Chemistry Department

Senior Thesis Titles

Recent senior theses are listed here by title, student name, faculty advisor. A complete listing of thesis titles is available via the on-line catalog of the Reed College library.



Attempts to identify, extract, and purify biologically active compounds in lion's mane, Zesean Ali (LaLonde

TerB, what it do?, Sebastian Arrizabalaga (Chacón)

An exploratory adventure into the ethanolysis, methanolysis, and hydrolysis reactions of atmospherically relevant monoterpene compounds :a carene, limonene, and perillic alcohol story, Gaby Bailey (Chacón)

Finding an ideal SERM: the design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of twenty-four estrogen receptor modulators, Sophie Bender (LaLonde)

Hydrogen gas production from an iridium-ruthenium hydride complex, Lexi Carlson (Bowring and Truong)

An attempted isolation of erinacines A and C from lion's mane mushroom mycelium, Nick Empson (Cass)

Inhibition of S. aureus' Mn(II) import pathway MntABC: a study using saturation transfer difference nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Saxton Fisher (Ahuja)

DART-ing towards measuring the kinetics of reactions in real time, Margaret Hebert (Carrasquillo)

Investigating emissions from major diesel sources in Portland, OR, Ted Hume (Fry)

Hydrogen production reaction of an iridium half-sandwich complex, Jo Keller (Bowring and Truong)

Ozone, terpenes, and nitrates, oh my! :an investigation into the reactivity of nitrate esters and terpene oxides with ethanol, methanol, and water, Nicole Kretekos (LaLonde)

Expression and purification of the terF protein from the tellurite resistance operon, Nic Lisi (Cass and Chacón) 

Investigations into the condensed phase reactions of nitrate esters derived from atmospherically relevant monoterpenes, Ali McKnight (LaLonde)

Aqueous photochemistry of tannin degradation by reactive singlet oxygen, David Noeckel (Carrasquillo)

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Characterization and binding studies :tellurium resistance proteins terD and terE, Tamar Conner (Chacón)

Elucidating the biochemical function of the Drosophila CG11811 protein implicated in non-muscle myosin II regulation, Vicki Deng (Applewhite and Chacón)

Biophysical characterization of the metal binding behavior of Mn(II) and Zn(II) to the Staphylococcus aureus MntABC transporter, Ipsita Krishnamurthy (Ahuja)

A SpecTerCular protein :expression and characterization of the integral membrane protein TerC, Matthew Parson (Chacón)

Synthesis and evaluation of a novel SERM and analogs, Sky Price (LaLonde)




Predicting the effect of the Boardman Coal Plant shutdown on haze in the Columbia River Gorge, Marcus Bamberger (Fry)

Quantum chemical examination of the distribution of strain energy in inherently strained molecular systems, Tara Clayton (Shusterman

Synthesis of phosphate diesters for use as ligands on bismuth catalysts and photocatalysts, Bri Dobson (LaLonde)

Investigation of an unusually large kinetic isotope effect in the dehydrogenation of formic acid by an iridium-ruthenium catalyst, Ellis Douma (Bowring)

INKredible :synthesizing and fingerprinting a library of historic inks, Taylor Huntington (Swartz)

Investigation of the metal ion selectivity of the transcriptional regulator NiaR, Maileen Nakashima (Glasfeld)

Mapping the NOx plumes of transportation infrastructure in Portland, Oregon, Cordero Ortiz (Fry)

Site-selectivity in the Norrish-Yang cyclization of 1-(3-azabicyclo[4.1.0]heptan-3-yl)-2-phenylethane-1,2-dione & various benzannulated azacycles, Charis Roberts (LaLonde)

Exploring and testing the assumptions of Calibration-free laser induced breakdown spectroscopy, Benjamin Skinner (Gerrity)

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

TerD all about it :characterization of proteins in the ter operon and the tellurite oxidation of glutathione, Hayden Adoff (Chacón)

