Meet the Researcher

Research isn’t just about lab coats and science experiments. UConn researchers advance our understanding of fields of study as diverse as literature, environmental sciences, cybersecurity, health behaviors, and more. Learn more about the path that led some student and faculty researchers to their areas of expertise, and how their research leads to discoveries that impact scholarship, the economy, and our society.

Meet the Researcher: Joel Pachter, UConn Health

Dr. Joel Pachter, professor of immunology, has always been fascinated by the central nervous system. His current research focuses on uncovering how this system plays a role in neuroinflammatory diseases like multiple sclerosis.

Meet the Researcher: Linda Pescatello, CAHNR

Pescatello’s career as a kinesiology researcher grew out of an enduring desire to learn coupled with her lifelong passion for physical activity and biology

Meet the Researcher: Jacqueline Chen, CLAS

Jacqueline Chen, assistant professor of social psychology, is interested in the experiences of Multiracial people and developing inclusive mentorship strategies

Meet the Researcher: Joseph Vazquez, CLAS

Joseph Vazquez is committed to conducting research that has a positive impact on the communities he works with.

Meet the Researcher: Shenelle Shaw, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate researcher Shenelle Shaw is investigating how an enzyme may have a bigger role in seizure activity than scientists had assumed.

Meet the Researcher: Glenn Mitoma, Neag School of Education, Human Rights Institute

Glenn Mitoma has spent his career studying human rights and helping others understand how they can realize them in their communities

Meet the Researcher: Natalie Munro, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Natalie Munro uses what our human ancestors discarded to learn about how we started to domesticate animals.

Dr. Gus Mazzocca in his scrubs, in a UConn Health operating room.

Meet the Researcher: Gus Mazzocca, School of Medicine

Mazzocca has spent his career working to improve patient outcomes in orthopedics

Meet the Researcher: Sita Nyame, School of Engineering, Eversource Energy Center

Nyame has developed an enduring interest for studying natural hazards and developing technology to help people who experience them through her work with the Eversource Energy Center

Meet the Researcher: Jayesh Kamath, School of Medicine

Jayesh Kamath is bringing psychiatry into the mobile tech era by using mHealth technologies to support patients with depression

Meet the Researcher: Caitlin Caspi, College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources

Caspi champions collaboration as the key to her success in researching food security and diet-related health outcomes.

White male with brown hair in a blue suit smiling

Meet the Researcher: David Noble, Werth Institute

UConn's David Noble helps students find their way on the path to startup success.

Professor Jeff Hoch standing in the lab where he conducts much of his research.

Meet the Researcher: Jeff Hoch, School of Medicine

Hoch, a professor of molecular biology and biophysics, sees tremendous potential waiting to be unlocked by his research.

A portrait photograph of Michelle Williams, the subject of the story.

Meet the Researcher: Michelle Williams

Psychological sciences researcher Michelle Williams says her research doesn't achieve its purpose if it can't lead to interventions that can provide help.

Professor Greg Sartor outside the UConn School of Pharmacy

Meet the Researcher: Greg Sartor, School of Pharmacy

Greg Sartor, an assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology in the School of Pharmacy, has dedicated his career to understanding how molecular-scale events in the brain drive substance use disorder.

Meet the Researcher: Ashwin Dani, Electrical and Computer Engineering

UConn researcher Ashwin Dani is proving that robots have a place in everything from factories to lunar missions.

Undergraduate researcher Sarah Tsuruo posing next to a poster documenting some of her research.

Meet the Researcher: Sarah Tsuruo ’21 (CLAS) 

Sarah Tsuruo '21 (CLAS) says pursuing a multifaceted career as an undergraduate researcher requires determination.

Meet the Researcher: Brianna Chance ’23, Music

Brianna Chance '23 (SFA) roots her research in the experiences of people of color in the arts world.

Noah Sobel-Pressman, the student who had the "crazy idea" for the Student Venture Fund.

