Chemistry Undergraduate Research Board (CURB)

The Chemistry Undergraduate Research Board (CURB) is a student board dedicated to improving, cultivating, and expanding research opportunities for Undergraduates in the Department of Chemistry.

CURB works closely with the Undergraduate Research Director to identify areas of improvement and to generate solutions toward increasing student involvement in research, fostering a strong community of student researchers in our department, and promoting the achievements of undergraduate researchers.

During the 2020-21 academic year, CURB:

  • hosted Undergraduate Super-Group Meetings and the Undergraduate Chemistry Research Symposium
  • advocated for and implemented safe practices for undergraduate research during the pandemic
  • held several office hours available to any student interested in discussing research
  • hosted virtual social events to establish a community among researchers

Upcoming CURB Events

Upcoming CURB Events

  • Mar

    Chemistry Game Night @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 am Learning Studio, 1435

    Hosted by CURB, UCSA, and Chem Ambassadors Join us for a night of video games, board games, and more! Meet and bond with chemistry undergraduate researchers in the chemistry department. There will also be FREE …

More events

Meet the 2023-24 CURB Members!

Jordan Boysen

I am in a Huang group doing computational chemistry. In my research, I use machine learning and deep learning techniques to study the dynamics and kinetics of biochemical systems. For this research, I use MD simulation data to interpolate the dynamical properties that are useful in many different applications. Recently, I just finished a project that can successfully identify the transition states of biomolecular processes from many short simulation trajectories. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about undergraduate research.

Hunter Coplien


Hey! I’m a senior majoring in Biochemistry and Neurobiology with certificates in Health in the Humanities and Biocore. I joined the Wickens Group in May 2021 where I have been working on a project using electrochemistry and arenes to synthesize site-selective and versatile intermediates that can be functionalized by a bi-phenyl-bi-sulfide molecule called thianthrene to form small drug-like molecules to potentially be used in various clinical, pharmaceutical, and industrial methods! Being a part of research has changed the way I approach science and has made me fall in love with science all over again! Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about your research!

Sofia Merrick


Hi! I am currently a sophomore majoring in Biochemistry with a certificate in History. I joined the Cavagnero group in January 2023, where I have been performing research aimed at reducing protein aggregation in bacterial cells. My current project focuses on accomplishing this by inducing mutations in E. coli and determining if these mutations decrease the yield of insoluble protein. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about research or your undergraduate experience in general!

Khush Patel


Hi! I am a sophomore studying Neurobiology with a Data Science certificate. I joined the Saha Lab fall of 2022, where my project mainly focuses on manufacturing K9 CAR T Cells with the use of CRISPR. Specifically, my project this semester is to develop a CAR construct by utilizing restriction digest and ligation methods in hopes to improve the success rate of CAR trafficking to the cell membrane. I am happy to answer any research-related questions, so feel free to reach out!

Brendan Prosser


Hello! I am a junior double majoring in Biochemistry and Microbiology with a certificate in Global Health. I joined the Blackwell Group in February of 2022. I have worked on various projects involving the use of pan group agonists and pan group inhibitors of bacterial quorum sensing in S. epidermidis and S. aureus. Through the use of PCR, biological reporter assays, and other laboratory techniques, I’ve worked to understand more about quorum sensing using the Agr system. Research has always been a passion of mine since freshman year and I would love to answer any questions!

Daria Rudykh


Daria is from Madison, WI. She’s currently majoring in chemical engineering and computer science. She joined the Boydston Group in March 2022 on the additive manufacturing team. Some of her many research interests include photochemistry, polymer science, superconductors, and more. Besides science, Daria loves playing the clarinet, cooking, and playing UNO with friends!

Elizabeth Schnorrenberg


HI! I’m a senior majoring in Chemistry. I joined the Brunold Group in January 2023. My current research involves cysteine dioxygenase (CDO) which is responsible for catabolizing excess cysteine in the body.  CDO has two isoforms, the non-crosslinked and crosslinked versions. The crosslinked CDO has a thioether crosslink between the cysteine and tyrosine substrates, and is shown to have higher catalytic efficiency than the non-crosslinked isoform. We have been using kinetic assays to determine the activity of different variants to determine what the cause of the increase of catalytic efficiency is within the crosslinked isoform.  I would love to help with any research questions you may have!

Lewis Suess


Hey! I’m a junior majoring in chemistry and genetics. I joined the Stowe Group in January 2022 and have become increasingly interested in chemical education research ever since. My current research with the group focuses on identifying moments in which students demonstrate sensemaking in high school chemistry classrooms. In the past, I developed assessment items for use in these classrooms and analyzed the ways that students choose to engage with related materials. In addition to my research in the Stowe Group, I also performed a couple of syntheses of nitriles resembling compounds detected in space in the McMahon group for a brief period this fall (however, I do not recommend attempting to juggle two research groups at once!). I’m really enthusiastic about research and would love to answer any questions you may have!

Victoria Tholkes


Hi! My name is Victoria (Tori) Tholkes and I’m a senior double majoring in Honors Biochemistry and Chemistry. I joined the Lim Lab in the department of Biochemistry in September of 2021, and have been working on my project for what will be 3 years. I investigate a protein complex and DNA structures involved in telomere length maintenance; telomeres being the end cap of your DNA that helps prevent the loss of important genetic information. The components of the Shelterin protein complex are known to form a special loop of DNA called the displacement loop (d-loop). This special loop is thought to be a reclusive structure, preventing telomere elongation, but has yet to be directly tested. I investigate the ability of Shelterin to stabilize the D-loop and help prevent elongation of telomeric DNA. I absolutely love being involved in undergraduate research and am excited to continue presenting and sharing my work. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about getting involved in research, presentations, or have any chem or biochem questions!