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UK Chemistry Grad Student Recognized with National D.O.E. Award

Photo of a studentLEXINGTON, Ky. -- Sharique Khan, a doctoral student in the Department of Chemistry in the University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences, has been selected for the U.S. Department of Energy Graduate Research fellowship program at the Oak Ridge National Lab.

The program allows graduate students to pursue collaborative research projects working with experts at two of the Department of Energy’s neutron sources: the High Flux Isotope Reactor and the Spallation Neutron Source.

“This program allows me to deploy neutron scattering, a highly specialized technique that is only possible in a very few specially equipped facilities,” Khan said. “I feel fortunate to have this experience and excited to contribute at the forefront of the evolving field of flavin based electron bifurcation, a fundamental mechanism of energy conservation."

Sharique Khan’s adviser is Anne-Frances Miller, professor of chemistry. Miller’s lab research focuses on electron bifurcating enzymes that embody molecular strategies that could be integrated into devices and materials to improve efficiency, versatility and capture of photochemically produced electrochemical energy.

“My research involves studying dynamics in the electron bifurcating flavoproteins through small angle neutron scattering,” Miller said. “Understanding how conformational changes can modulate electron flow will enable us to better understand how nature achieves its high energy efficiency. Ultimately, my goal is to use the mechanism of electron bifurcation for efficient and sustainable energy storage.”