SURI Faculty

SURI Faculty

Robert Aslanian, Chemistry
Dr. Aslanian’s research is focused on organic chemistry with an emphasis in three specific areas: medicinal chemistry, the development of improved synthetic methods for organic synthesis, and enhanced laboratory experiments for the undergraduate organic lab.

In medicinal chemistry, Dr. Aslanian’s research is concentrated on neglected tropical diseases, in particular Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT), which is also known as African sleeping sickness. HAT is a parasitic disease that is endemic in 36 sub-Saharan African countries and infects over 60 million people. It is invariably fatal if not treated and there are currently few good treatment options. In his lab, Dr. Aslanian is preparing analogs of several known anti-parasitic compounds with the goal of optimizing activity against the parasite and improving oral bioavailability.

In the area of synthetic methodology, Dr. Aslanian is working on developing an improved and convenient one-pot synthesis of ketones from carboxylic acids using phosphorous-based chemistry in combination with organometallic coupling chemistry like the Stille Reaction, and on developing a green dehydration protocol applicable to primary, secondary, and tertiary alcohols.

Last, Dr. Aslanian is developing new experiments for the organic laboratory curriculum that reflect real-world laboratory research experiences to better prepare students for their future careers.

Organic Synthesis, Synthetic Methodology, Medicinal Chemistry
Grossnickle Hall, Room 342
Telephone: (201)200-3069


Meriem Bendaoud, Biology
The main focus of Dr. Bendaoud’s research is the study of bacterial biofilms and the development of new biofilm-specific pharmacologic strategies. Biofilm formation for many microorganisms is an important virulence factor and a crucial step in the pathogenesis of bacterial infection. Bacteria growing attached to a biotic and abiotic surface are protected and resistant to antibiotic treatment and antimicrobial agents, making them difficult to eradicate with conventional treatments. The need for new therapeutic approaches is critical as the number of infections caused by biofilm forming bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococccus epidermidis has increased.  Dr. Bendaoud is interested in studying bacterial competitive interactions in in-vitro biofilms and antibiotic-induced biofilm formation as well as identifying and characterizing natural compounds, which inhibit biofilm formation of pathogenic bacteria.

Gram staining, selective agar procedures, crystal violet stains, Antimicrobial susceptibility testing, MIC evaluation (Minimal Inhibitory concentration), Bacterial biofilm, assays, Virulence assays and planktonic cell killing assay, Bacterial identification using genotypic and phenotypic analyses, Site directed insertional mutagenesis and genetic complementation, Nucleic acid extraction and purification, plasmid DNA preparation, PCR, RT-PCR, primers design, gel electrophoresis, Restriction enzyme analysis
Science Building, Room 327
Telephone: (201)200-3054

James Camacho Jr., Mathematics
Topological measure theory. Look at lattices, their measure and topology (Wallman).
Office: K-506
Phone extension: 2267

Reed Carroll, Biology
Dr. Carroll’s research investigates the cellular processes in the brain that are believed to be important for neuronal development, learning, and memory formation.
His studies specifically focus on understanding how changes in neuron activity cause long-lasting modifications in the strength of synaptic communications by altering the properties and localization of neurotransmitter receptors and other signaling proteins at synapses. In order to develop a complete picture of the events involved in such synaptic plasticity, Dr. Carroll employs a combination of techniques, including whole cell electrophysiology, microscopy, biochemistry, and molecular biology. His continuing research aims to better understand processes central to the development, plasticity and diseases of the brain.

Immunocytochemistry, Western blotting, Cell signaling assays, Whole cell electrophysiology, Microscopy-fluorescence, Live-cell imaging
Science Building, Room 328
Telephone: (201)200-3314
Email: rcarroll@njcu

Debananda Chakraborty, Mathematics
Dr. Chakraborty’s research interests are in applied mathematics, partial differential equations, computational mathematics, stochastic methods, nonlinear optics, financial mathematics, and high performance computing.

