Wright State University
College of Science and Mathematics

Department of Chemistry

202 Oelman Hall
(937) 775-2855

News and Events:

Suzanne Lunsford, Ph.D. - research

Research Experience

Physical science professional development research integrating the National Science Education Standards and the Ohio State Standards in all science classrooms. Utilizing and developing inquiry-based physical science lessons to analyze content gains and achievements in school districts and assist in retaining the content knowledge. Additionally, analytical labs are being devised into an inquiry-based method/problem solving scheme to assist in the development of undergraduate research students' skills in electroanalytical chemistry and instrumental analysis.

Research Skills

Recent research has been working on modifying electrodes with organic and inorganic functional groups that will assist with developing a selective sensor to detect common organic and biological molecules such as phenols/neurotransmitters.
Providing professional development workshops/opportunities to help in-service teachers in the northern Ohio area develop inquiry-based science lessons that are needed to meet the national and state standards in their science classrooms. Assisting teachers with technological and analytical instrumental skills needed for today's classroom. Providing on-line science course for teachers who have participated in the "Partners in Integrated Earth Systems Science." Assist teachers with instrumental /laboratory/technological skills in order to develop classrooms to meet all students needs regardless of any physical or learning disabilities.
Instrumental research skills include: modifying electrode surfaces, developing sensors, CV, HPLC, GC, IR, UV-VIS, and NMR spectroscopy and spectroelectrochemistry.

Development of Surface Modified Electrodes

            Catechol and catecholamines are important neurotransmitters secreted in the brain and control locomotion.  Mental and behavioral disorders such as Schizophrenia, attention deficient disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, eating disorders, epilepsy, amphetamine addiction, cocaine addiction are all associated with altered levels of the neurotransmitters in the brain.  Therefore, a technique for detecting these neurotransmitters could lead to rehabilitation for these common disorders and diseases. 

Research studies of interest involve modification of electrode surfaces utilizing conducting polymers as detectors for neurotransmitters.  Over the years, conducting polymers have been utilized in various ion-selective electrodes and have been ideal because of their chemical recognition function and high chemical stability.  The present interest is to study the development of a novel type of poly crown ether electrode that is capable of selectively determining some 1,2 dihydroxybenzenes (neurotransmitters).

Chemical Education Research/Chemistry Based Modules

Chemistry by Inquiry is a set of laboratory-based modules that provide step-by-step introduction to chemistry and the chemical concepts.  The Chemistry by Inquiry laboratory based modules is being extensively researched and tested in the classroom.  These lab-based modules are being researched and developed:

  • To prepare pre-service and inservice K-12 teachers to teach chemistry as a process of inquiry
  • to help underprepared students succeed in the mainstream chemistry courses that are the gateway to science related careers
  • to provide liberal arts students with direct experience in the scientific process thus establishing a solid foundation for scientific literacy


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