Undergraduate Research Program

Nasser Alrashdi

Alrashdi, Nasser

Biochemistry    Minor: Chemistry
Mentor: Laura Murphy, Chemistry

Contact: nasser20@uw.edu

Current research project: Metal Free Ring Opening Metathesis Polymerization.



Translate your work so that we can all understand its importance
Ring Opening Metathesis Polymerization (ROMP) is a method for producing functional polymers that utilizes transition metal initiators. Some applications, such as drug delivery, optics, and electronics, cost and contamination by residual metal initiator are concerns. After the polymerization, the metal initiator can be considerably difficult to remove and cause toxicity problems, as well as affecting the stability and properties of the polymer. We discovered a metal-free ROMP method that addresses these concerns. This method uses an organic initiator, instead of a metal one, and a photo-redox mediator that activates the initiator. Currently, I am working toward developing a MF ROMP system amenable to 3D printing via digital light projection.

What is the most exciting and/or rewarding aspect of your undergraduate research experience?
For me, the most exciting and rewarding aspect of undergraduate research is the ability to gain hands-on experience in my field. It makes what I’ve been learning in science classes seem more applicable. This also allows me to produce a deeper understanding of the scientific knowledge, especially when I can collaborate and discuss the experimental results with my PI(principal investigator) and other group members, who have a masters degree and/or PHD.

What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research?
I would tell them to start ASAP looking for research opportunities prevalent to their intended majors. The sooner they get involved, the more knowledge, skills, and experience one can gain regarding their study of interest and future career.