Meet Our Faculty

Chemistry

Professor Long Chiang
Professor Chiang earned his Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry from Cornell University with a subsequent postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, working on the synthesis of organic conducting molecules. He served as a senior staff researcher at Corporate Research Laboratory of Exxon Research and Engineering Company with the focus research subjects of electronic organic materials synthesis, biodegradable polyolefins development, and polyfunctional fullerenyl nanomaterials synthesis. He also served as a chair research fellow at National Taiwan University and as an adjunct primary faculty at Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicines of University of Toronto on the research of preventive free-radical scavenging therapeutic treatments using molecular micellar fullerenes as radical sponges. He is teaching two organic chemistry courses, namely, Organic Synthesis and Organic Structural Analysis at UMass Lowell. His current research focuses on the design and synthesis of photoresponsive fullerene-chromophore conjugates for nonlinear photonic effect and photodynamic therapeutic treatments against multiantibiotics-resistant infectious diseases.

Professor Edwin Jahngen
Professor Jahngen has a Ph.D. from the University of Vermont in Physical Organic Chemistry and Synthetic Methodology, and had an NSF/NCR Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of British Columbia on the Total Synthesis of Natural Products.  He was a Group Leader at New England Nuclear Corp., now a part of GE Healthcare, where he led a team on the radiolabelled synthesis of psychotropic and analgesic drugs as well as other biomarkers and natural products.  He taught Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Connecticut Medical School and retrained himself as a Biochemist.  His work is currently on the detection of elicitor’s of innate immunity.  He is a consulting Director of Research for the biotechnology company Associates of Cape Cod, and consults with Vista Scientific on Ophthalmological delivery of drugs.  He also has a number of programs with Infoscitex regarding the use of Human Butyrylcholine Esterase as a prophylactic for war fighters facing the use of Organo phosphorous war agents.

Professor Kenneth Marx
Professor Kenneth Marx received his Ph.D. in Physical Biochemistry from the Dept. of Chemistry at the University of California Berkeley. He received a Muscular Dystrophy Society of America Postdoctoral Fellowship and was resident at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland for two years. Upon returning to the US he held a brief postdoctoral fellowship at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology before being hired as an Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Dept. at Dartmouth College and was Adjunct Professor in the Dartmouth Medical School. After eight years he moved to the Dept. of Chemistry at Univ. Mass. Lowell and rose to Full Professor. He has had many grants funded from NIH, NSF, ARO, DOE, DOD, DARPA and various pharmaceutical and biomaterials companies for a wide variety of research projects. Over the years he has carried out research and published numerous papers in the following areas:  biosensors, biomaterials, physical biochemistry of macromolecular systems, in silico bio/chem. informatics of genome and proteome databases for knowledge of the specific properties of biological organisms, informatics for drug discovery, metamaterials and molecular dynamics of atomic level views of protein and DNA containing systems. In 2000, he co-founded AnVil Informatics, a bioinformatics company to the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, and successfully obtained VC funding from 3 VC firms. Presently, he is attempting to co-found another company based upon his collaborative research with other UMass Lowell faculty in the area of living cell acoustic wave biosensor research. 

Professor Melisenda McDonald
Professor McDonald received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the SUNY Medical School in Buffalo, spent several years in post-doctoral study, 10 years as an Assistant Professor at Harvard, and joined the UMass Lowell faculty as an Associate Professor in 1986 (tenure in 1988) and promoted to Full Professor in 1990. She is a member of the biochemistry program, currently teaching several graduate biochemistry courses including the yearlong survey course. Her research interests include protein structure, function and assembly; hemoglobin; self-assembled protein systems; structural biology; immunobiochemistry; biosensor technology; and self-mediated biosystems. She is a member of the UMass Lowell CHN/NCOE Nanomanufacturing Centers and is the PSM Coordinator for Chemistry.

Professor David Ryan
Professor Ryan received a PhD in Chemistry from the University of New Hampshire and is an analytical/environmental chemist whose research interests center around the development of instrumental techniques to determine the various forms and reactions of pollutants in the environment. He has been involved in projects aimed at the assessment of chemical processes and environmental monitoring for over twenty years. For nearly eight years, he conducted research at the Edgerton Research Laboratory of the New England Aquarium, and performed several studies of contaminants in Boston Harbor and Massachusetts Bay. These included analysis of trace elements, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other parameters in water, biota, and sediments. Current research efforts are directed in four areas; the use of fluorescence and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to study the binding of potential pollutants to humic materials, the bioaccumulation and physiology of metals in aquatic organisms particularly shellfish, the oxidation/reduction reactions of alpha tocopherol (vitamin E) and the investigation of near critical emulsions of carbon dioxide and water stabilized by fine particles for carbon sequestration and enhanced oil recovery.

Assistant Professor Jin Xu
Assistant Professor Jin Xu is director of the Massachusetts BioManufacturing Center (MBMC) Protein Analysis and Characterization Laboratory and an assistant professor in the UMass Lowell Chemistry Department. He currently oversees and actively participates in protein structural/functional studies, protein product characterization and analytical development. With his expertise in protein chemistry and biophysics, Xu also designs and conducts studies on the relationship between protein folding and protein productivity/quality. Before joining UMass Lowell, he received his Ph.D in Biochemistry from the University of North Texas. Afterwards, he worked as Senior Research Scientist and Principal Scientist at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals for over five years, before most recently establishing and leading the protein chemistry group at Percivia, LLC.

Professor Mingdi Yan
Professor Yan obtained her Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Oregon. Before starting her academic career, she was a Senior Scientist at Ikonos Corporation for three years leading a group on developing biosensors. Her research lay at the interface of organic chemistry, soft materials, and nanotechnology. Her research interests include surface functionalization, bioconjugation chemistry, nanofabrication, and biointerface. The current research in her group focuses on developing functional nanomaterials for theranostic applications. She teaches a course on nanomaterials to graduate students and senior undergraduates. She serves as a consultant for private industries including biotech companies (Vistakon, Virogenomics, Grace Bio-Labs). She is currently a permanent member of the NIH BMBI study section.