School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Student Profiles

Kenneth Balkus Jr.
professor, Department of Chemistry

Photo, Kenneth Balkus Jr.Like the hunter who finally catches the fox, Kenneth Balkus, Jr., Ph.D., must be pleased whenever he develops a better chemical trap. He works with zeolite materials - porous crystalline metal oxides that act as ion-exchangers used in water softening and as absorbents and catalysts. (more)


Santosh D'Mello
professor, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
joint faculty appointment in the School of Brain and Behavioral Science

Photo, Santosh D'Mello Santosh D’Mello, Ph.D., has made a career of investigating brain cell suicide. “The focus of my lab is a process called apoptosis,” D’Mello said. “Apoptosis, a suicide process in cells, is a Greek word that refers to the falling of leaves every autumn.”


Juan González
professor, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
associate dean for graduate studie
s in NSM

Photo, Juan Gonzalez Juan González, Ph.D., says bacteria – the rod-shaped single-celled microorganisms – conduct molecular conversations with one another that may someday be deciphered by scientists. He enjoys his students and admires their work a great deal. (more)


Rod Heelis
Distinguished Chair in Natural Sciences & Mathematics
director, William B. Hanson Center for Space Sciences

Photo, Rod HeelisWith interests that range from planet-star interaction to finding the differences between planets with magnetic fields, Cecil and Ida Green Honors Professor of Physics Rod Heelis measures weather in space using sophisticated instruments that fly on satellite "space labs." He creates computer models that predict phenomena affecting space-based assets. (more)


Mustapha Ishak-Boushaki
assistant professor, Department of Physics

Photo, Mustapha Ishak-BoushakiConducting research "at the intersection of modern cosmology and general relativity," newly hired physics Assistant Professor Mustapha Ishak-Boushaki investigates whether the acceleration of the expansion of the universe is caused by "dark energy" or by modifications to gravity. (more)



Robert Marsh
senior lecturer III, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

Photo, Robert Marsh While Robert Marsh, Ph.D., directs his genetic manipulations on plants, his main research in the laboratory deals with understanding how the nuclear structure is put together inside the cells of animals. (more)

A. Dean Sherry
Cecil H. and Ida Green Distinguished Chair in Systems Biology
professor, Department of Chemistry;
professor of radiology, UT Southwestern Medical School

Photo, A. Dean Sherry Coming up with the proper mix of compounds that will allow physicians to see what’s going on inside their patients is no easy task. Just ask A. Dean Sherry, Ph.D., who develops and tests contrast agents used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). (more)


Robert J. Stern
Department of Geosciences

Photo, Robert J. SternThe Earth is gaining ground, and it's happening deep below the surface of the world’s oceans. Robert Stern, a professor of geosciences and former department head, studies the evolution of continental crust, focusing on its formation and trying to determine its age and composition. (more)

  • Updated: February 1, 2019