Skip to Content

Posts under tag: UO Undergrad Students

  Page 1 of 4  Next Page »
October 8, 2020

Alum Madi Scott, Class of ’20, in the News!

September 30, 2020

Meet our 2020 Chemistry and Biochemistry Undergrad Scholarship Recipients

The Chemistry and Biochemistry department is pleased to introduce the recipients of our 2020 undergraduate scholarships!

This years’ recipients are Amanda Linskens, Maya Pande, Daria Wonderlick and Dylan Galutera. We asked them to tell us a little about themselves and their research experience.

Photo - Amanda Linskens

Amanda Linskens
Faith Van Nice Scholarship Recipient

The Faith Van Nice Scholarship is dedicated to the legacy of alumna Faith Van Nice, and recognizes exceptional UO undergraduate students majoring in Chemistry or Biochemistry. Amanda says that she feels deeply grateful and honored to receive an award that honors such a successful and inspirational researcher.

My name is Amanda Linskens and I grew up in a small town called Seymour just outside of Green Bay, Wisconsin. I am currently a junior majoring in Biochemistry, and I became interested in biochemistry and molecular biology when I took a biochemistry class in high school. What inspires me about science is the problem solving involved in research and how much there is yet to learn and discover.

About her research: I have been involved in research since my junior year of high school when I decided to do an independent research project with my biochemistry teacher. At the start of my freshman year at the University of Oregon, I joined the Doe Lab and have been with the lab ever since. Currently I am performing research regarding what type of neuroblasts the MDN and Pair1 neurons arise from and what transcription factor window these neurons are born in. MDN controls backwards crawling and walking in fruit flies and Pair1 neurons control stopping in larvae. This research is important for better understanding the development of neurons and for further research into neurodegenerative diseases.

What’s next? My plans after my completing my undergrad degree include graduate school for molecular biology or biochemistry and pursuing a career in molecular genetics or another type of biomedical research.

Photo - Maya Pande

Maya Pande
Kuntz-Swinehart Scholarship Recipient

The Kuntz-Swinehart Memorial Scholarship recognizes academic excellence in our majors, and was established by former UO Chemistry students in honor of two professors whose instruction, influence and inspiration had a significant impact on their career paths. Maya shares that it is such an honor to be recognized through this award.

My name is Maya Pande and I am in incoming Senior at UO! I’m from Portland, Oregon and I started school here in the fall of 2017. I am double majoring in biochemistry and political science. I like science because it represents innovation and progress. It centers around principles that you can observe in daily life, and I love the prospect of using my knowledge to one day better the lives of others.

About her research: I am a member of Andy Marcus’s Lab! The Marcus lab studies the physical properties surrounding the movement of macromolecules in biological environments. One project I’ve worked on within the lab looks to characterize the conformations DNA takes under different sets of biological conditions. I cannot imagine my time at UO without the chemistry department. I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by the most supportive students and faculty I could have asked for.

What’s next? I am planning on taking a gap year after graduation, during which I’ll be applying to medical school. I am currently interested in becoming an oncologist, and I would love to one day work at St. Jude. I am also interested in one day working in science policy.

The Anita and Friedhelm Baitis Scholarship is new this year and provided funding for two undergraduate students to conduct research during the summer in a chemistry or biochemistry laboratory at the University of Oregon, under the mentorship of a Chemistry and Biochemistry department faculty member. Award recipients are chosen from among students that are nominated by department faculty. Daria says she’s grateful for the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department’s commitment to valuing and supporting undergraduate research. Dylan shares that he is very grateful to receive this award because it has allowed him to pursue research during the summer and focus on his education – a unique opportunity to relax and invest more time in his future plans, rather than having to work.

Photo - Daria Wonderlick

Daria Wonderlick
Baitis Scholarship Recipient

My name is Daria Wonderlick.  I am a Biochemistry major from Portland, Oregon, entering my senior year at UO. I have been fascinated by the molecular underpinnings of life for as long as I can remember. In high school, I had the opportunity to study the genetic disease PKU at the Oregon Heath & Science University during the summers. From this early exposure to biomedical research, I became enthralled with the creativity and diligence behind scientific discoveries. I chose to attend UO for the well-respected honors college and opportunities for undergraduate research.

