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Undergraduate Research

Student in lab holding test tube

Undergraduate chemistry majors are encouraged to engage in research during their time at WVU. You will receive academic credit by completing CHEM 497: Undergraduate Research.

One semester prior to the first semester of research, you should contact chemistry faculty to determine if there is an opportunity to do research in their lab. Once the student and the faculty member have agreed on the nature of the research, the time required each week (rule of thumb – 3 hours per week for every credit hour) and the number of credit hours, a form is completed and placed on file in the chemistry main office. The student may then register for CHEM 497.

List of Undergraduate Research Projects

List of undergraduate research projects (pdf)

Dr. Brian Dolinar

  • Inorganic chemistry

Dr. Gregory Dudley

  • Enabling Technology for Chemical Synthesis
  • Organic Synthesis for Future Medicines

Dr. Fabien Goulay

  • Lasers applied to gas-phase chemistry
  • Heterogeneous oxidation of nanoparticles

Dr. Lisa Holland

  • Modular Capillary Electrophoresis and Capillary Liquid Chromatography
  • Bioanalytical Separations
  • Biochemical Markers of Cardiovascular Disease

Dr. Hacer Karatas Bristow

  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Drug Targets for Unmet Disease Treatments
  • Solid phase synthesis of peptides for screening study of beta-catenin

Dr. Justin Legleiter

  • Understanding How Biological Surfaces Modulate Protein
  • Aggregation Associated with Neurodegenerative Diseases – Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s Disease
  • Application of atomic force microscopy to atomic force microscopy technique development.
  • Dr. Carsten Milsmann
  • Inorganic Synthesis and Photocatalysis
  • Development of Photoluminescent Compounds Using Earth-Abundant Elements
  • Photocatalytic Activation of Small Molecules for Solar Fuel Production and Green Chemistry Applications

Dr. Brian Popp

  • Organic and Bioorganic Synthesis
  • Organometallic Catalysis
  • Enantioselective Catalysis and Functional Materials relying on Supramolecular Principles

Dr. Bjorn Soderberg

  • Organic Synthesis

Enrolling in Chemistry 497

All students in CHEM 497 are expected to submit a written report about their research at the end of the semester. A copy of the report must be submitted to the faculty member in charge of CHEM 497.

Biochemistry students are required to perform undergraduate research as part of their degree program. Students are encouraged to start undergraduate research well before the senior year, and are advised to identify and contact potential faculty research mentors early. For CHEM 497, research mentors should be regular or adjunct faculty members of the C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry. Faculty members from other departments may be approved on a case-by-case basis and if the proposed research has a chemistry focus. Contact the CHEM 497 instructor to discuss external faculty research mentors.

WVU Office of Undergraduate Research

Information about undergraduate research opportunities at WVU and beyond can be found at

WVU chemistry majors are encouraged to apply to REU Sites at other institutions or to the WVU-based SURE Site. Another resource to search REU Sites by category (e.g. FR, SO, International, Community College, or Undocumented Students) is REU Finder.