He has worked on problems in a broad range of fields, including nonlinear dynamics, linear and nonlinear waves, pattern formation, population dynamics models, and waves in random media. Fields of applications include optical communication systems (in optical fibers and in the atmosphere), optical wave guide devices, and materials science.

Matlab, Mathematica
George Karnoutsos Arts and Sciences Hall, Room 506  
Telephone: (201)200-3201

Natalia Coleman, Biology
Dr. Coleman, whose research focuses on cancer and stem cell biology, is currently working on the following research projects:

  • the molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for learning disabilities
  • associated with Neurofibromatosis type I (NFI). (During this research, Dr. Coleman has discovered a link between NF1, NMDA receptors and the Ras pathway.)
  • NMDA receptors as a new therapeutic target in cancers (breast, prostate, lung, melanoma)
  • the cellular and molecular mechanisms of heavy metal toxicity in the blood brain barrier
  • the role of oxygen and noise in stem cell differentiation into neurons.



Cell culture including stem and cancer cells



Molecular biology



Science Building, Room 328                             

Telephone: (201)200- 2382                                


Wayne Eby, Mathematics


Dr. Eby’s main area of research in analysis relates to problems in integral geometry associated to the Radon transform. He has primarily considered these in the Heisenberg group setting. This analysis is between areas of complex and harmonic analysis and further has applications to analytic extension.

Dr. Eby is also working on associated problems in higher codimension and associated issues for CR manifolds. He is also looking at these problems from the perspective of microlocal analysis. This direction of research in analysis has potential applications in areas such as signal and image processing.

Recently, Dr. Eby has been working recently on applied projects related to modeling in biology and medicine. Some of these projects have been survival analysis in breast cancer, models of tumor cell proliferation, and models of wound healing. A recent project included a review of topics for modeling in stem cell biology and particularly in cellular differentiation.

Dr. Eby is at the beginning of a research program related to this area of modeling in cell fate determination, and he expects/hopes that it can develop into a significant effort in this important area. He is also interested in modeling in ecology and is beginning to look at some problems in water resource modeling.



Computer-based-mathematical modeling.

Familiarity with computational software packages


George Karnoutsos Arts and Sciences Hall, Room 506              

Telephone: (201)200-3202                                 

Email: weby@njcu.eduDebananda Chakraborty, Mathematics


Allison Fitzgerald, Biology


Dr. Fitzgerald’s research pertains to invertebrate diversity and physiology in estuaries. She has special interest in oyster restoration, bivalve physiology, habitat degradation, the identification of species in Hudson Raritan Estuary, environmental science and impacts of pollutants on key invertebrates.




Field collection techniques

Hg and other metal analysis (FIMS and AA machines)


Science Building, Room 332a                           

Telephone: (201)200-3054                                 




Deborah Freile, Earth and Environmental Sciences


Dr. Freile’s research is focused on modern marine carbonate environments, primarily in the Bahamas and other Caribbean islands. Her emphasis is on sedimentation controls, dispersal patterns, global carbonate budgets and the effects of ocean acidification in particular as it relates to calcareous green algae (Halimeda and other members in the order Bryopsidales) as well as the red calcareous algae in the form of rhodoliths. Dr. Freile also studies the alteration rates, recrystallization and chemistry of carbonate particles in marine environments.

Dr. Freile’s second area of research focuses  on the investigation of spatial and temporal distribution of heavy metal concentration, specially lead (Pb), in Jersey City soils, the soils and plants of San Salvador, Bahamas as well as marsh sediments of the Georgia and New Jersey/New York coast.







CNS analyzer

Petrographic microscopes

Cathodoluminescent microscopy


Rossey Hall, Room  608                                                           

Telephone: (201)200-3188                                 



Laine Giovanetto, Biology


Dr. Giovanetto’s research interests are focused on the ecology and conservation of amphibians and reptiles both locally and internationally.  He is particularly interested in the distribution of amphibian and reptile populations in fragmented and otherwise altered habitats.