About her research: On the first day of my freshman year at UO, I walked into Mike Harms’s Honors Biology class and immediately fell in love with the course material and his teaching style. I officially joined the Harms Lab after a tour during a science open house. The Harms Lab studies relationships between biochemistry and evolution. My research project aims to characterize how mutations in RNA molecules interact at a biophysical level. Mutational interactions complicate our ability to predict the evolution of existing RNA and proteins and hinder efforts to design new biomolecules for medicine and technology. I am looking at a simple RNA system to learn how its ensemble of structures generates these mutational interactions.

What’s next? I plan to pursue in PhD in biophysics. I hope to contribute to the biomedical field by designing therapeutic proteins as a research professor.


Photo - Dylan Galutera

Dylan Galutera
Baitis Scholarship Recipient

My name is Dylan Galutera and I am currently a junior studying biochemistry with a focus in pre-med at UO and the Clark Honors College. I was born and raised in California and I moved around from there, to the Philippines, and finally settled down in Beaverton, OR. Ever since I can remember, the natural sciences have enamored me because of how far humans have come in terms of characterizing the physical world with its very intricate systems. Although the sciences have always interested me, I believe that it was piqued during my fourth-grade year. I remember witnessing a family member going through a medical emergency for the first time; my grandmother suffered from a stroke one night. Since then, it’s been my goal to pursue a career in medicine and further my own interests in biochemistry. With my focus on biochemistry and the human body, I hope to contribute to how we understand and interact with the complex human body.

About his research: I am in the Widom lab and I have been doing research with them since fall of my sophomore year. Before then, I did a term of research with the Dave Johnson lab as an option for completing the Research Immersion Course during the spring term of my freshman year. In the Widom lab, we use various spectroscopic methods to study the folding mechanisms of RNA molecules. Understanding the structures of these bio molecules contributes to the study of crucial RNA functions such as gene regulation. I am very honored to receive this research award. The scholarships and opportunities available to UO undergraduates have provided me with more opportunities than I could ask for.

What’s next? After I graduate, I hope to attend OHSU where I plan to pursue my medical degree. It has always been my long-term goal to become a doctor and specialize in a field of surgery of some sort. Currently, I have my plans set on specializing in cardiothoracic surgery, but I’m open to other options as I discover the right one for me during medical school.


May 19, 2020

2020 UG Research Symposium will showcase the work of 18 Chemistry and Biochemistry Undergrads

UG_Symposium_BannerThe 10th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium will take place this Thursday, May 21, 2020. The virtual format will include research work conducted by 18 chermistry and biochemsitry majors.

The presentations will be a mix of live-stream, pre-recprded and Zoom events.  Zoom events require an RSVP by Wednesday, May 20 at noon. See the virtual Symposium navigation guide for details.

Chemistry and Biochemistry Research Presentations

Stacey Andreeva – Chemistry
Faculty Mentor(s): Carl Brozek
Session 5: The Bonds that Make Us
Title: Metal-Ligand Bond Dynamics in Metal-Organic Frameworks Confirmed by Variable
Temperature Vibrational Spectroscopy

Dylan Bardgett – Chemistry
Faculty Mentor(s): Dave Johnson | Danielle Hamann
Session 6: Interact & React
Title: The Reactions Between Iron and Selenium

Zack Basham – Biochemistry
Faculty Mentor(s): David Garcia
Session: Pre-recorded Poster Presentation
Title: Influence of a prion protein on the TOR pathway in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

Lejla Biberic – Biochemistry
Faculty Mentor(s): Amber Rolland | James Prell
Session: Pre-recorded Poster Presentation
Title: Determining detergent dependence of Cytolysin A oligomeric state through native mass

Anabel Chang – Biochemistry
Co-Presenter(s): Maya Pande
Session: Pre-recorded Poster Presentation
Faculty Mentor(s): Andrew Marcus
Title: Characterizing the Conformational Fluctuations of DNA Under Physiological and SaltStabilized Conditions

Emmalyn Leonard – Biochemistry
Faculty Mentor(s): Cristopher Niell | Philip Parker
Session 5: The Wonders of the Brain
Title: Determining the role of the pulvinar in visual attentional control

Tristan McKibben – Biochemistry
Faculty Mentor(s): J. Josh Snodgrass
Session 5.5: McNair Scholars Presentations
Title: The Evolution of Coronaviruses: Cross-Species Transfers and Mechanisms of Infections

