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Chemistry Graduate Student Honored for Outstanding Research

Joshna Chittigori Awarded Tripathy Fellowship

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Chemistry doctoral student Joshna Chittigori.

By Edwin L. Aguirre

Chemistry Ph.D. candidate Joshna Chittigori won the 2013 Tripathy Memorial Endowed Graduate Fellowship for her academic accomplishments and multidisciplinary research in materials science and polymer science. She received a $6,500 research stipend for the summer. 

Chittigori received a master’s degree in organic chemistry from Osmania University in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, in 2004. Her current investigation deals with studying and synthesizing curcumin derivatives, compounds obtained from the popular Indian spice turmeric, for biological applications as well as for detecting toxic heavy metals in groundwater and soils. She is also conducting research on using conjugated polymers to detect explosives, which is useful for homeland security.

Chittogori’s advisers are Profs. Daniel Sandman and Jayant Kumar, who is director of UMass Lowell’s Center for Advanced Materials (CAM).

“It’s a great honor for me to be selected for this year’s Tripathy Fellowship,” she says. “After I graduate, I plan to apply for a post-doc position and continue to enhance and expand my research and writing skills. Eventually, I want to establish myself as a chemistry faculty member, especially in materials science, and have my own research group.”

Since 2003, the Tripathy Fellowship has been given annually in memory of the late Sukant K. Tripathy, an internationally recognized leader and renowned researcher in materials science and the founding director of the Center for Advanced Materials. He was a professor of chemistry and also served as the University’s provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.

“Although I didn’t get a chance to meet Prof. Tripathy, I heard how dedicated and energetic he was and how he achieved so much at such a young age,” says Chittigori. “He’s an inspiration and a role model for us.”