2019 REU Bryce Coyne Attends Photonics West Conference

Photonics West Conference 2020

Bryce CoyneAttending the SPIE Photonics West conference in San Francisco was an incredible experience that shed new light onto my research and the filed of optics and lasers that I was previously unaware of. This was my first academic conference that I had attended and being a talk presenter made it feel even more like jumping into the deep end of a pool. The first couple days the scale of the conference was quite overwhelming, with the events spanning three conference halls and multiple hotels in the area. I was able deal with the nerves that I had going into my presentation using some meditation skills I have acquired through collegiate baseball. Going over my talk with my research advisor it came to my attention how important it is to be as accurate as possible when discussing my research in the professional setting. I had previously presented this research in August of 2019 to fellow undergraduate physics researchers and mentors at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. At Photonics West my talk would be under significantly more scrutiny than in the undergraduate setting. The pressure resulted in me having to know the ins and outs of all aspects of my talk. Post-talk questions also brought to light a couple aspects of my research I has not previously thought of. For most, I was asked about potential utilization of the InP crystal analyzed for laser applications going forward which could have real merit and possibilities. This would turn my summer research project into a large-scale project similar to a dissertation.

At the conference I was also able to attend a four-hour course on laser fundamentals with the emphasis being placed how the private laser sector discusses and buys/sells laser systems. The course in addition to providing new information allowed me to think about private optics companies which may be a field I have interest getting into in my future.

The conference also had a large exhibition for companies to showcase new technologies that they have developed. Companies ranged from small photonics start-ups to large companies such as ThorLabs and M2. Personally, walking about the exhibition hall and discussing products and jobs with exhibitioners was more insightful than sitting in on talks. I was able to relate skills and tools that I have developed in the lab to what others are doing in private sectors. To me the exhibition hall was the hidden aspect of science that is an accumulation of academia. Up to this point in my life, education has been the end goal but I now a new perspective of where my education may lead me to. And Photonics West was a great intersection of academics presenting talks and posters while companies showcase their technologies. Overall, the conference was a challenge I had to face in presenting and getting over fears along with a great opportunity to see how much insightful and interesting stuff is going on in optics. I am incredibly humble and grateful to be given this opportunity to present and attend the conference and I hope to continue to make the most of the opportunity that I was given.

Now Recruiting for 2020 NSF REU Program

Research Experiences for Undergraduates 2020

We are now accepting applications for undergraduate students from around the country to participated in our 10-week National Science Foundation (NSF) supported Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program in “Experimental and Computational Materials Research”. We offer a broad range of interdisciplinary materials research experiences to undergraduate students with diverse backgrounds in physics, chemistry, applied mathematics, and engineering. Stipend for the 10-week period is $5000. Housing will be provided to non-local participants. Application Deadline: March 15, 2020. If students have any questions about logistics, housing, and travel arrangements, they may contact Charita Cadenhead, our Program Coordinator at (205) 975-8076 or via e-mail at charita@uab.edu.

2020 REU Recruitment Poster

Allison Norman Goes to NOBCChE 2019

NOBCChE 2019

by 2019 REU Allison Norman


Attending The National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemist and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) National Conference 2019 was an amazing experience. I was able to attend professional development workshops, research seminars, and student enhancement programs. The speakers at the conference were insightful and informative on a wide array of topics in research.

During the career fair , I was able to network with renowned researchers at top universities and industrial labs seeking employees . The most exciting part of the conference was being able to present my research from the UAB Summer REU Program. The topic of my research was “Combining PARP inhibitor olaparib and HER2/EGFR inhibitor in HER2 positive breast cancer cells”. The poster session allowed me to showcase my research to professionals in the field of chemistry and biology. This experience allowed me to gain confidence in conveying my research on an advanced level.

I plan to attend NOBBChE in the future and encourage other undergraduates from the Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to consider this conference as well. I would like to thank my mentor Eddy S. Yang, MD, PhD and Ling Zeng for their support and guidance. I would also like thank Dr. Yogesh K. Vohra and the UAB REU program providing me with this life-changing opportunity.

