Rosenthal Research Group at Vanderbilt

Current Members

Research Professors

Dr. Ian D. Tomlinson

Ian obtained his B.Sc. in 1985 from Essex University and his Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry in 1989 from Essex University in the UK. After many years in industry at ASTRA (London and Sweden) and at Key Organics he took a sabbatical and received an M.Sc. from Cranfield University in Environmental Diagnostics in 2000. After which came to the States to work in our group on the nano-neuro project. His principle role is to design and synthesize novel biologically active ligands that can be attached to nanocrystals and used as biological fluorescent probes in neurology.


Dr. James R. McBride

James received his B.S. from Florida Southern College in 1999 and his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt in 2004. James’ interests lay in using Z-Contrast Scanning Transmission Microscopy (Z-STEM), Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) and Electron Energy-Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) to elucidate the atomic structure and composition of colloidal core and core/shell nanocrystals and their surfaces. Rutherford Back-Scattering has also been used to analyze the bulk composition of the core/shell samples and to identify impurities found in the semi-conducting polymer used in our photovoltaic devices. James manages and trains graduates students on the Tecnai Osiris TEM/STEM at Vanderbilt.








Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Oleg Kovtun


Graduate Students

Danielle Bailey

Danielle received her B.S. in Biochemistry from Samford University in 2011. After teaching fifth and seventh grade science for three years with Teach For America, she began her graduate studies in 2014. Her research involves the application of quantum dots as fluorescent probes for single molecule tracking. Specifically, she focuses on utilizing and developing various quantum dot conjugation strategies to study how the serotonin transporter protein interacts with other proteins in primary serotonergic neurons. She is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow.


Talitha Frecker

Talitha received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of St. Francis (Fort Wayne) in 2013. Her current research involves quantum yield enhancement and incorporating ultrasmall white light emitting CdSe nanocrystals into different polymer matrices as the intrinsic fluorophore in LED devices.







Nathaniel Freymeyer

Nathaniel received his B.A. in chemistry from Franklin and Marshall College in 2014 and joined the Rosenthal lab in 2015. His current research utilizes ultrafast fluorescence upconversion spectroscopy to study the charge carrier dynamics of semiconductor quantum dots. He is interested in manipulating nanocrystal surface and chemical composition to exhibit control over charge carrier behavior, tailoring nanocrystal structure to exhibit the desired properties for specific applications.


Kemar Reid


Lucas Thal


Lucas “Louie” Thal received a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.S. in Biochemistry and Cellular & Molecular Biology from University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 2015. Here in the Rosenthal lab, Lucas puts to use core/shell quantum dot conjugates to investigate regulation and trafficking mechanisms of the autism/bipolar-associated A559V dopamine transporter (DAT) coding variant. Properties he is interested in probing include surface dynamics, oligomerization, and microdomain affinity. In the summer of 2016, Lucas was awarded the NIH Chemical-Biology Interface Training Grant.







Undergraduate Students

Michael Frankland

Cayla Ontko