Parker Morris – Chemistry
Faculty Mentor(s): Amanda Cook | Kiana Kawamura
Session: Pre-recorded Poster Presentation
Title: Rational Design and Synthesis for Nickel Catalyzed Hydrosilylation

Matthew Nardoci – Biochemistry/Biology
Co-Presenter(s): Jewlyssa Pedregon
Faculty Mentor(s): Santiago Jaramillo
Session: Pre-recorded Poster Presentation
Title: Characterization of sound-evoked responses of photo-identified auditory striatal neurons

Jake Olsen – Chemistry and Mathematics
Faculty Mentor(s): Marina Guenza | Jake Searcy
Session 1: It’s a Science Thing
Title: The Atomistic Reconstruction of Coarse-Grained Polymeric Systems via Machine Learning

Maya Pande – Biochemistry, Political Science
Co-Presenter(s): Anabel Chang
Faculty Mentor(s): Andrew Marcus
Session: Pre-recorded Poster Presentation
Title: Characterizing the Conformational Fluctuations of DNA Under Physiological and SaltStabilized Conditions

Madelyn Scott – Chemistry, Physics
Faculty Mentor(s): Kelly Wilson | Cathy Wong
Session 2: Cells R Us
Title: Quantifying the spatial morphology of organic films through polarization-dependent

Nathan Stovall – Chemistry
Faculty Mentor(s): Shannon Boettcher | Raina Krivina
Session 5: The Bonds that Make Us
Title: Ultrathin Iridium Oxide Catalyst on a Conductive Support for the Oxygen Evolution
Reaction in Acid

Eric Strand – Biology/Biochemistry
Faculty Mentor(s): Joshua Barker
Session: Pre-recorded Poster Presentation
Title: Rational Design of s-Indacene-cored Small Molecule Organic Semiconductors as a
Paradigm to Tune Electronic Characteristics

Ian Torrence – Biochemistry
Faculty Mentor(s): Sean Fontenot
Session 2: Cells R Us
Title: Sensors and Materials for In-field Aqueous Analysis of Nitrate and Other Ions

Dan Tudorica – Biochemistry
Faculty Mentor(s): Arden Perkins
Session 3: The Substance of Us
Title: The role of the Chemoreceptor Zinc-Binding Domain in bacterial signal transduction

Nicole Wales – Chemistry and Physics
Faculty Mentor(s): Mark Lonergan | Zack Crawford
Session 5: The Bonds that Make Us
Title: Quantification of Point Defects in Perovskite Solar Cells

Daria Wonderlick – Biochemistry
Faculty Mentor(s): Mike Harms
Session 5: The Bonds that Make Us
Title: Ensembles link RNA thermodynamics and molecular evolution

April 28, 2020

Eight UO students receive prestigious NSF graduate fellowship – Six from Chemistry Program

April 8, 2020

4 PhD Students and 3 Undergrads win NSF GRFP in Chemistry

Four PhD students and three undergraduates in the UO department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have been selected by the National Science Foundation for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP):

The [GRFP] program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose. As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers.

Our 2020 recipients:


Alison Chang
Marc Foster
Khoa Le
James May


Madi Scott
Makenna Pennel
Casey Bisted – 2019 grad, now in PhD program at UW

Our Honorable Mentions:


Julia Fehr
Grace Kuhl
Gabrielle Warren



Dylan Bardgett

This is our department’s highest number of GRFP fellowship recipients and honorable mentions to date. Special thanks to faculty members Shannon Boetcher, Mike Pluth, Amanda Cook, Julia Widom, and Chris Hendon for the great job they’ve done teaching the CH 401/601 Fellowship Application Skills workshop.

March 30, 2020

2020 Departmental Undergrad Scholarships – Apply by April 22, 2020

Photo: "Puddles," UO Duck MascotWe are happy to announce the availability of our departmental undergraduate scholarships. There are two separate applications for the awards.

The application deadline for all scholarships is Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Scholarship awards will be announced near the end of May.