Therapeutic effects of the combination treatments in breast cancer and head and neck cancer models, University of Alabama at Birmingham Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), 2019, Allison Norman, Eddy S. Yang 1,2 , MD, PhD and Ling Zeng 1

Also noteworthy are the following awards for 

  • Mississippi Academy of Sciences Poster Session 1st Place Winner/ Presenter    (February 2020)
  • Mississippi Honors Conference 1st Place Winner/ Presenter      (January 2020)

And the Winners Are

Physics REUs Win at Summer Expo

Winning often reminds us of the the song “We are the Champions” and we are proud to announce our very own champions:  Jordan Zimmerman, Bryce Coyne & Dexter Mitchell.  These three REUs placed in the following categories (hover to see categories)

REU Skyler Hanson

Skyler Hanson

Skyler is one of 14 participants in our 2019 Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.

Pictured here, Skyler is at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago. While there she conducted x-ray diffraction studies on laser heated sample at high-pressures at Sector 16, Advanced Photon Source.

One of the many advantages of participating in our REU program are opportunities to travel to national labs.

After the program ends there is a window of time that the program will support travel to a conference. The following criteria qualifies participants for travel support:

    • Confer with mentor to determine if conference is suitable based on REU project
    • Must be invited to present at conference
    • Forward a copy of invite to Program Coordinator, Charita H. Cadenhead along with mentor approval
    • Participant must submit a write up of their experience at the conference
    • Submit all receipts for reimbursement up to $500.

2018 REU Tristan Carlson Attends CLEO 2019

Tristan CarlsonAttending CLEO 2019 was an eye-opening experience. I was able to learn about so many emerging technologies such as LIDAR, light detection and ranging, for autonomous vehicles and metallic nanoparticles used to cure cancer as well as cutting-edge research being performed around the globe. The caliber of speakers at the conference was quite incredible with talks from researchers at top universities and industrial labs, but most impressively the 2018 Nobel Laureates Donna Strickland and Gérard Mourou.

The poster session was great primarily because it challenged me. I had to present on research performed in the short duration of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) to experts in optical science and engineering.  Since I had no previous experience, it was very intimidating, but after talks with very friendly scientists my butterflies were partially suppressed. Their pointed questions and conversation helped me gain a deeper understanding of the work, its applications and other lasers operating in the Mid-IR.

The presentations and conference as a whole were very inspiring and have reinforced my desire to continue learning about optics and photonics.  I would love to attend CLEO in the future and hope that other undergraduates from the UAB REU Experimental and Computational Materials Research program get to experience conferences like it. I am very thankful for my mentors Dr. Vladimir Fedorov and Dr. Sergey Mirov, the graduate student from the lab and the UAB REU program for providing me this special opportunity.

Eugenia Kharlampieva Appointed as Co-Director of CNMB

Congratulations to Dr. Eugenia Kharlampieva

Eugenia Kharlampieva
Dr. Eugenia Kharlampieva, Chemistry

Dr. Eugenia Kharlampieva has been appointed as Co-Director of the Center for Nanoscale Materials and Biointergration.  Dr. Kharlampieva’s primary appointment is Associate Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Chemistry where her research is in the design of polymeric materials for biomedical applications. Her lab works on synthesis and assembly of water-soluble stimuli-responsive macromolecules to develop novel nanostructured materials as “intelligent” platforms for therapeutic applications such as controlled drug delivery, regenerative medicine, and biosensing.

Dr. Kharlampieva joined the Chemistry faculty in 2010 from Georgia Institute of Technology. Since coming to UAB, she has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publication and five book chapters. Dr. Kharlampieva was a recipient  of NSF CAREER Award, UAB Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship, UAB College of Arts and Sciences Interdisciplinary Innovation Award, Faculty Innovator of the Year Award from the UAB Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She was named as an Emerging Investigator by the Royal Society of Chemistry, Journal of Materials Chemistry B.

In her role as Co-Director of the CNMB, her primary responsibilities will be assisting in advancing the mission of the Center which is to promote interdisciplinary research and student training in the synthesis and characterization of nanoscale materials with broad applicability in materials under extreme environments, nano-enabled biomedical imaging and drug delivery platforms, and nanostructured coatings and materials for biomedical implants and vascular grafts. Dr. Kharlampieva will play an instrumental role in aiding in the achievement of core-objectives of CNMB, identify and lead interdisciplinary grant opportunities, contribute to acquiring new and maintaining existing core facilities.