Structural and biochemical characterization of NiaR :regulator of NAD biosynthesis, Dorothy Cheng (Glasfeld)

NapA :an iron binding protein, Charles Fleischmann (Glasfeld)

S. Mutans pathogenicity :studying the DNA binding of the metalloregulator SloR, Jordan Gillespie (Glasfeld)

Copper? I barely know her! : a study of PCuAC, a possible cu chaperone protein for the CuA center of cytochrome C oxidase, Varik Harris (Chacón)

Turning TrIQs :designing a site directed fluorescent labeling mutant of the cannabinoid receptor 2 for screening the functional permissiveness of multiple ligands, Benjamin Patterson (Chacón)

Environmental Studies: Chemistry

Quantifying h₂ generation by ¹h NMR, Maryam Ahmad (Fry)

No3-initiated oxidation of isoprene :oxidation mechanism and aerosol formation, Bella Brownwood (Fry)

Degradation of consumer plastics under accelerated environmental and biological conditions, Gayle Chan (Swartz)

Digging up the dirt on Johnson Creek :an analysis of metal pollutants in sediment cores, Tiffany Thio (Fry)




Harnessing light : synthesis of a polymeric DASA, Maggie Asher (Helmy

Elucidating the time-resolved photoluminescence properties of carbon dots, Thanh Chu (Chatterjee)

Hot rocks in space : verifying onset processes in the thermal metamorphism of unequilibrated ordinary chondrites, Orion Cohen (Swartz)

Molecular building blocks : peptide self-assembly and pigmentation, Dashiel Grusky (Chatterjee)

The influence of chemical composition on viscoelastic and acoustic properties of microbubble contrast agents, Matthew Muller (Gerrity)

A supramolecular approach to bismuth catalysis, Johnathan Sheiman (LaLonde)

Evaluating a central nervous system permeant prodrug of sobetirome as a novel treatment for x-linked adrenoleukodystrophy, Mitra Shokat (Glasfeld)

Characterization of weathered inks on glass and paper as an analogue for materials found in historic texts, Kathryn Stellmach (Swartz)

Synthesis of a heterobimetallic iridium-ruthenium organometallic complex towards the investigation of a large kinetic isotope effect, Joshua Tsang (Bowring)

Optimization of calibration-free laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy for the rapid classification of meteorites under ambient conditions, Oliver Wass (Swartz)

On the photochromism of 4,4'-divinylazobenzene and its crosslinked polymers, Anton Zaystev (Helmy)


Characterizing the elastic responses of double stranded DNA through direct observation atomic force microscopy, Davis Kusnick (Essick and Glasfeld)

Correcting for coincidence : applying a semi-empirical correction scheme for coincidence summing in [gamma]-ray spectroscopy, Amanda Swanson (Smith and Gerrity)

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

An investigation of the effect of methionine and histidine ligands in facilitating the Cu(I) transfer reaction between CusB and CusF in Escherichia coli, Sarah Brodesser (Chacón)

Investigations into BosR, a Borreli burgdorferi DNA binding protein, Mia Galbraith-Liss (Glasfeld)

Production of the Helicobacter pylori neutrophil activating protein A (NapA) in Escherichia coli, Thomas Hoang (Glasfeld)

Have you heard about terD : the characterization and investigation of proteins expressed from the ter operon, Akanksha Majumdar (Chacón)

Accumulation of manganese in the pituitary gland and its effects on annexin a2, Georgia Wong (Glasfeld)

Environmental Studies: Chemistry

Source apportionment of trace elements and black carbon in particulate matter in Southeast Portland, OR, Anna Miller (Fry)

What the heck : collection and quantification of anthropogenically emitted palladium in Portland, OR, Hunter Wise (Bowring)




An Airshed and Source Region Impact Factor Tool Utilizing Output from the NOAA HYSPLIT Model, Amanda Asato (Walsh)