If you have questions regarding the application processes, please contact Leah O’Brien by phone (541) 346-4839 or by email at


Faith Van Nice and Kuntz-Swinehart Scholarships

The Faith Van Nice and Kuntz-Swinehart scholarships recognize outstanding academic and research achievements by undergraduate chemistry and biochemistry majors. Funds will be made available for the 2020-2021 UO academic year. More information about these scholarships can be found on our website. Eligibility: Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a scale of 4.0 (or similar grade assessment). Application process: One application is used for both the Faith Van Nice and Kuntz-Swinehart scholarships. Click here for the application instructions. Please email your application materials to Leah O’Brien,

P-Chem Undergraduate Fellowship

The P-Chem Undergraduate Research Fellowship provides funding for students to conduct research during the summer in a physical chemistry lab at the University of Oregon, under the mentorship of a physical chemistry faculty member. Eligibility: Open to undergraduate students at the University of Oregon and from other undergraduate institutions that meet the following  eligibility criteria: minimum 3.0 GPA; U.S. citizen; must be returning to the UO or home institution the term after the fellowship; may not be paid to conduct research through other internal UO research support programs during the same fellowship period. Application process: Students apply online for the P-Chem Undergraduate Fellowship. Fellowship details and application instructions are available online at

Bailis Undergraduate Fellowship

New this year: The Bailis Undergraduate Research Fellowship provides funding for undergraduate students to conduct research during the summer in a chemistry or biochemistry laboratory at the University of Oregon, under the mentorship of a Chemistry and Biochemistry department faculty member. Faculty are asked to submit nominations for the award. No application is necessary on the part of the student.


December 3, 2019

Emma Mullen Receives ESPRIT Scholarship

Biochemistry major Emma Mullen is one of four undergraduate science majors awarded a 2019 University of Oregon ESPRIT Scholarship (Experiencing Science Practices through Research to Inspire Teaching).  The UO ESPRIT Scholarships Program is funded by the National Science Foundation through the NSF’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. Recipients each receive $35,000 in support that includes a two-year scholarship for their senior undergraduate year and the UOTeach Program, a highly focused one-year master’s level teacher licensure program designed to produce highly qualified teachers with advanced instructional and classroom expertise. The ESPRIT Scholarships Program is a collaborative effort between the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education involving STEM CORE, the Center for STEM Careers through Outreach, Research, and Education, and the Department of Education Studies.

Photo: Emma LLNL Poster Session

Emma presenting her research from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Now in her senior year, Emma says she has always been interested in teaching. In high school, she found herself in the role of informal tutor for a group of classmates, and enjoyed being a part of the “ah-ha!” moment when one of her peers grasped a tricky concept that had eluded them. As a SuperChem Peer Learning Assistant at the UO, Emma continues to build her skills as an educator.

Emma took her first step on the ESPRIT pathway by participating in an ESPRIT-sponsored summer research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California this past summer. During her eight weeks in the Biosciences & Biotechnology Division, she worked on optimizing the crystallization of nanolipoprotein particles (NLPs).This furthered the development of NLPs as a platform for vaccine delivery and for x-ray crystallographic characterization of membrane proteins.

Once she had completed her summer research experience, Emma became eligible to apply for the ESPRIT Scholarship to the UOTeach Program and was selected for the award. Her acceptance was celebrated during a signing ceremony for the ESPRIT recipients at the College of Education on Thursday, November 21st. Prof. Michael Pluth, in whose lab Emma is currently doing undergraduate research, presented her award.

2019 ESPRIT Signing Ceremony at the UO College of Education

Emma plans to pursue the Secondary Education track in her master’s studies, in preparation to teach high school chemistry. She appreciates the opportunity teaching provides to share a subject that she is passionate about.  Learning how things work at a fundamental, nittty-gritty level has always fascinated her and, she explains, “Chemistry does that.  It changes the way you look at things when you begin to think about the world around you on a molecular level. I’m excited to share that.”

After graduating from UOTeach, ESPRIT Scholars go on to teach in a high-need school district for four years. This could take Emma anywhere in Oregon, but she hopes to eventually end up somewhere near her hometown of Portland.


– by Leah O’Brien


October 4, 2019

BIC majors Ian Torrence & Dan Tudorica among current cohort of Knight Campus UG Scholars

June 4, 2019

Chemistry Major Madi Scott selected for Goldwater Scholarship

May 17, 2019

Biochemistry Majors Ian Torrence & Dan Tudorica selected as 2019-20 Knight Campus UG Scholars

  Page 1 of 4  Next Page »

Skip to toolbar