Damian Hernandez is a junior, majoring in biochemistry. Damian is involved on campus with the Chemistry Club, Project Narrative, and is a future student editor for the Florida Undergraduate Research Journal. Damian's research research involves the synthesis and characterizations of organic ligands, coordination polymers, and metal organic frameworks, which are porous materials that can be used for many applications like gas and water filtration, energy storage, drug delivery and more. Damian is the recipient of various NSF REU's, and is attending the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates at New York University (2021-2022).
Damian is a recipient of the following awards:
National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates at New York University and was offered placement at seven other programs (2021-2022).
How did your mentor(s) encourage and foster your research and academic trajectory?
My mentor Dr. McManus has been a great influence during my time in FGCU. He has guided me through my studies and during research in the laboratory. Thanks to his tremendous support, I’ve been able to achieve and take part in many incredible opportunities, which will help me in my future career.
What does the OCF mean to you?
The Office of Competitive Fellowship is an extraordinary resource for students or anybody looking into changing their entire college perspectives. The office provides students with many opportunities and options regarding scholarships, grants, REU programs and more. It has allowed me to learn about my career goals and aspirations, while also giving me unparalleled support and encouragement in all instances. Dr. Terumi is an excellent mentor and will always support others with his expertise and aptitude on scholar affairs. Unquestionably, the best office/resource at FGCU.
What is the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates?
The National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF REU) provides opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in research through REU sites. At REU sites small groups of students collaborate with faculty and other researchers at a host institution. Damian is participating in the NSF REU at New York University. Through this research experience, Damian is working with Supramolecular Polymers, focusing on designing complex secondary and tertiary protein structures to incorporate them into copolymers, and utilize them as building blocks for 3D hierarchical architecture that emulate protein functionality.