Synthesis of An Intramolecular DASA Photoswitch, Dakoda Bradley (Helmy)

Extraction and Measurement of Vitamin K in Blood Plasma using HPLC-MS/MS, Vivia Chi (Walsh)

Direct Conversion of Visible Light to Mechanical Energy: Towards Dimerized Donor-Acceptor Stenhouse Adducts as Photochromic Molecular Actuators, Audrey Dannar (Walsh)

The Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Decoquinate Analogs with Significant Antimalarial Activity, Rose Gonoud (Shusterman)

A Dusty Road: Palladium Catalysis via the Mizoroki-Heck Reaction, Oleksandr Lushchyk (Bowring)

Synthesis of an Iridium Hydride Complex: Towards a Model System for Hydrogen Tunneling, Zachary Mathe (Bowring)

An ab initioValence Bond Study of Charge-Shift Bonding in ortho-Benzyne, Brent Michel (Shusterman)

Methods for Analysis of Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure in Biochemical Systems: Demeter and EXCURV, Cat Neshyba (Chacón)

Cd and As: Impact of Long-term Atmospheric Deposition on Reed Canyon Soil Quality, Modi Raduma (Walsh)

Toward a NIR Photoswitch, Melinda Serrato (Helmy

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Toward the Development of Substrate-based Inhibitors of Mycobacterium tuberculosisLipase, LipY, Clara Herrera (Glasfeld)

Synthesis of Gemcitabine Derivatives for Use in Understanding Pancreatic Cancer Heterogeneity and Drug Resistance, Jamie Kim (Chacón)

Investigating the DNA Binding of the Metalloregulator SloR, Foster Seybert (Glasfeld)

The Restricted Section: Towards a Structure of the Restriction Enzyme Xhol, August Staubus (Glasfeld)

Towards an Understanding of BosR via CASTing Method and Structural Analysis, Weekie Yao (Glasfeld)

Environmental Studies: Chemistry

Source Apportionment of Airborne Heavy Metals at the Brooklyn Rail Yard in Portland, OR, Annelise Hill  (Fry)

LC-MS/MS Analysis of Imidacloprid in Oregon Honey, Lauren Kupper (Walsh)

 Urban Metals: Just a Hop, Skip and a Beer Away, Claire Young (Glasfeld)



Pulsed Nd: YAG laser Raman spectroscopy and normal coordinate analysis of trivalent bismuth complexes, Joohee Bang (Gerrity)

Elucidating the water reducing mechanism of bis-2-mercaptopyridine-N-oxide nickel(II) as a model for the design of next generation water reducing catalysts, Carlo Berti (Kliegman)

Spinosad analysis of apples in the Pacific Northwest, Nich Hanson (Cass)

Couches on fire!: polybrominated diphenyl ethers and your dorm room, Jesyca Hernstadt (Kliegman)

Coal trains and the world: modeling the dispersion of fine particulate matter in the Columbia River Gorge, Katherine Jentoft-Herr (Walsh)

Tropospheric particle formation in forests: global modeling of secondary organic aerosol production from reaction of NO3 radical with speciated monoterpenes, Makoto Kelp (Fry)

Separation and quantification of radioactive 14C from irradiated graphite, Ilana Novakoski (Walsh)

Probing the activity of bismuth phosphates for asymmetric catalysis, Nick Till (LaLonde)

Preparing and characterizing bis(imino)pyridine complexes of nickel, iron and cobalt for electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution, Sam Underwood (Kliegman)

Proteins, DNA, electrons, and a little bit of uranium : protein·DNA complexes and cryo-electron microscopy, Jazz Weisman (Glasfeld)

Quantitative analysis of liquid matrices using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, Suhai Yehuza (Gerrity)

Development of an apparatus for quantifying PAH and VOC production in electronic cigarettes, Jordan Yu (Walsh)

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Determination of BosR DNA binding sequence using CASTing method, Sofia-Mari Claesson (Glasfeld)

