Welcome to the Gerdon Research Group at Emmanuel College.  We're located in Boston, Massachusetts on The Fenway, surrounded by the likes of fabled Fenway Park, Harvard Medical School, the Longwood Medical Area, the Colleges of the Fenway, and the Museum of Fine Arts.  On campus, you can find us in the new Wilken's Science Center, in the Department of Chemistry.

Experimentation and the desire for a more complete understanding has been the motivation of countless scientists for the past millennium.  This desire to understand and to explore a new frontier has also been my motivation as a chemist.  I am constantly astounded by the progress that early scientists made while having little more than imagination to help them visualize atomic structure.  While these scientists have taken us far, it is exciting to realize that there is so much more basic science to explore.  I find it thrilling to gain a new understanding for a chemical system and to be the very first person to ever conduct a new and novel experiment!  I enjoy conveying this excitement to my students as a way to stoke their excitement and their curiosity.  My philosophy is that hands-on experimentation in new and novel areas is crucial for the education of undergraduate students but also for the encouragement and development of our next generation scientists.  Therefore, our research focuses first on education and experience and second on completing scientifically relevant and important experiments in three main areas: bioanalytical chemistry, biomineralization, and nanotechnology.  I am primarily interested in taking analytical and chemical approaches to address challenges in these areas.  I believe that these are three areas where significant challenges lay and where significant improvements can be made.  Find out more about our current projects.

The students, joining us at any time in their four years at Emmanuel and finally moving on through graduation, are the life force of this group.  This site is intended to highlight the research that we are conducting, but also to highlight the researchers doing the work.  You're invited to read more about our work and check back to read about updates and group news.

Professor Aren Gerdon

  • Presentations. Geoffrey Conklin '14, Chris Connelly '14, Sarah Faulkner '14, and Samantha Watson '14 will be traveling to San Fransisco in August to present their work at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Analytical and Inorganic poster sessions. Good luck and have fun! 5/10/14
    • Congrats on great presentations!

  • Tenure! Prof. Gerdon was promoted to associate professor and granted tenure at Emmanuel College this year. It is an honor to be supported in this was by the College! 5/10/14
  • Graduation. Congratulations to Victoria Perrone '13, Jason Leavitt '13, and Tom Cicuto '13 on graduation this weekend. You all had great years at Emmanuel and in research. Keep in touch! 5/10/14
  • Presentations. Victoria Perrone '13 and Jason Leavitt '13 traveled to Dallas, TX to present their posters titled "Calcium phosphate mineralization using nanoparticle templates as a research lab for undergraduate students" and "In silico investigation into the conformational effects of phosphorylation in amelogenin proteins", respectively, in the CHED session. Congrats to both researchers! 3/17/14

  • Publications. Congrats to Kayla, Sean, Katie, and Alex on the publication of their work, "Biomimetic nanoparticles with polynucleotide and PEG mixed-monolayers enhance calcium phosphate mineralization"! We're on a roll! Here's the reference: Vasconcellos, K.B.; McHugh, S.M.; Dapsis, K.J.; Petty, A.R.; Gerdon, A.E. J. Nanoparticle Res. 2013, 15, 1942. Get the abstract.
  • Funded! Prof. Gerdon, research students, and Emmanuel College have been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation.  This is a Research at Undergraduate Institutions (NSF RUI) award and will support undergraduate students and our work for the next three years!  Congratulations to all past students who's hard work made this possible.  Congratulations to all current and future students that will benefit from this support!  Find the award here and the Emmanuel College announcement here.  06/04/13
  • Graduation. Congratulations to Hillary Butts '13 and Katie Dapsis '13 on graduation this weekend.  It was a great four years! 05/10/13
  • Presentation.  Prof. Gerdon was invited to Gloucester County College in Sewell, NJ to present "Life on the Edge: Biomineralization of Calcium Phosphate towards Strong Bones".  Thanks to Prof. Christina Nase and the whole group for a great discussion! 04/01/13
  • Presentation.  Prof. Gerdon will be presenting a poster "Quartz Crystal Microbalance Analysis of DNA-Templated Calcium Phosphate Mineralization" at Pittcon in Philadelphia, PA on March 20, 2013 in the Materials Science section.  Drop by to see the poster!  01/03/13
  • Publications. The group recently published an article in Langmuir on work done entirely at Emmanuel College by Emmanuel College students.  This is the first of its kind for our group!  Congratulations Sunaro, Hillary, Alex, and Jamie!  The reference: Ngourn, S.C.; Butts, H.A.; Petty, A.R.; Anderson, J.E.; Gerdon, A.E. Quartz Crystal Microbalance Analysis of DNA-Templated Calcium Phosphate Mineralization. Langmuir 2012, 28, 12151-12158.  Get the abstract.
  • Presentations. Sunaro Ngourn '12 and Hillary Butts '13 will presenting their poster "Analysis of calcium phosphate biomineralization through structural DNA templates" at the Northeast Undergraduate Research and Development Symposium (NURDS) at the University of New England in Biddeford, ME the weekend of March 10-11.  Good luck and have fun! 05/07/12
  • Funded!  Prof. Gerdon and the Chemistry Department at Emmanuel College were recently awarded their first Pittsburgh Conference Memorial National College Grant (PCMNCG) for the purchase of a new attenuated total reflectance (ATR) attachment for our FT-IR instrument.  This is a great honor and will provide a great addition to teaching labs as well as to our research.  See the announcement here.  Thank you Pittcon! 02/24/12
  • Video.  Prof. Gerdon was recently featured in Emmanuel College's first "Emmanuel Minute" Video.  The topic relates to a new course being offered in the Fall of 2012 titled "Chemistry of Fire and Explosives". 02/09/12

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  • Presentations. We will have two posters at the ACS meeting in Denver, CO in August 2011.  Check out the Inorganic - Chemistry of Materials poster session and the Colloid - Fundamental Research in Colloid and Surface Science poster session. 05/17/11
  • Presentations.  The group will present it's first paper at the ACS meeting in Boston in August 2010.  Check out the Inorganic Chemistry of Materials poster session on Sunday night and look for "Identification of DNA structural motifs for hydroxyapatite binding and biomineralization". 8/22/10
  • Funded!  Prof. Gerdon received a grant in collaboration with Dr. Henry Margolis at the Forsyth Institute in Cambridge, MA from the National Institute of Health and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.  9/25/09