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Analytical Chemistry

Purdue University’s analytical chemistry program is the top graduate program in the United States. With 14 faculty members and more than 110 graduate students, our program is one of the largest in the world.

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Twitter link@AnfacPurdue

Our Faculty

Dr. Chopra

Gaurav Chopra (

Area: Bioanalytical Chemistry, Machine Learning, and Immunology

The Chopra group is dedicated to the advancement of the field of Chemical and Cellular Immunology.  We develop AI/machine learning and modeling tools for chemical and biological systems, facilitate autonomous instrumentation, develop analytical methods for biomolecular profiling in immune cells and synthesize chemical modulators and sensors with a goal to understand and alter the function of specific immune cells in chronic inflammation. We are specifically focused on identifying and then targeting “brakes” of the immune system for cancer and neuroimmunology.   

Link to Dr. Gaurav Chopra’s Research Group:


Dr. Claridge

Shelley Claridge (

Area: Soft Matter

The Claridge group examines the behavior of functional groups in dimensionally confined environments, with a particular interest in defining structural motifs that use these environments to advantage for the design of new materials. Many of our approaches leverage design motifs found in biological cell membranes in fundamentally new ways. Students in the group learn a broad cross-section of nanoscale material characterization techniques, ranging from scanning probe and electron microscopy to fluorescence and wetting measurements.

Link to Dr. Shelley Claridge’s Research Group:


Dr. Cooks

Graham Cooks (

Area: Mass spectrometry

The Cooks’ group builds mass spectrometers and studies fundamental processes like ion soft landing. We are particularly interested in accelerated chemical reactions in microdroplets for small-scale synthesis and high throughput analysis.  Intrasurgical brain cancer diagnostics is our key application area. 

Link to Dr. Graham Cooks’ Research Group:


Dr. Kenttamaa

Hilkka Kenttamaa (

Area: Organic mass spectrometry

The Kenttämaa group develops mass spectrometry methods for the characterization of complex mixtures, such as waste fats, degradation products of waste biomass, and pyrolysis products of waste plastics, to facilitate the development of aviation and rocket fuels from renewable resources. Chemical compositions of the fuels are also of interest. Further, we advance methods for automated identification of drug metabolites and impurities. We also are interested in the characterization of short-lived organic reaction intermediates, such as those formed upon combustion of rocket fuels.

Link to Dr. Hilkka Kenttamaa’s Research Group::


Dr. Alex Laskin

Alex Laskin (

Area: Aerosol Chemistry

Dr. Alex Laskin’s research group is a multi-disciplinary experimental group with research interests in the areas of Analytical and Physical Chemistry of airborne particles and environmental interfaces, driven by the overarching goals of understanding their impact on the atmospheric chemistry, air pollution, and the Earth’s climate. The research group efforts include three inter-related areas: Development and applications of new analytical methods for chemical characterization of aerosols; Chemical imaging and molecular-level studies of field-collected particles; Laboratory studies of multi-phase chemistry of particles and interfaces.

Link to Dr. Alex Laskin’s Research Group:


Dr. Julia Laskin

Julia Laskin (

Area: Mass spectrometry

Dr. Julia Laskin’s research group develops instrumentation and analytical methods for preparative and imaging mass spectrometry. We focus on understanding phenomena for the controlled preparation of layered materials using soft-landing of mass-selected ions. We also develop new approaches for imaging lipids, metabolites, and proteins in biological samples (e.g. tissue sections, microbial/yeast colonies) with subcellular resolution using ambient ionization mass spectrometry.

Link to Dr. Julia Laskin’s Research Group:


Dr. Mao

Chengde Mao (

Area: DNA nanotechnology – Soft Materials

Dr. Chengde Mao’s research group is developing minimalists’ approaches to program DNA/RNA molecules to assemble into well-defined nanostructures. The resulting nanostructures are explored for biosensing/nanomedicine and for probing spatiotemporal biological events at the nanometer scales.

Link to Dr. Chengde Mao’s Research Group:


Dr. McLuckey

Scott McLuckey (

Area: Mass spectrometry

The McLuckey Lab is dedicated to the advancement of analytical mass spectrometry via ion chemistry research and instrument development.  The latter currently emphasizes digital ion trapping and electrostatic ion trapping while the former emphasizes ion/ion chemistry.  The work is primarily directed to measurement challenges associated with large bio-complexes, protein mixtures, nucleic acids, and lipid structural characterization.

Link to the Scott Mcluckey’s Research Group:


Dr. Michalski

Greg Michalski (

Area: Environmental Chemistry

Stable isotope geochemistry, Physical Chemistry of Isotope Fractionations, Paleoclimatology, Isotopes in Atmospheric Chemistry, Evolution of Planetary Atmospheres, Global Nitrogen, Sulfur and Carbon Cycling, Desert Paleosols as Paleoclimate Proxies.

Link to the Dr. Greg Michalski’s Research Group:


Dr. Simpson

Garth Simpson (

Area: Optical spectroscopy and microscopy

Dr. Garth Simpson’s research group is devoted to the theoretical development and experimental application of new instrumental methods taking advantage of unique nonlinear optical interactions. Recent interests include detection and analysis of crystals formed from chiral molecules, building on a long-standing interest in understanding the role of chirality and polarization-dependent effects in nonlinear optics.

Link to Dr. Garth Simpson’s Research Group: 


Dr. Tao

Andy Tao (

Area: Mass spectrometry, bioanalytical chemistry

The Tao research group focuses on the development and applications of biological mass spectrometry for functional proteomics. Current projects in the Tao Group are:
1. Molecular signaling in cancer cells: phosphoproteomics
2. Identification of biomarkers for early detection of diseases for cancer and AD
3. Chemical proteomics to understand virus and bacteria infection

Link to Dr. Andy Tao’s Research Group:


Dr. Wirth

Mary Wirth (

Area: Separation technology, mass spectrometry

We work at the interface of chemistry and medicine, and our focus is to create technology for earlier detection of diseases. The dream of 21st-century medicine is that simple lab tests will reveal diseases well before the onset of symptoms, while the disease is easily curable. We are using nanotechnology to modernize the materials used for lab tests and for the discovery of the biomarkers that are the targets of lab tests.

Link to Dr. Mary Writh’s Research Group:


Dr. Yang

Danzhou Yang (

Area: NMR spectroscopy and structure biology

Dr. Danzhou Yang’s research focuses on bioanalytical, structural, and functional studies of cancer-specific DNA molecular targets and structure-based rational design of new anticancer drugs. In particular, her group works on the biologically relevant DNA G-quadruplexes found in human oncogene promoters and human telomeres. Research in the Yang lab involves high-field NMR spectroscopy, in combination with other bioanalytical, computational, biochemical, and cell-based methods.

Link to Dr. Danzhou Yang’s Research Group:


Dr. Zhang

Chi Zhang (

Area: Optical spectroscopy and microscopy

Dr. Chi Zhang’s research group develops optical spectroscopy and microscopy technologies to study biomolecules in living samples. Characterizing metabolic markers for disease transitions and understanding cell metabolism in stress conditions are also of interest to the group.

Link to Dr. Chi Zhang’s Research Group: