Research Synopsis & Career Path
I was honored to receive the Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship Award as a graduate student at Northwestern, where my research project allowed me to bring together various aspects of my technical training to look at problems from non-conventional angles. As an undergraduate and later a postbaccalaureate researcher, I worked in Christopher Cahill's laboratory at The George Washington University studying inorganic/organic hybrid materials containing uranium. Crystallography was our workhorse, and my excitement about it was instrumental in my decision to attend graduate school. When I began my doctoral work at Northwestern University with Mercouri Kanatzidis in 2010, I expanded my interest from uranyl chemistry to f elements more generally and began adding spectroscopic techniques to my repertoire in order to better probe the assembly of materials in solution into their ordered solid state structures. I switched research tracks in 2012, moving into nanomaterials and focusing primarily on the spectroscopy of quantum-confined semiconductors. Working under Richard Schaller as a visiting graduate student at Argonne National Laboratory, I studied the effects of elevated temperature on the photophysical properties of these materials. Carrying my earlier experience with me, I sought to explore how the physical properties of the materials were altered under the conditions that caused changes to their spectroscopic properties. Using the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne to carry out in situ X-ray diffraction studies, we were able to watch as quantum dots melted at high temperatures and their diffraction peaks - and emission spectra - broadened and eventually disappeared. This work was enabled by the Frevel Scholarship and became an integral part of my thesis, which I defended in December 2014.
As a National Research Council Research Associate, in 2015 I joined a large, interdisciplinary team at the Naval Research Laboratory that studied the effects of electric fields on the photoluminescence of quantum dots for imaging neuronal action potentials. This work was part of a widespread effort to take the next step in medicine: mapping the billions of neurons in the human brain. The success of this initiative may do for psychology, psychiatry, and medicine more broadly what X-ray diffraction did for materials science; as structure/property relationships can only be understood when a structure is itself understood, so brain function and dysfunction - from epilepsy to Alzheimer's to PTSD - remains a mystery as long as the activity of the brain is a black box phenomenon.
Spurred by an interest in the sorts of "big picture" projects that have led to concerted scientific efforts like President Obama's BRAIN Initiative, I began a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship in September 2016. At Millennium Challenge Corporation, a small federal organization that focuses on international development and poverty reduction through economic growth, I am now bringing my quantitative, evidence-based training to a sector well beyond my academic training. As the Data for Development advisor to the Data Collaboratives for Local Impact team, I help our partners in Tanzania build a better ecosystem for data for decision-making by building local capacity and nurturing increased demand for and use of data.
Publications & Presentations
I have published twenty-five peer-reviewed articles and chapters in journals that include Nature Materials, ACS Nano, Nano Letters, and Materials Today and have given fourteen talks at national conferences and invited seminars. Select publications are listed below.
Rowland, C.E.; Brown, C.W.; Medintz, I,L.; Delehanty, J.B. Nanomaterial-based sensors for the detection of biological threat agents. Mater. Today, 2016
, 464-467. DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2016.02.018.
Rowland, C.E.; Susumu, K.; Stewart, M.H.; Oh, E.; Mäkinen, A.J.; O'Shaughnessy, T.; Kushto, G.; Wollack, M.; Erickson, J.; Efros, Al. L.; Huston, A.; Delehanty, J.B. Electric Field Modulation of Semiconductor Quantum Dot Photoluminescence: Insights Into the Design of Robust Voltage-Sensitive Cellular Imaging Probes. Nano Lett. 2015
(10), 6848-6854. DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b02725
(NRC/ASEE Research Publication Award
Rowland, C.E.; Fedin, I.; Zhang, H.; Govorov, A.O.; Gray, S.K.; Talapin, D.V.; Schaller, R.D. Ultrafast Energy Transfer Between CdSe Nanoplates: Picosecond FRET Timescales. Nature Mater. 2015, 14
, 484-489. DOI: 10.1038/nmat4231
Rowland, C.E.; Hannah, D.C.; Demortière, A.; Yang, J.; Cook, R.E.; Kortshagen, U.; Schaller, R.D. Silicon Nanocrystals at Elevated Temperatures: Retention of Photoluminescence and Diamond Si to b-SiC Phase Transition. ACS Nano 2014
(9), 9219-9223. DOI: 10.1021/nn5029967
Rowland, C.E.; Kanatzidis, M.G.; Soderholm, L. Tetraalkylammonium uranyl thiocyanates. Inorg. Chem
. 2012, 51
(21), 11798-11804. DOI: 10.1021/ic301741u
(Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research Award
Honors & Awards
- American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellowship (2016-2018)
- National Research Council (NRC) Research Associateship (2015-2016)
- National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (2010-2014)
- Department of Energy (DOE) Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research Award (2013)
- Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship (2008-2009)
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship (2007-2009)
- National Merit Scholarship (2005-2009)