Congratulations, Dr. Shannon Rivera!

Shannon Rivera

Shannon Rivera successfully defended her dissertation, “Elucidating the Various Roles of the Globin Domain from Globin Coupled Sensors”, on March 21st, 2019. Shannon’s committee was led by Emily Weinert with Brian Dyer and Stefan Lutz as additional members.

During her time at Emory, Shannon was supported by an Emory Graduate Diversity Fellowship as well as a Carl Storm Underrepresented Minority (CSURM) Fellowship. She was also recognized with the department’s Outstanding T.A. Award for Analytical Chemistry in 2014 and the Quayle Outstanding Student Award in 2018.

Shannon has also been involved in several student organizations including Pi Alpha Chemical Society (PACS) where she served for one year as Vice President of Community Service and the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) where she served consecutive terms first as Co-Social Chair and then as Communications Chair. She has also been a long time member of the Chemistry Graduate School Prep Club sponsored by the NSF Center for Selective C-H Functionalization, serving as President in 2017 and 2018. CGSPC connects Atlanta-area undergraduates from PUIs and HBCUs (including Agnes Scott, Spelman, Morehouse, and Clarke-Atlanta) with mentors who help them to connect with mentors who can help them navigate the graduate school application process . Shannon was instrumental in bringing CGSPC students to Emory for an on-site mentoring event. “They got to talk to faculty, grads, and post-docs about admissions and the struggles of being under represented in the sciences. The effect the event had of them and the fact that it cemented the drive to go to graduate school for those students, that is what made it a huge accomplishment for me,” says Shannon.

Scientifically, Shannon’s work was recently recognized with an invitation to give two oral presentations at SERMACS and GRS/GRC Metals in Biology. SERMACS receives well over 1,000 applications for oral applications and awards only 12-15 spots. “Scientifically though, the most fun and impactful accomplishment was successfully crystallizing my protein, BpeGlobin,” says Shannon. “It was fun because my protein is red, so my crystals are red! They came in different shapes, but you could always see them.  It is also very important for my scientific community because its the first crystal of  the signaling domain of a Globin-coupled sensor with oxygen in the pocket; the gas responsible for activating the protein.”

Shannon plans to pursue a career in industry.

Congratulations, Shannon!

Congratulations, Dr. Ziwei Guo!

On March 20th, 2019, Ziwei Guo successfully defended his thesis, “Monte Carlo Simulation of Grain Boundaries Between Ordered Colloidal Hard Sphere Domains”. Ziwei’s thesis committee included his thesis advisor, Dr. James Kindt and members Dr. Joel Bowman and Dr. Francesco Evangelista.

During his time at Emory, he published 5 articles and was the recipient of the 2018 Quayle Student Achievement Award. Up next, Ziwei plans to pursue a career in industry.

Congratulations, Dr. Guo!

Congratulations, Dr. Qiuyang Li!

On Wednesday, March 13th, Qiuyang Li successfully defended his thesis entitled “Physical properties and Dynamics of Excitons in Cadmium Chalcogenide 2D Nanoplatelets for Lasing and Solar-to-Fuel Conversion”. Qiuyang’s thesis committee included his thesis advisor, Dr. Tianquan Lian, and members Dr. James Kindt and Dr. Michael Heaven.

His favorite parts of grad school have been attending a group BBQ at Dr. Lian’s home and becoming a scientist. He is looking forward to continuing his academic career with a postdoc.

Congratulations, Dr. Li!

Congratulations, Dr. Matt Epplin!

On December 20th, 2018, Matt Epplin successfully defended his thesis, “The Design, Synthesis, and Biological Evaluation of Subunit-Selective Modulators of the N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor”. Matt’s thesis committee included his advisor, Dr. Dennis Liotta and members Dr. Frank McDonald, Dr. David Lynn, and Dr. Stephen Traynelis.

During his time at Emory, he developed chemical tools for NMDA towards understanding neuropsychiatric disease. Now, Matt is looking forward to starting his postdoc at Stanford with Dr. Noah Burns.

Congratulations, Dr. Epplin!