My interests focus on organic and polymer synthesis in general. More specifically, we are interested in developing novel light-emitting and liquid-crystalline polymers for their multitude applications in modern technology including biosensors. In another project, we are developing ionic liquids based on the concept of green chemistry, and liquid-crystalline and light-emitting organic salts to make them functional materials. Carbon nanotube-based composite materials based on ionic polymers are of significant interest in our group. In recent years, we are also actively pursuing for the development of cisplatin analogs for the development cancer therapy.
Dr. Erica Marti’s main research interests are in water and wastewater treatment, especially in the area of transforming wastewater for a beneficial reuse (drinking water, irrigation water, etc.). Past work has included understanding the formation of unregulated disinfection byproducts (DBPs) and investigating different methods to prevent their formation. DBPs are created when water is disinfected with chemical oxidants like different forms of chlorine and ozone. We use the chemicals to inactivate pathogens (bacteria, viruses, etc.) but the chemicals can react with other dissolved organics and inorganics to create unwanted byproducts, some of which are toxic. Therefore, water treatment professionals must work carefully to provide the right amount of oxidant for disinfection while minimizing DBPs.
Future research topics include remediation of polluted groundwater, adsorption of heavy metals from wastewater using biochar made from agricultural waste products, uptake of DBPs in plants grown using treated wastewater, and optimizing toxicity assays for DBPs.
Dr. Marti also conducts research in the area of STEM education and has led several Teacher Professional Development programs for integrated STEM lessons and engineering design.
Mehmet H. Gunes is an Associate Professor at University of Nevada, Reno. He received his M.S. degree in Computer Science & Engineering from Southern Methodist University in 2004 and Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from University of Texas at Dallas in 2008. Dr. Gunes’ research expertise includes Complex networks (biological networks, decentralized OSNs, graph data mining, information networks, infrastructure networks, network visualization, social networks, and technological networks); Cyber security (access control, anonymizer technologies, digital currencies, cloud, healthcare systems, privacy, and smart grid); and Internet measurements (big data analytics, Internet topology, Internet modeling, network sampling, synthetic graph generation, and traffic fingerprinting). So far his research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, the Department of Defense, the University of Nevada, Reno and Cincinnati Children’s Center for Pediatric Genomics.
Dr. Markus Berli’s research interests focus on modeling and measurement of soil structural dynamics affecting fluid flow and solute transport. Key issues are the connection of hydraulics and mechanics of soils at the micro-scale and upscaling physical soil behavior from pore to sample- and eventually field-scale.
Further areas of interest are: New methods for in-situ characterization of soil hydraulic and mechanical properties; improved characterization of soil pore geometry using X-ray-Micro-Tomography and pore water flow employing Neutron-Tomography; improved methods to assess and predict soil deterioration due to mechanical impacts.
His vision is that micro-scale coupling of soil hydraulics and mechanics with chemical and microbial processes will provide a conceptual framework for an improved understanding of fluid flow, contaminant fate and transport in the vadose zone, to sustain soil productivity and to secure water resources of sufficient quality and quantity world-wide.
Erick R. Bandala, Assistant Research Professor for Advanced Water Technologies at the Desert Research Institute in Las Vegas, NV. Dr. Bandala holds PhD degree in Engineering, a Master degree in Organic Chemistry and a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering. Before his current position, he was faculty member of the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Universidad de Las Americas Puebla (2007-2013) and the Department of Chemical, Food and Environmental Engineering (2013 to 2015) and titular researcher (1993-2007) at the Mexican Institute of Water Technology (belonging to the Ministry of Environment Mexico) in Morelos, Mexico. Dr. Bandala has taught graduate and undergraduate courses covering fundamentals and applications of environmental sciences and engineering with particular emphasis in water treatment processes for disinfection and decontamination, soil treatment and its application for site restoration. Dr. Bandala has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, Visiting Professor at the Department of Technology and Environmental Design at Appalachian State University (2014), the UDLAP Outstanding Teaching Award 2013, the Puebla State 2012 Science and Technology Award, Professional Hydrologist (Water Quality) by the American Institute of Hydrology, the Rice International Visiting Fellow on Energy, the Environment and Sustainability 2008-2009, National Researcher (Level II) on the National Council of Science and Technology-Mexico (2004-present), visiting Professor at the School of Civil and Agricultural Engineering. Universidad de Concepción, Chile 2004 and 2008 and Invited Researcher at the Plataforma Solar de Almería, Spain (2000). He has research interests in several different topics related with Environmental Engineering including A) Mechanistic aspects of the use and application of solar driven advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) for environmental restoration B) Development of advanced water and soil treatment for site restoration C) Synthesis, characterization and application of nanomaterials for Indoor Farming systems D) Development of Climate Change adaptation methodologies for water security. As result of his research activities, Dr. Bandala is author or co-author of over 100 international publication including 68 peer-reviewed papers in international journals with high impact index (average impact factor 2.7, >1490 citations, h-index 22); 5 books, 25 book chapters and 65 works published in proceedings of international conferences.
Dr. Eduardo Robleto’s laboratory focuses on the study of mutagenesis in cells under conditions of no-growth or under nutritional stress. They use Bacillus subtilis as a model to elucidate novel mechanisms that produce genetic diversity in conditions of stress. Particularly, we are interested in mutagenesis that is mediated by the process of transcription. These processes are influenced by universally conserved factors, provide novel views of the evolutionary process and apply to the formation of mutations in all organisms.
His research focuses on identifying novel mechanisms of mutation. He is particularly interested in elucidating cellular processes that generate mutations in non-replicating cells. These processes are important in evolution and apply to the acquisition of antibiotic resistance in human pathogens and to the formation of tumors in differentiated tissue.
Our group studies the toxicological effects of acute and chronic arsenic exposure at multiple levels of organization, with a primary focus on cardiovascular and metabolic perturbations. We are conducting a ongoing study in rural Bangladesh, where endemic arsenic exposure via tube well water consumption is consistently high. Our initial research trip (December 2013 – January 2014) focused on identification of susceptible populations in the Shariatpur district of Southern central Bangladesh, involving collection of tube well water, biological samples, assessment of clinical signs of arsenicosis, and administration of health effects surveys. Future visits will expand the study, with refined clinical assessments and survey subclinical cardiovascular and metabolic biomarkers of arsenic exposure.
Dr. Nora Caberoy’s research is on eye diseases. Specifically, she studies the retina (the thin, multi-layer, light-sensitive tissue that is found all the way at the back of the eye) and the role of retinal pigment epithelium phagocytosis in photoreceptor death that leads to retinal dysfunction and then blindness. By identifying factors and pathways associated with damage of the retina, she hopes to be able to develop ways to prevent or treat blindness.
In parallel with Caberoy’s work in the eye, she also identifies and characterizes factors that contribute to the development of obesity with the hope of developing therapeutic strategies to prevent or treat obesity. She explores the physiological and pathological roles of tubby protein in the development of obesity.
Dr. Jeff Kinney’s research area is behavioral neuroscience with an emphasis in two general areas; the neurobiology of learning & memory and the biological basis of several neurological/psychological disorders. Research projects in Dr. Kinney’s laboratory focus on the cellular, molecular, and genetic mechanisms involved in various types of associative/spatial learning with particular emphasis on glutamate, GABA, and a few neuropeptides. Additional research projects focus on animal models of schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and mood disorders. The investigation of these disorders incorporates transgenic models and identifying potential therapeutic targets. The laboratory utilizes psychopharmacological, behavioral genetic, and molecular biology techniques to address experimental questions. Dr. Kinney is open to working with graduate students on other related topics in behavioral neuroscience.