Community Profiles

Meet Brandon Nabozny, SMS Alum, Forensic Scientist, and ASU Faculty Member

This month, say hello to Brandon Nabozny, who received his B.S. in Biochemistry in 2006 and his M.A. in Criminal Justice in 2010, both from ASU. Brandon is an SMS graduate who worked with our own professor Ian Gould and is now a Supervising Forensic Scientist with the Arizona Department of Public Safety Crime Lab as well as Adjunct Faculty in ASU’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, where he teaches Intro to Criminal Investigations (CRJ 210).

Brandon has been working in forensic science for 11 years and currently supervises the Forensic Field Services Unit, which manages all the functions of the crime lab that work outside the lab. After two years teaching a forensics course at Estrella Mountain Community College, Brandon now teaches an Intro to Criminal Investigations course at ASU.

When asked about his time as a student here, Brandon reflected on his memories of going to the LRC and talking chemistry with his peers, as well as sitting in Professor Gould’s office working through reactions during many an office hour. Brandon credits his biochemistry degree as being particularly useful especially at the beginning of his career, saying, “I was a full-blown chemist using GCMS and LCMS every day. I often had to interpret those results and present them in court – without my background in chemistry it would be hard for me to interpret or understand toxicology or pharmacology and be able to talk about that to a jury.”

Brandon’s advice for current students who may be thinking of going into this field is, “Don’t be afraid to start at the very bottom and be humble at first...If you work hard, you’ll end up where you want to end up!”

Brandon Nabozny

Chenxiang Lin

Meet Chenxiang Lin, SMS Alum and Yale University Assistant Professor

Chenxiang Lin is an SMS Ph.D. graduate who worked with Professor Hao Yan and is now Assistant Professor of Cell Biology at Yale University.

Chenxiang came to SMS to pursue a Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2005, after graduating from Peking University. At ASU, Chenxiang joined Hao Yan’s lab, where he tackled many challenging projects related to nanotechnology. Hao said, “The reason why Chenxiang is one of the most productive students (he has more than 10 first author papers published) in my group is that he always thinks about control experiments carefully before doing them…I am very proud of him.”

After completing his Ph.D., Chenxiang said, “My graduate studies in the School of Molecular Sciences and The Biodesign Institute at ASU allowed me to mature as a scientist and have prepared me well for my future career.”

Meet Megan Murphy, One of Our New Students!

Megan Murphy is an incoming freshman who will study Biochemistry at SMS. She loves to travel, has visited 13 different countries, and has an open-minded and appreciative view of the world around her. In fact, traveling is what brought her to ASU: “While traveling to Italy, I met a group of people from California… most of them were attending Arizona State University in the fall. Now, 3 years later, I am so proud to call myself a Sun Devil.”

This summer, Megan participated in our Early Start Program, a two-week immersive experience that she calls “an amazing way to meet your professors, faculty, and friends. The mentors and faculty have been such an amazing help with preparing me for what is to come over my next four years at ASU.”

Megan Murphy

Chris Gisriel

Meet Chris Gisriel, one of our current Ph.D. students, a U.S. military veteran, and recipient of a 2017 CLAS Graduate Excellence Award!

Chris studies how photosynthesis has evolved since oxygen first entered Earth's atmosphere.

"After a deployment in Afghanistan with the US military, I discovered my interest in biology and chemistry during a couple of semesters at community college, which led me to begin studying biochemistry at ASU. As an undergraduate, I was able to perform research in Professor Kevin Redding's lab. During my first visit, I remember being impressed by the fact that they froze microorganisms in liquid nitrogen for storage.

My work with Professor Redding and other members of his lab, as well as my experiences taking classes such as Biophysical Chemistry with Professor James Allen, greatly enhanced my undergraduate experience at the School of Molecular Sciences. After finishing my undergraduate degree, I decided to continue my education at ASU. I am now a fourth-year student in the Biochemistry Ph.D. program and hope to graduate this fall. I have had many positive experiences with the SMS faculty and often feel as though I stand on the shoulders of giants."

Video Profiles

Hallie Sussmann, B.S.

Hallie is a Fall 2015 Dean's Medalist. She worked in Professor Neal Woodbury’s laboratory at the Biodesign Institute on projects involving photosynthetic reaction centers as part of her honors thesis. She is expected to be a co-author on at least one of the papers that result from the research. 

Sahba Zaare, B.S. Biochemistry

Sahba Zaare was a Dean's Award Medalist in 2016 and graduated with his B.S. in Biochemistry in Spring 2017. As an undergraduate, he conducted research at the Center for Bioenergy and Photosynthesis. Having witnessed his mother's personal struggle with cancer, Sahba eventually wants to become a physician and cancer researcher. 

Guadalupe Batista, B.S. Medicinal Chemistry

Meet Guadalupe Batista, a Medicinal Chemistry major in the School of Molecular Sciences! He is our 2017 Wayne W. Luchsinger Scholar. Guadalupe aspires to become a pediatrician and wants to use his skills to volunteer abroad with programs like Doctors without Borders. The support of the Wayne W. Luchsinger Scholar will allow Guadalupe to continue his schooling without breaks due to financial need. We are proud to have such an ambitious, hard-working, first-generation college student with us at SMS.