Kansas State University



2017 RiPS Mentors

Below you will find a list of Kansas State University faculty members who volunteered to host a KS-LSAMP student in their research lab during Summer 2017. We appreciate their willingness to participate in our program! THANK YOU!!

Dr. Emily McLaurin

Dr. McLaurin’s research examines the surfaces and interfaces of nanomaterials from an inorganic chemistry perspective. This research allows her to gain insight into the structure and function of nanomaterials on a nanoscale level.

You can read more about Dr. McLaurin here: http://www.k-state.edu/chem/people/grad-faculty



Dr. Prathap Parameswaran
Civil Engineering

Dr. Parameswaran’s research focuses on energy positive wastewater treatment and recovery of valuable resources (Water, Nutrients, metals and more).

You can read more about Dr. Parameswaran here: http://prathapp0.wixsite.com/research




Dr. Tendai Gadzikwa

Dr. Gadzikwa’s lab researchers molecules that are used as building blocks to construct crystalline, porous materials called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). Her lab develops new synthetic strategies these materials with a focus on specific applications, such as catalysis, therapeutics and detection. This project will involve the electrochemical growth of MOF materials in nanoporous polymers, to control their size.

You can read more about Dr. Gadzikwa’s lab here: http://www.k-state.edu/chem/people/grad-faculty/gadzikwa/ and here http://www.k-state.edu/chem/people/grad-faculty/gadzikwa/lab/index.html

Dr. Melanie Derby
Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Derby’s research focuses on technical problems in the thermal fluid sciences which have unanswered fundamental problems and applications to industry. Her areas of expertise includes multi-phase flows, phase change, and building energy.

You can read more about Dr. Derby here: http://www.mne.k-state.edu/people/faculty/derby/ and here: http://www.mne.k-state.edu/research/cooling-and-heating-innovation/index.html

Dr. William Hsu
Computer Science

The Knowledge Discovery in Databases lab group has a research emphasis in the areas of applied artificial intelligence (AI) and knowledge-based software engineering (KBSE) for decision support systems. The group looks for ways to systematically decompose analytical learning problems based upon information theoretic and probabilistic criteria, so that the most appropriate machine learning methods may be applied to the resulting transformed problems. More specifically, the group is interested in machine learning, data mining and knowledge discovery from large spatial and temporal databases, human-computer intelligent interaction (HCII) and high-performance computation in learning and optimization.

You can learn more about Dr. Hsu and the Knowledge Discovery in Databases lab here:

Dr. Maureen Gorman
Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics

Dr. Gorman’s areas of specality include:

– Insect biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics
– Mechanisms of iron metabolism in insects
– Function of insect multicopper oxidases
– Insect innate immunity

You can read more about her research here: http://www.k-state.edu/bmb/department/directory/gorman/


Dr. Pavithra Prabhakar
Computer Science

Prabhakar’s main research interest is in formal analysis of cyber-physical systems with emphasis on both foundational and practical aspects related to automated and scalable techniques for verification and synthesis of hybrid control systems. Her research borrows ideas from automata theory, control and dynamical systems theory, formal methods and logics. She has lead several project on safety analysis of cyber-physical systems, including novel methods that combine counter-example guided abstraction refinement and hybridization. She has pioneered a novel approach for stability analysis of hybrid control systems based on ideas from formal methods which has appeared in the form of several invited papers and best paper award nominations. She is currently pursuing projects on robust analysis and design of autonomous and cyber-physical systems with applications in automotive, aerospace and robotics systems.

You can read more about Dr. Prabhakar here: http://www.cs.ksu.edu/people/faculty/prabhakar/

Dr. Jocelyn McDonald

The McDonald lab studies the underlying mechanisms–the genes and proteins–that control migration of a small group of cells in Drosophila called the “border cells”. Border cells migrate during development of the ovary and are an excellent and simpler model to understand how cells move during human embryonic development and in tumor invasion.

You can read more about Dr. McDonald’s lab here: http://www.k-state.edu/biology/people/tenure/mcdonald/


Dr. James T. Laverty

Dr. Laverty’s research focus is in Physics Education. His areas of specialty are:

– Developing and Improving Assessments in Undergraduate Physics
– Investigating Scientific Practices in Undergraduate Physics
– Transforming Physics Courses to include Scientific Practices

You can read more about Dr. Laverty here: https://www.phys.ksu.edu/people/tt-faculty/laverty.html


Dr. Anna Zinovyeva

Dr. Zinovyeva’s lab focuses on regulation of gene expression. They use a genetic model system, Caenorhabditis elegans to study the mechanisms by which small RNAs called microRNAs repress gene expression. The lab uses a number of methods including genetics, molecular biology, high throughput genomics, genome editing, and proteomics approaches to study questions related to gene regulation.

You can reach more about her research here: http://www.k-state.edu/biology/people/tenure/zinovyeva/