|Research with potential to improve data storage and human health won two College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics’ graduate students the top two prizes in a recent competition hosted by the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston (TcSUH).
First prize in the semiannual TcSUH Student Symposium went to Rajit Chaudhury, a physics doctoral student, while second prize went to Carmen Reznik, a doctoral student in chemistry.
Chaudhury, whose research potentially could improve the fabrication of integrated circuitry used in data storage, said his winning presentation focuses on the magnetioelectric (or multiferroic) properties of bulk materials.
“We have observed several important results in different systems, and these materials bear the potential for applications as memory devices,” he said. Chaudhury’s TcSUH project leaders are UH Professors of Physics and T.L.L Temple Chair of Science Paul C.W. Chu and Physics Professor Bernd Lorenz.
Chaudhury received his master’s in physics from the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai and his undergraduate degree in physics at Ramkrishna Mission Vidyamandira, Belvr, Kolkata.
Second-place winner Reznik’s singular molecule studies may one day greatly impact human health. She uses single molecule spectroscopy to observe how single molecules behave.
“Subtle changes in both structure and shape of important molecules in our bodies impact human health tremendously,” she said “For instance, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and Parkinson’s diseases all have a common root – the misfolding of necessary and normally benign protein in our bodies. Single-molecule studies will ultimately contribute a great deal of understanding to questions such as why large molecules like proteins sometimes begin to fold their long string-like structure into an incorrect shape.”
Christy Landes, assistant professor of chemistry, is Reznik’s project leader.
Reznik obtained her B.S. in chemistry from UH and spent 10 years working in private industry. She is a second-year graduate student in the UH chemistry department and intends to continue her research at a research institution like UH.