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John Conboy

Professor, Henry Eyring Scholar
Department of Chemistry
University of Utah
315 S. 1400 E. RM 2020
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Phone (801) 585-7957
Curriculum Vitae

Administrative Assistant
Jiliane Brandol

Department of Chemistry
University of Utah
315 S. 1400 E. RM 2420
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Phone: (801) 587-7982

Current Graduate Students

John Allhusen

John Allhusen

B.S. (ACS Certified) in Chemistry, University of Wyoming, 2009, Laramie, Wyoming

My research involves synthesizing new optical materials to probe the effect of an applied potential on lipid flip-flop and lipid membrane asymmetry. In particualr, I am trying to examine the effect a potential gradient across a planar supported lipid bilayer (PSLB) has on lipid translocation. Sum-frequency vibrational spectroscopy (SFVS), a coherent, label-free, surface specific, optical technique is used to measure the behavior of PSLBs when a potential is applied. The goal of this research is to provide a more comprehensive understanding of how lipids behave in their biological environment.

Victoria Cheng

Victoria Cheng

B.S. in Chemistry, Trinity University, 2013, San Antonio, TX &

I am currently studying the interactions of fatty acids and phospholipids in membranes and elucidating the nature of lipid flip flop, which is a crucial and pervasive process in biomembranes. Our studies monitor the dynamic movement of membrane components in planar supported lipid bilayers (PSLB) by sum frequency vibrational spectroscopy (SFVS). Using SFVS to study this biological process is advantageous it is surface-specific and label-free.  The aim of these studies is to bolster our understanding of flip-flop and its role in shaping membrane dynamics and function. I enjoy hot yoga of all forms and am petrified of the Terminator.

Aaron Reynolds

Aaron Reynolds

B.S. in Chemistry from The College of Idaho, 2012, Caldwell, ID

Second-order nonlinear optical spectroscopies such as second harmonic generation (SHG) and sum-frequency generation (SFG) have many advantages over conventional linear optical techniques, but have yet to gain widespread use. This is largely due to the fact that second-order optical effects are intrinsically inefficient. Aaron’s main research interest is in the development of strategies for the optical enhancement of weak SHG and SFG signals. He is also working on the development of nanoparticle films for use as novel nonlinear optical chemical sensors. In his spare time, Aaron enjoys playing soccer and taking advantage of the many and varied outdoor opportunities available in the great state of Utah. He is currently working on performing a handstand, and is famous for giving E.J. Corey the idea for the Woodward-Hoffmann rules.

Renee Tran

Renee Tran

B.S. in Chemistry, University of Utah, 2014, Salt Lake City, UT

My research involves using a coherent, nonlinear optical technique called Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) to investigate protein-membrane and small molecule-membrane interactions. SHG is advantageous for studying these interactions as it is surface specific, highly sensitive, and label-free. The goal of this research is to understand the binding mechanisms and properties of these small molecules and proteins that are essential to biological processes. This information can then be applied toward development of better biosensors. Outside of research, I enjoy spending time with my adorable Shih-Tzu, Widget.

Former Graduate Students

Dr. Timothy Anglin
Andas Inc, Raleigh-Durham, NC.

Dr. Krystal Brown
Myriad Genetics, Salt Lake City, UT.

Michael Cooper (M.S.)
Associate at Harness, Dickey & Pierce, P.L.C.

Dr. Brian Fitchett
Hercules, Analytical Division, Wilmington, DE.

Adam Graham (M.S.)

Dr. Matthew Kreich
The Heritage Group, Indianapolis, IN.

Dylan Kimball (M.S.)
Anayltical Resource Laboratory, Lehi, UT.

James King

Dr. Jin Liu
Assistant Professor, China

Hao Li (M.S.)

Anna Medley

Story (Sze Wing) Mok (M.S.)

Rebecca Neilson (M.S.)

Dr. Trang Nguyen
Assistant Profesor, Vietnam

Dr. Julie Rollins
INTEL Corporation, Portland, OR.

Matthew Sims

Dr. Krystal Sly
Illumina, San Diego, CA.

Dr. Kathryn Smith
ARUP, Salt Lake City, UT.

Paul Tsai

Former Postdoctoral Associates

Dr. Nilanjana Biswas

Dr. Grace Stokes
Assistant Professor, Santa Clara University

Former Undergraduate Students

Katherine Chandler
Michael Cross
Nicole Gibb (NSF REU)
Kasinda Goodwin
Travis Knepp (NSF REU)
Ben Lai
Holly Laufman (NSF REU)
Diane Neff
Jamie Pero
Kelvin Rembert (REU)
Cary Watterson

Last Updated: 6/3/21