A microscope slide with a small nanostructured gold substrate is used for detecting molecules via Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy.

“Our mission is to grow scientific knowledge and translate that into information, products or processes that benefit society,” Bothun stresses. “This can only be done through interdisciplinary collaboration, and our group is putting those approaches into practice with these initiatives.” Bothun sees his group continuing to develop projects that examine environmental issues and ways to lessen harmful impacts from man-made and natural materials: “For instance, we have a proposal submitted to the National Science Foundation on how micro- and nanoplastics behave physically and chemically in coastal environments,” he says. “We are also in the early stages of developing a new sensing approach for detecting PFASs in the environment.” Without developing successful approaches for student mentorship Bothun knows that any research program is at risk of failure. “Students and postdocs are the research engine of any higher education institution, and their success is our success,” he says. “The most gratifying thing for me is helping develop and train our students.”

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A 3D printed model of a protein is used to demonstrate how molecules bind to proteins.

Spring 2019 | 43 |

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