Meet the Researcher: Noah Sobel-Pressman ’21, Entrepreneurship

Noah Sobel-Pressman '21 (BUS) is putting his interests in entrepreneurship to use, and in doing so is giving a boost to his fellow students.

UConn researcher Tannin Schmidt

Meet the Researcher: Tannin Schmidt, Biomedical Engineering

UConn researcher Tannin Schmidt is constantly pursuing discoveries that could lead to new opportunities.

Xiaomei Cong, associate professor of nursing, on June 4, 2015

Meet the Researcher: Xiaomei Cong, School of Nursing

UConn researcher Xiaomei Cong's work builds on insights she first had as a nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit.

A portrait of Beth Russell

Meet the Researcher Beth Russell, Human Development and Family Sciences

For researcher Beth Russell, her work is not only fascinating, it has potentially far-reaching impacts on people's daily lives.

Meet the Researcher: Raman Bahal, School of Pharmacy

Raman Bahal explores research that he hopes to move "from bench to bedside," furthering treatments for patients in clinical settings.

Professor Cheryl Beck meeting with a mother and infant child.

Meet the Researcher: Cheryl Beck

Cheryl Beck has devoted her research career to helping women struggling with postpartum depression and traumatic birth experiences.

Meet the Researcher: Clewiston Challenger, Educational Psychology

Educational psychologist Clewiston Challenger talks about his journey from the gridiron to innovative research about students of color in higher education.

Valeria Sarmiento sees science as a way to help people while learning about the world. (UConn Photo/Christie Wang)

Meet the Researcher: Valeria Sarmiento ’20, Molecular & Cell Biology

Valeria Sarmiento forged her own path at UConn to unite her twin passions for science and helping others.

Dr. Zhe Zhu standing outside in front of a tree during autumn

Meet the Researcher: Zhe Zhu, Natural Resources and the Environment

UConn Professor Zhe Zhu is an expert on what we can learn about what's happening on earth from images produced by satellites in outer space.

Dr. Riqiang Yan speaks with a student in front of a computer model of a human brain about his work researching Alzheimer's disease.

Meet the Researcher: Riqiang Yan, Neuroscience

Riqiang Yan initially started out researching in a different medical specialty altogether, but after turning his attention to Alzheimer's disease has become one of the world's preeminent experts on the illness.

A picture of Samantha Siedlecki on the water at Long Island Sound.

Meet the Researcher: Samantha Siedlecki, Marine Sciences

Samantha Siedlecki spearheads research on coastal environments, and is currently developing a regional model of ocean acidification for the East Coast.

a woman in a white lab coat poses before a computer modeling bone research

Meet the Researcher: Alix Deymier, Dental Medicine & Engineering

UConn's Alix Deymier has taken an unorthodox route to being a bone researcher, but has always been guided by insatiable curiosity.

Caucasian female student smiles in front of UConn sign.

Meet the Researcher: Isabella Ferrante ’19, History

A UConn student turned her childhood love of history into a research project that took her from Stamford to the British National Archives to study World War I.

Devin Kearns uses the light board television studio at the John W. Rowe CUE Building on Feb. 26, 2016.

Meet the Researcher: Devin Kearns, Education

"Professor Kearns’ ongoing work in the areas of special education and reading intervention, coupled with technologies like brain imaging, offers a fresh perspective into strategies that can ultimately help our schools successfully serve the needs of all students,” says Gladis Kersaint, dean of Neag School of Education.

George Bollas (standing), professor, and Amy Thompson (left), associate professor in residence, speak to UConn students at UConn Tech Park. (Al Ferreira/UConn Photo)

Meet the Researcher: George Bollas, UConn Tech Park

Led by George Bollas, the United Technologies Corporation Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering (UTC-IASE) has been solving these real-world problems for industry since 2013.

Female student stands outside UConn Rec Center on a sunny day

Meet the Researcher: Chelsea Garcia ’20, Nutritional Sciences

“I want to continue to do research and relay those findings to the public with the hopes of having a positive impact,” says Chelsea Garcia '20 (CAHNR).

