformative applications including exquisitely precise sensing, extreme low-light imaging, unconditionally secure communication, and exponentially faster computing. It is an exciting time to work in quantum technologies as the field has reached an inflection point where practical devices are starting to leave the laboratory and become useful. One powerful new tool the Howland lab uses are integrated photonic circuits that can pack thousands of optical elements onto a tiny silicon chip. Activities in the lab range from the very fundamental, such as characterizing quantum entanglement, to the very applied, such as taking a picture with only a few photons.
Dr. Massoud (Matt) Miri is an Associate Professor in the School of Chemistry and Materials Science and his main research area is Polymer Chemistry. His research focuses on the synthesis and development of more sustainable polymers, mainly plastics. To resolve the issues with fossil fuels, currently used as starting materials for plastics, his group applies renewable resources, which are mostly compounds found in plants, e.g. lignin derivatives. Some of these renewable materials can be directly used as the building blocks, i.e. monomers, for polymerizations. His group also applies chemical reactions to convert renewable materials into useful monomers. They also characterize key properties of the synthesized polymers to evaluate their effectiveness for target applications. To reduce environmental issues arising from polymer waste, such as increasing landfills or marine pollution, his group investigates the degradation of polymers, simulating conditions in a compost or aqueous environment. There are many advantages of synthesizing new sustainable polymers over just blending fossil fuel based polymers with renewable compounds, such as starch or plant oils. The chemical bonding can result in more uniform and longer lasting, thermal and mechanical properties than those obtained from the polymer blends.
Dr. Shima Parsa, assistant professor of Physics at RIT, is an experimental Physicist with a passion for water and environmental issues. She uses microfluidics to simulate environmental phenomena such as water infiltration, in lab. Her research focuses on the microscale dynamics of fluids within the pores of rocks with application in groundwater remediation. In particular, she studies the dispersion of organic contaminant by analyzing the dynamics of emulsion droplets in 2D porous media using fluorescent microscopy.
Dr. Christa Wadsworth is an evolutionary biologist whose research focuses on antimicrobial resistance in bacteria. Resistance is one of the greatest and most critical public health crises of our time, raising the specter of untreatable infections and a return to the pre-antibiotic era. Research in the Wadsworth Lab is motivated by nominating new mechanisms of resistance in pathogen species, and characterizing the reservoir of resistance alleles available to pathogens in commensal species and their potential for horizontal transfer. Related topics of interest include microbial speciation, niche specialization, and adaptive evolution. The lab uses a wide array of experimental approaches, combining genomics and wet-lab techniques.
Dr. Tony Wong
School of Mathematical Sciences
Dr. Tony Wong is an Assistant Professor in the School of Mathematical Sciences. Tony's research centers on addressing the implications of the uncertainty that is inherent in all models and data, and examining how best to constrain and characterize these uncertainties and their effects on decision-making. In particular, Tony's work examines how uncertainty in climate model projections, and sea-level rise in particular, can lead to suboptimal, ineffective, and - at worst - outright dangerous policy decisions. This requires accounting for not only varying forms of uncertainty in model parameters and projections, but deep uncertainty - uncertainty in the uncertainty in model structure and parameters. Statistical calibration and sensitivity analysis approaches allow us to constrain these models and characterize the uncertainties inherent in both the model and data, and are a critical part of any modeling effort. Tony's research uses statistical and mathematical modeling tools to evaluate the uncertainties in hazards exacerbated by climate changes, and investigate which geophysical or socioeconomic factors are related to future climate risks, in order to inform strategies to manage those risks.