"I wanted to discover the world of research through pursuing my own project alongside a project of my elders. I aim to use this opportunity to better decide on my academic future."
Environmental science, toxicology, and particulate-scale materials science.
Academic and Other Awards
- University Scholars Program Scholarship (2011-2012)
- I am a musician signed with Porter Records, USA, with two published albums.
Kohja, Habitat for Humanity, and booking/hosting monthly music performances for various charities.
Hobbies and Interests
- Composing and performing music, art, swimming, biking, cooking, and reading.
Environmental Fate of Gadofullerenes
A barrier to better characterizing fullerene fate and transport is the difficulty in detecting these molecules in environmental matrices, particularly at relevant concentrations. Recently, endohedral metallofullerenes have been explored for applications in materials science and medicine. These fullerenes enable encapsulation of a single atom of choice within the fullerene’s carbon molecular cage. The inner atom is shielded from participating in chemical reactions, but retains its magnetic influence on the immediate surrounding environment. The purpose of the proposed research is to synthesize endohedral fullerols containing gadolinium, which is the best known contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and to apply the gadolinium-containing fullerols as tracer for studies of fullerol uptake by aquatic plants and animals. Synthesis of endohedral fullerols is necessary as this molecule is not commercially available. The The first step will be to produce endohedral fullerenes containing gadolinium (Gd@C82), using a carbon arc furnace available at the Particle Engineering Research Center. The products will be isolated, characterized, and then functionalized into their hydroxylated form, Gd@C82(OH). Known quantities of Gd@C82(OH) will be added to microcosms containing Daphnia pulex (water fleas), Lemna minor (duckweed), and Danio rerio (zebrafish). The microcosms will be sampled weekly for three months. Samples will be filtered and preserved in formalin. Preserved samples will be analyzed for physiological artifacts of fullerol uptake. Ultimately this information will be applied towards developing a qualitative model describing the rate and mechanism of fullerol uptake in aquatic plant and animal life.