Department of Chemistry
Chemistry Research at Morgan
(Pictured above: Tiara Hinton - Advisor: Dr. Santosh Mandal)
"If I had not started doing research, I don't know if I would be as happy as I am now with my career choices or if I would be as comfortable as I am with myself. I accomplished a lot when I started doing research and I am glad I made such an eye-opening decision that steered my life in the right direction."
-Ayanna Culmer-Gibert, Class of 2020
Featured Research Mentor
Dr. Pumtiwitt McCarthy: Biochemistry - I have had incredible teachers in my life who have been steadfast in their encouragement and support. As a teacher, I aim to serve the same type of role in my students' lives. At an institution that primarily serves underrepresented minorities, I feel that excellent mentorship and guidance is crucial to keeping these populations in the STEM pipeline. I have trained 19 female students (out of 21 total) (4 graduate, 13 undergraduates, 2 high school students) from backgrounds historically underrepresented in STEM. These students have given a total of 21 research presentations and received 17 research awards. Two former undergraduate students are enrolled in PhD. Programs (1 in Biochemistry and 1 in Clinical/Laboratory Science). Another former undergraduate is pursuing a dentistry degree.
Students who join my lab get a "behind the scenes" look at the curious world of vaccine development for bacterial meningitis! They will be introduced to the science behind the cause of this disease. They will have the opportunity to synthesize and analyze molecules (sugars) that will aid in the development of a new vaccine. In another project we are working on, we also are interested in creating new arrangements of these sugars to make molecules to help our environment and remove metal pollution from water. For example, lead in drinking water has been a public health concern particularly in urban areas such as Baltimore and Flint, Michigan. We are using computers and bioinformatics to help us do this. In these projects, students will gain experience with bacterial growth and expression, protein purification techniques, sugar characterization, HPLC analysis, protein visualization, and bioinformatics software.
- Nyah Johnson, Laleh Sheikhi Moghaddam, Arianna Pankey, Rudy Diaz and Pumtiwitt McCarthy Ph.D. “A One-pot Enzymatic Synthesis of CMP-Sialic Acid Derivatives as Substrates for the Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup W Capsule Polymerase” National Technical Association Virtual Conference, Baltimore, MD, October 19, 2019. Oral presentation. Nyah won 2nd place for her oral presentation in the Biology and Chemistry section.
- Nyah Johnson, Laleh Sheikhi Moghaddam, Arianna Pankey, Rudy Diaz and Pumtiwitt McCarthy Ph.D. NOBCChE Annual Conference, St. Louis, MO “A One-pot Enzymatic Synthesis of CMP-Sialic Acid Derivatives as Substrates for the Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup W Capsule Polymerase” 11/18/19-11/21/2019 Poster presentation. Nyah was an ACS Bridge Travel Award Winner
- Nyah Johnson, Laleh Sheikhi Moghaddam, Arianna Pankey, Rudy Diaz and Pumtiwitt McCarthy Ph.D. “A One-pot Enzymatic Synthesis of CMP-Sialic Acid Derivatives as Substrates for the Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup W Capsule Polymerase” UMBC Annual Undergraduate Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences, Baltimore, MD, October 19, 2019. Poster presentation
Sharyan A, Gonzalez C, Ukaegbu O, Powell K, McCarthy PC. Determination of the binding affinities of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup W capsule polymerase with two nucleotide sugar substrates. BMC Res Notes. 2018 11,482 Undergraduate authors in bold
Morgan State has several research programs for undergraduate students. If you are a high school student, we have opportunities for you too!!!
Contact: Dr. Birol Ozturk
Program Coordinator & Assistant Professor, Physics & Engineering Physics
The Extreme Science Internship (ESI) Program provides funds for selected Morgan State University undergraduates to spend 8-15 weeks working at participating in materials research through the Johns Hopkins University Center for Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments (CMEDE) at universities, the Army Research Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and other institutions.
Contact: Dr. Cleo Hughes Darden
Program Coordinator, Interim Dean & Associate Professor, Biology
Phone: (443) 885-4470
The overall goals of LSAMP are to significantly increase the quality and quantity of under-represented students who successfully complete baccalaureate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), along with increasing the number of under-represented students who successfully enter and complete graduate programs. More specifically, the program aims provide STEM students with the opportunity to conduct research on campus with a research mentor affording them a continuous research experience for 2-3 years which will make them more competitive for graduate school admission.
Contact: Dr. Angela Winstead
Program Director, Acting Associate Dean & Professor, Chemistry
The mission of the RISE program is to increase the number of minority/underrepresented individuals in biomedical research careers by preparing students for a successful transition into biomedical-related graduate programs, ultimately leading to PhDs. Morgan State University's program is targeted towards undergraduate students.
Contact: Shamara Murphy
Student Research Center Coordinator
The Student Research Center (SRC) is a registered Morgan State University undergraduate student organization, partially run by students with the support of the SRC Coordinator and faculty advisor. The SRC encourages networking and health research enrichment for the students by engaging students in a vibrant research environment, where they will be surrounded by and can exchange research ideas with peers and near-peer mentors. It is a place where students will have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of biomedical research and to interact with other students who have a shared interest in biomedical research.
Dr. Fasil Abebe
Graduate Program Coordinator:
Dr. Santosh Mandal
Morgan State University
Department of Chemistry
1700 E. Cold Spring Lane
Baltimore, MD 21251
E: Email the Department