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McNair Scholar 2013Kadir Hussein

Kadir Hussein is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in chemistry. His research interests revolve around drug development, sustainability, and biotransformation. His research experience has inspired further investigation of nanotechnology and its environmental and health impact. Mr. Hussein plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Chemistry.

Kadir Hussein photo
My dream is to receive a doctorate in Chemistry and work with diverse and underrepresented populations. Through research and teaching, I will provide services to alleviate and eradicate health and educational disparities. By promoting higher education and research experiences for individuals from underrepresented populations, an increase in diverse perspectives and values in scientific research can lead to more innovative solutions addressing issues that plague our society.

Research project

Considering a Bacterial Model for Ecological Nanoparticle Toxicity

Abstract: Nanomaterials are notable for their extremely small size as well as their unique physical and chemical properties. Nanomaterial behavior in the environment is dictated by surface properties such as surface charge and hydrophobicity. Recent increase in use of engineered nanomaterials in biomedical, electronic and consumer products provides the motivation for assessing and understanding the toxicity of released engineered nanoparticles on the ecosystem. Due to the important roles bacteria play in the ecosystem and global nutrient cycling, understanding nanoparticle impact on low trophic level organisms like bacteria is critical. Motivated by the current lack of understanding of nanoparticle interactions with bacteria, this study evaluates gold nanoparticle interactions with Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 by measuring changes in bacterial respiration upon nanoparticle exposure. Gold nanoparticles have been chosen due to their common use. Through this research, gold nanoparticle concentrations and surface properties detrimental to bacteria will be identified, giving critical insight into the design of environmentally friendly nanoparticles. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Christy L. Haynes is currently an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota. She received her bachelor's degree from Macalester College and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northwestern University. Dr. Haynes's research specializes in bioanalytical chemistry, biomaterials, and nanotoxicology. Dr. Haynes is a recipient of the American Chemical Society's Nobel Laureate Signature Award, the National Institutes of Health New Innovator Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and the Joseph Black Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry. In 2012, Popular Science magazine named Haynes one of its "Brilliant 10" young scientists.