Welcome to the Kiskadden Science Web Page

”If you only had to do it once, it would be called Search”

-I forgot who told me this one, but it’s a brilliant description of the life of a research scientist

This web site, which I guess can best be described as a “blog”, is a brief synopsis of my scientific career. I suppose you could say that my interest in science really began when I got a chemistry set as a little kid and used it to make plant poisons that I tested on my neighbors yard. Then, there were the delinquent years which I capped with the development of an egg launcher. This device was basically used to shoot raw eggs at the homes in my neighborhood. The launcher consisted of a three foot section of PVC pipe and the rocket was a model rocked engine outfitted with cardboard fins and topped with a large, grade ‘A’ egg. While I never quite finished the full development of this device, I did have a fairly good working model after a summer filled with what I now know as design-test-redesign cycles.

Years pass and I find my self in collage studying chemistry. I had tried to get into chemical engineering but didn’t make the initial cut and so was taking chemistry classes until I could get into the program. Needless to say this never happened and I’m damned glad of this fact since I learned that not only did ChemE require a lot of math but it was more or less like being an over educated plumber, and so it goes. I didn’t really like the chemistry classes much until I got to organic chemistry and then was blown away. Here was something that was both a concept that I intuitively grasped but was a challenge at the same time. It wasn’t until I started doing research that I was really hooked and now its been more than a decade since I started down this wayward path.

More years pass and as I write this I find myself in Hawaii. I have lived in a number of cool places, met people from all over the world, and traveled to nearly every corner of the United States, and had the opportunity to continuously push my mind to the edge of its capabilities (which, unfortunately, is like a walk around the block!). I recently read a new report at some online site that being a research scientists is one of the worst professions to go into in terms of how much you work and how little finical reward you get out of it. While this is true, there is also something to be said for being able to go to work at 31 in shorts and old, torn t-shirts and rubber slippers (all right, that last bit is because of Hawaii and in the lab I always wear closed toe shoes, OK?). I guess things could be worse.

Below, you will find a list of the places where I have worked and a brief description of the work that I did there. A link at the end of each paragraph will take you to a site which describes the work in more detail. Also, one of my main out of the lab interests is painintg, and you are more than welcome to check out my art website. Enjoy…

For more information, feel free to download a copy of my CV.


North Carolina Sate University

Department of Chemistry

1992-1998

I was a undergraduate and then Masters student at NCSU from 1992-1998. In my sophomore year, I started doing research in the laboratory of David Shultz, who I worked for as both an undergraduate and Masters student. Here, I worked in a field known as molecular magnetism- an area of science which tries to build magnets from molecular components (as opposed to a bulk material like iron oxide). The work I was engaged in here was primarily the design, synthesis, and study of complex organic molecules which possessed unpaired electrons, and the main purpose of these studies was to understand the effect that molecular structure has on electron coupling in organic molecules with more than one unpaired electron.

Click here to read more about this work


University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Department of Chemistry

1998-2002

I was a Doctoral candidate at UMass from 1998 until 2002 when, for some reason, the decided to go ahead and let me graduate. During my time at UMass, I was a member of the research group led by Vincent Rotello. Here, I switched headings and worked on what I call Nanoscale Supramolecular Chemistry- the application of supramolecular concepts to nanomaterials. Primarily, I explored what happens when you put a molecular recognition element on a nanoparticle. Studies included the effect of monolayer packing on inter- and intra-monolayer noncovalent interactions, binding of solution phase guest molecules by nanoparticle bound hosts, and the self-templation of multivalent binding sites in a monolayer. I also did a lot of work on using supramolecular chemistry to effect the self-assembly of nanoparticles, and here I discovered the first route to the production of spherical nanoparticle assemblies. Other work in this area included the development of routes to control nanoparticle assembly and the assembly of multi particle materials.

Click here to read more about this work


Sandia National Labs, Albuquerque

Biomolecular Materials and Interfaces Organization

2002-2004

My first postdoc was at Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Here, I was as part of a team of scientists that were working towards developing a dynamic self assembly system that incorporated motor proteins, nanomaterials, and microdevices. The basic premise is to have the motor protein to actually manipulate nanoparticles, either individually or several at a time, in a pre determined fashion. In this way, it would be possible to construct nanoparticle arrays which could be used for optical sensors or electrical interconnects. My part was mainly to develop the interface between the materials, including exploring how best to integrate the motor proteins into microdevices and how to attach the nanomaterials to the motor proteins.

Click here to read more about this work


NASA Astrobiology Institute

University of Hawaii, Manoa

2004-2006

My second postdoctoral job was as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the NASA Astrobiology Institute at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Here, I teamed up with several scientists with backgrounds ranging from oceanography to environmental microbiology to computer science to develop a new method for analyzing biomolecular adaptation to extreme environments. The basis of this study was the examination of a-helices, a critical secondary structural element of proteins which are partly responsible for protein stability. In an a-helix, there are 3.5 amino acids per helical turn, which implies that the side chain of amino acids placed 3 or 4 sites apart in the helix will interact with each other. This interaction can lead to a stabilization of the helix, such as the case of a salt bridge formed between lysine and glutamic acid, and therefore a stabilization of the protein. The theory of this project is that proteins from different physical environments will have different ways of coping with those environments and this will partly be expressed in the type and number of motifs corresponding to intra-helical interactions that are observed for a particular set of proteins.

Click here to read more about this work


Sandia National Labs, Albuquerque

Biomolecular Materials and Interfaces Organization

2006-2008

Back at Sandia National Labs, I spent two years as a Senior Member of the Technical Staff. Here, I worked on many of the projects that I had left behind as well as some new ones that I started. Nanotech, biotech, organic chemistry and so much more...

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MIOX Corporation, Albuquerque, NM

2008-present

Currently, I am a Research Scientist at MIOX Corporation, a high tech startup company in Albuquerque, NM. I will fill in info about what research I am working on as I can...

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email me at andy@kiskadden.net

This Page was created on 4 April 2006 and last updated on 19 January 2009