Meet the Researcher: Richard Ashby Wilson, Law and Anthropology

World events have always shaped Richard Wilson Ashby's research.

University of Connecticut professor of physics Carlos Trallero is a pioneer in a field of research that uses high-power lasers to investigate atomic and molecular physical phenomena. (Carson Stifel ('21 CLAS)/UConn Photo)

Meet the Researcher: Carlos Trallero, Physics

Carlos Trallero views physics as the 'broadest' science since it has unique applications to math, engineering, chemistry and, even, biology.

Nora Madjar, associate professor of management in UConn's School of Business. (UConn Photo)

Meet the Researcher: Nora Madjar, Management

Nora Madjar has devoted her career to studying how creativity and negotiation can get employers and employees the best deal.

Beth Taylor, associate professor of kinesiology at UConn and director of Exercise Physiology Research in Cardiology at Hartford Hospital. (Jessica McBride/UConn Photo)

Meet the Researcher: Beth Taylor, Kinesiology

Beth Taylor is a lifelong runner and she is someone who has been lucky enough to turn her passion for exercise and health in to a career in kinesiology. Taylor is an associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut and director of exercise physiology research in Cardiology at Hartford Hospital. After graduating from […]

Emmanouil (Manos) Anagnostou, director of the Eversource Energy Center at UConn Tech Park. (Carson Stifel/UConn Photo)

Quantifying Chaos with Emmanouil Anagnostou

Sitting glued to the evening news as a lively weatherperson displays colorful maps with patches of snow, ice and rain is a familiar pastime for anyone who has lived in New England. From blizzards and ice storms to hurricanes and tornadoes, extreme weather is a fact of life, and one of its worst side effects […]

Rainer Hebert, Director of the Pratt & Whitney Additive Manufacturing Center at the Innovation Partnership Building. (Carson Stifel/UConn Photo)

Meet the Researcher Solving Problems in 3D

We’ve all watched videos, mesmerized, while a machine adds layer upon layer to 3D print anything from a model of the Eiffel Tower to a rubber duck. Aside from being really cool, this technology has tremendous implications for revolutionizing companies’ manufacturing processes. Under the leadership of Castleman Term Associate Professor in Engineering Innovation Rainer Hebert, […]

Analyse Giordano (CAHNR '20) has her eyes set on med school, but there’s a lot she wants to get done first, including potentially groundbreaking research.(Carson Stifel/UConn Photo)

Meet The Researcher: Analyse Giordano ’20, Allied Health

Analyse Giordano is a junior majoring in allied health sciences at the University of Connecticut. She has her eyes set on going to med school, but there’s a lot she wants to get done first, including potentially groundbreaking research. Giordano was recently named a University Scholar and received a SURF award for her project developing […]

Sina Shahbazmohamadi (right) and grad student, Utsav Awasthi, use the Xradia Versa 520. (Al Ferreira/UConn Photo)

Meet the Researcher: Sina Shahbazmohamadi at UConn Tech Park

Sina Shahbazmohamadi wears his long black hair in a ponytail pulled back from his bearded face and smiles eagerly as he begins to talk about his work at the Innovation Partnership Building (IPB) at UConn Tech Park. A mechanical engineer by training, Shahbazmohamadi does advanced research in 3D imaging at the Reverse Engineering, Fabrication, Inspection […]

Isabella Saracena, SFA '19, is researching forgotten women artists from the past and recognizing their contribution through her own original works. (Tiffany Taylor/UConn Photo)

Meet the Researcher: Isabella Saraceni ’19, Fine Arts

Wandering through the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, Isabella Saraceni was initially captivated by the work of the great masters of art that surrounded her: Botticelli, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael. But after a few visits to the gallery, Saraceni eventually began to notice a conspicuous absence in the displayed collection: where were the women […]