Dr. Giovanetto’s current projects include:

--Project D.O.R. (Dead on Road) involves collecting voucher specimens of road-killed amphibians and reptiles. These specimens will provide habitat census information and will aid in population monitoring for each species. Dr. Giovanetto hopes to identify D.O.R. periodicity and possible hotspots. Tissue samples collected will be analyzed for the presence of heavy metals and other toxins, genetic differences between populations, and the presence of parasites.

--Project Open Borders is a collaborative project with Sul Ross State University and Midland College (both in west Texas) to perform distribution surveys of U.S. amphibians and reptiles that are undocumented in Mexico (Baja, Sonora, Chihuahua, & Coahuila). These surveys may identify populations impacted by existing border walls and populations that may be impacted if border walls are expanded.




Population monitoring

Species identification

Field collection of amphibians and reptiles in a wide variety of ecosystems

Stomach flushing of turtles and lizards

Gut content analysis

Habitat analysis

Snake diplomacy: changing fear to appreciation


Science Building, Room 329     

Telephone: (201)200-3296



John Grew, Biology


Dr. Grew is interested in guided tissue regeneration, the effects of substrate composition and textures on cell attachment and growth, and prosthetic implant design.                                                  

He is also interested in the impact of interventions like Supplemental Instruction, tutoring, and research participation on student retention, performance and graduation rates.




Cell culture

General biological/chemical research skills


Science Building, Room 335                             

Telephone: (201)200-3330                                 



Hun Bok Jung, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Dr. Jung is an Environmental Geochemist and Hydrogeologist whose research focuses on the geochemical and hydrological processes controlling the transport and fate of toxic contaminants and nutrients in coastal and subsurface environments.

He has conducted research for various environmental projects funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Department of Energy. Dr. Jung investigated the impact of carbon dioxide leakage on wellbore integrity and groundwater chemistry during geologic carbon sequestration, as well as hydraulic fracturing at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

During his postdoctoral research at the Department of Geoscience in University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Jung investigated the role of nanopores in the subsurface sediment and soil in controlling the sorption and redox behavior of uranium. During his doctoral research at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Dr. Jung’s research was conducted to understand the fate and transport of groundwater arsenic during discharge to an estuary or ocean in Bangladesh and Massachusetts.

Dr. Jung’s current research at NJCU focuses on the effects of urbanization and industrialization on water and sediment quality of rivers and coastal aquifers in urban environments.



Field sampling and analysis of water and sediment

Laboratory sorption and redox experiments

High pressure and temperature experiments

Analytical skill in voltammetry

ICP-MS and ion chromatography

Research experience with XRD, SEM-EDS, XAS, and XMT Numerical modeling skills in Visual MINTEQ, PHREEQC, and Visual MODFLOW


Rossey Hall, Room 612                                    

Telephone: (201)200-3174                                 



Bumjung (James) Kim, Chemistry


Dr. Kim’s main research area is organic electronics. In his lab, Dr. Kim primarily fabricates transistor devices using organic semiconductor compounds and analyzes their device performance.

Dr. Kim also investigates the solid state structure of organic semiconductors to further understand how to improve device performance. One of the ways to improve device performance is to grow single-crystals of organic semiconductors. Mainly attributed to the highly ordered structure of single crystals, device performance improves significantly with single crystal organic semiconductors. Dr. Kim also tries to further improve device performance by modifying other components in transistor devices: electrodes and dielectrics. Dr. Kim also fabricates various devices and analyzes their solid-state properties to understand what and how good organic electronic devices can be fabricated.



Surface and solid-state analysis technique using AFM, SEM, TEM, XRD, etc.

Transistor device fabrication and analysis technique to study electronic properties of materials Single crystal growth of small molecules.


Grossnickle Hall, Room 343

Telephone: (201)200-3581                                 



Bill Montgomery, Earth and Environmental Sciences


Dr. Montgomery brings 30+ years of geological and geophysical experience into his courses and student-centered research.

