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NUANCE: Nanoscale Characterization Experimental Center

Women In Nano

2020's Women in Nano

Who Inspires You?


Chi Zhang, graduate student from VPD & Poeppelmeier Group

"My inspiration is Chi Zhang, a graduate student from VPD and Ken Poeppelmeier groups: Chi's dedication and patience to conduct experiments are very inspiring! Chi works on the structural characterization of complex heteroanionic materials using TEM and SEM. Chi has also helped in so many other projects that I believe her day has 48hs! "

- Roberto dos Reis, PhD - Dravid Research Group Scientific Officer; Research Assistant Professor

Stephanie Zaleski, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow

"Stephanie Zaleski is a postdoctoral researcher at the Northwestern University – Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts.  Her tireless efforts to science have inspired me to expand my horizons beyond standard biological and hybridized materials into the world of art chemistry and preservation.  She graduated from Northwestern in 2016 with a PhD in Chemistry and went on to work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC where she studied late Edo period Japanese woodblock prints before developing analytical tools to characterize degradation of 19th century historical glass objects under a collaborative project between George Washington University and the Library of Congress. 

As a postdoctoral researcher in a Van Duyne group, Stephanie is studying the nanoscale chemistry of metal soap formation in oil-based paint films utilizing Raman spectroscopy and HAADF STEM to better understand degradation processes in works of art.  Upon concluding her PostDoc, Stephanie will be taking a faculty position in California State University East Bay where she will be teaching and starting her own lab in the fall of 2020.  Thank you, Stephanie for your dedication to nano-science!"

- Eric W. Roth, BioCryo Electron Microscopy Specialist, NUANCE

Karen DeRocher, Joester Group

“My inspiration #WomenInNano is Karen DeRocher, who works in the Joester Group on the atomic- and nanoscale characterization of minerals that are produced by organisms (biominerals). Her main research interest is studying the chemical and structural changes that occur in human enamel as a cavity develops. I had the pleasure to work with her in the Joester group when I was a postdoctoral research fellow, where she helped to get me started using techniques such as focused ion beam / scanning electron microscopy and atom probe tomography. It was great to also co-write a publication with her recently!”

- Paul Smeets, TEM/FIB Facility Manager - NUANCE

Stephanie Ribet, VPD Group & Stephanie Liu, Hersam Group

"I’m constantly inspired by “the Stephanie’s” or Stephanie2, Stephanie Ribet in VPD group and Stephanie Liu in the Hersam Group. Stephanie Ribet studies novel nanocomposites and their applications in environmental remediation. Stephanie Liu investigates new mechanisms for the fabrication of novel neuromorphic computing devices. They are both amazing researchers working on very important projects and have taught me so much since they’ve been working in our lab!"

- Tirzah Abbott, SEM Lab Manager - NUANCE


My inspiration #womeninnano is Jennifer Distefano, VPD group PhD student, who works on developing novel core-shell structures for optoelectronic and energy applications. She's currently at the NAS participating in the Mirzayan Fellowship Program."

- Stephanie Ribet, PhD Student in Synthesis of nanocomposites for environmental remediation