Mark Litt portrait photo

Meet the Researcher: Mark Litt, UConn Health

“Why do we do that?” Substitute “do that” with any number of behaviors: smoking cigarettes even though we know it’s bad for us, drinking too much, picking up a vaping habit, and you have what Mark Litt has dedicated his life to investigating. Litt, a professor of oral health and diagnostic sciences and psychiatry in […]

Photo courtesy of UConn Health Spirochete Research Labs

Meet the Researchers: Spirochete Labs

Anyone who has had to move knows what a pain it is. But imagine not just moving geographically, but switching between completely different biological environments with different nutrients available and immune systems working against you – well that’s the life cycle of Borrelia burgdorferi the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. The most prevalent arthropod-borne infection […]

Lisa Eaton, PhD, is associate professor in the Department of Human Development & Family Studies and an affiliate of the Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP). (Carson Stifel/UConn Photo).

Meet the Researcher: Lisa Eaton, Human Development and Family Studies

Wandering through a graveyard on a genealogical expedition with her father, a young Lisa Eaton noticed tombstone after tombstone of young mothers and their babies from centuries ago. Her father told her: “We’re just getting out of the dark ages of medicine.” These early adventures had a lasting impact on Eaton, who has since dedicated […]

Riley Blumenfield, a materials science and engineering student, discovered her passion for research thanks to Research Connections, an annual networking event for students and faculty. (Carson Stifel/UConn Photo)

Making Research Connections at UConn

Riley Blumenfield, a materials science and engineering student, Honors Program STEM scholar, and president of engineering sorority Phi Sigma Rho came to UConn knowing she wanted to be involved with research, but she didn’t know where to start. After attending an annual event to expose undergrads to a host of opportunities, she not only found […]

Pierre Fils, a first-year graduate student on the Ph.D. track in structural engineering. (Carson Stifel/UConn Photo)

Building a Research Career at UConn

Sometimes walking into a professor’s office hours can launch a student on an incredible research track. Pierre Fils, a first-year graduate student on the Ph.D. track in structural engineering at the University of Connecticut, did just that his junior year. When he went to his design of steel structures professor, Arash Zaghi’s, office, Fils was […]

Pierre Fils, a first-year graduate student on the Ph.D. track in structural engineering. (Carson Stifel/UConn Photo)

Building a Research Career at UConn

Sometimes walking into a professor’s office hours can launch a student on an incredible research track. Pierre Fils, a first-year graduate student on the Ph.D. track in structural engineering at the University of Connecticut, did just that his junior year. When he went to his design of steel structures professor, Arash Zaghi’s, office, Fils was […]

Jacqueline Loss, UConn professor of Latin American literary and cultural studies, is exploring the many meanings for Cubans of the term "fino" for Cubans in a multimedia project, "FINOTYPE." (Photo provided by Jacuqeline Loss).

Meet the Researcher: Jacqueline Loss, Latin American Literature and Culture

While the United States government did not restore diplomatic ties with Cuba until 2015, the island nation with a fascinating history has been of interest for Jacqueline Loss since the beginning of her academic career. Loss is professor of Latin American literary and cultural studies at the University of Connecticut in the Department of Literatures, […]

Bahram Javidi, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor.

Meet the Researcher: Bahram Javidi, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Matchbox cars, fish tanks, mini soccer balls — looking around the Multidimensional Optical Sensing & Imaging Systems lab (MOSIS) in UConn’s School of Engineering, you might think you’re in a toy store. But the cutting-edge research conducted by Bahram Javidi, and his crew of student researchers is anything but child’s play. With these everyday items as […]

Diane Burgess UConn researcher

Meet the Researcher: Diane Burgess, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Diane Burgess, PhD, is one of the most active researchers in UConn’s School of Pharmacy. Take a peek inside her labs and learn more about her accomplishments as a globally recognized researcher, experienced collaborator, and dedicated educator. Burgess doesn’t have one lab in the UConn School of Pharmacy—she has four. The space she has been […]