Dr. Montgomery uses advanced mapping and spatial modeling tools involving GIS, GPS, and GPR to analyze and improve the urban environment.  He employs “active” learning with all of his students, as evidenced by the more than 100 funded, community-based, student-centered projects he has facilitated since 1998.

Dr. Mongomery has  served as a Principal Investigator or Project Director on half a dozen NSF grants that combined STEM content with active pedagogy and creative learning strategies to improve student learning outcomes.

His broad background enables him to collaborate effectively with a broad cross-section of individuals and groups, from STEM and near-STEM faculty (Business, Health Science, Nursing, Homeland Security) to the City of Jersey City Environmental Commission, the Urban League, the Communipaw Avenue Block Association, the Jersey City Episcopal Community Development Center, and the Jersey City Parks Coalition, to name a few.



Fully equipped GIS - GPS laboratory with 30 high-speed computers

20 tablets as part of a new loaner program for STEM (GIS) students

Color printing, and large format plotting - scanning capabilities

Highest-resolution (+/- 1 cm) Leica GPS equipment in the State of NJ

Accurate (18 cm) mapping grade units

Subsurface mapping capabilities with ground-penetrating radar (GPR that includes both shallow- and deep-reading antennas.


Rossey Hall, Room 608                                    

Telephone: (201)200-3367                                 



Jean-Claude Ngatchou, Computer Science


Dr. Ngatchou’s research interests include swarm intelligence that is nature-inspired algorithms focused on insects’ behavior and the development of algorithms that mimic their problem-solving skills. In particular, he is interested in bees algorithms and their applications to data mining, artificial intelligence, predictive analysis and neural networks, the optimization of swarm intelligence algorithms, and applications to scheduling.



Shell Scripting, Windows Batch Script, Network System

Full Stack Developer- Software Engineer


George Karnoutsos Arts and Sciences Hall, Room 405                                                              

Telephone: (201)200-2271         



Alberto Pinkas, Physics


Dr. Pinkas’ background is in Atomic and Molecular Physics.  His interests include epistemology in the sciences and computational science.



Experimental physicist


Science Building, Room 115                             

Telephone: (201)200-3464                                 



Ethan Prosen, Biology


Dr. Prosen’s research interest focuses on the evolution of social systems, specifically in how social systems (such as pair bonding or "monogamy") develop and are maintained. This work has largely been done using the red-backed salamander as a model.



Collection, housing, and maintenance of salamander laboratory colonies

Sexing salamanders


Science Building, Room 340                             

Telephone: (201)200-2364                                 



Yufeng Wei, Chemistry


Dr. Wei’s research is focuses on the understanding of the molecular regulations of key biological pathways that determine the death or survival of tumor cells. This regulatory mechanism could also affect HIV-1 infiltration into the central nervous system through the blood-brain barrier. Using advanced spectroscopic (NMR and fluorescence) and biophysical techniques (DSC, ITC, SPR), combined with molecular dynamics simulations, his lab explores the crucial protein-protein interactions (PPIs) that control apoptosis (programmed cell death) and the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway (cell proliferation, migration and invasion, and tumor progression). He expects that this new insight into the mechanistic regulations will inform novel therapeutics to cancers and HIV-1 infections.



NMR spectroscopy

Fluorescence protein expression and purification

Molecular dynamics protein structure


Grossnickle Hall, Room  350                             

Telephone: (201)200-2309                                 



Kenneth Yamaguchi, Chemistry


Dr. Yamaguchi’s research focuses on the synthesis of dithienylethenes, which show promise for light-induced switching processes. He is currently coupling this dithienylethene system with disubstituted fluorene and possibly perylene systems because of their favorable fluorescent properties and their ability to act as p- and n-type semiconductor materials.



Inorganic, organic and analytical experience

Various spectroscopic and chromatographic technique


Grossnickle Hall, Room 344

Telephone: (201)200-2097