Reaction screening and optimization for use in a bismuth(III) asymmetric counterion directed catalysis system, Alyssa Harrison (LaLonde)

Spectroscopic analysis of the CusCFBA copper exporter in Escherichia coli, Ethan Ho (Chacón)

A tale of two proteins: towards cloning, expression, and purification of the bHLHZip domains of MondoA and Mlx, Erin McConnell (Glasfeld)

Towards an ideal green chemistry reaction: on the use of cationic organobismuth and tetraarylborate counteranion complexes in asymmetric alkylations, Johnny Mendoza (LaLonde)

Toward a complete understanding of copper efflux in Escherichia coli: a fluorescence-based investigation of metal transfer between CusF and CusB, Jonathan Perkins (Chacón)

Expression and purification of the putative Zn-dependent sulfatase AtsH from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Natalie Stone (Glasfeld)



Synthesis of Cobalt, Rhodium, and Iridium Acetyl(imino)pyridine Compounds for the Reductive Dehalogenaiton of Chlorinated Ethylenes, Mark Angeles (Kliegman)

Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy: Brute Force Elemental Analysis, Arthur Chang (Gerrity)

DFT Analysis of a Platinacyclobutane Rearrangement, Megan Flood (Shusterman)

A Contribution to the Fight Against Malaria: Novel Synthesis and Characterization of 3-Alkylarylether-4(1H)-quinolones with Antimalarial Properties, Lisa Frueh (Glasfeld)

Towards Enantioselective Bismuth(III) Lewis Acid Catalysis via Utilization of a Chiral Counteranion Method for Asymmetric Induction, Drew Gingerich (LaLonde)

Size-Dependent Molecular-Level Characterization of Secondary Organic Aerosol from NO3 Initiated Δ-carene Oxidation using Nanospray Desorption Electrospray Ionization High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry, Hyun Kang (Fry)

Detecting Organic Nitrates Using Thermal Dissociation Cavity Ring-down Spectroscopy (TDCRDS), Natalie Keehan (Fry)

Predicting Depolarization Ratios and Relative Intensities for Resonance Raman spectroscopy Using the Irreducible Tensor Method, Kathleen Kruzich (Gerrity)

Natural Bond Orbital Analysis of the Congested Hydrogen-Hydrogen Interactions in exo-exo-Tentracyclododecane, Kata Martin (Shusterman)

Toward the Synthesis of a Novel Bismuth Catalyst Using Chiral BINOL-derived Phosphoric Acids to Effect Enantioselectivity Through Asymmetric Counterion-Directed Catalysis, Lukas Morick (LaLonde)

The Composition of Secondary Organic Aerosols at an Urban Site, Eve Mozur (Fry)

Binding Characteristics of FOX1 with Insulin Receptor RNA, Rachael Otto (Cass)

A Novel Approach to the Source Region Impact Factor Using Outputs from the Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory Model, Jonathan Tamsut (Walsh)

The Electrochemical Properties of Vitamin B12, a Reductive Dehalogenaiton Catalyst, Vania Wang (Kliegman)

Biochemistry and Molceular Biology

Green Toward a Synthesis of Bismuth Triacetazolamide: Activity against Helicobacter pylori, Stewart Green (LaLonde)

Determination of Actinomycin D’s role as an inhibitor in Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1, Shanee Harriott (Cass)

Towards an Understanding of Metal-Binding in Metal-Dependent Repressor 1 (MDR1) from Archaeoglobus fulgidus, Christina Johnson (Glasfeld)

Asp8 and the Metal-Binding Properties and Selective Activation of the Manganese Transport Regulator, Jacob Luton (Glasfeld)

Bi(III) Interaction with Helicobacter pylori Neutrophil Activating Protein: A foundation, Christopher Yan (Glasfeld)

Environmental Studies

Problematizing Trees: Ecosystem Analysis of Urban Trees’ Impact on Air Quality, G Luhman (Walsh)