John Silzel
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My teaching page.
Biola University, where I am Professor of Chemistry, encourages privately-funded research as a means of involving students in real science, building liaisons between the University and science and technology companies, and ensuring that faculty are equipped to teach practice as well as theory. Research is a way of life for me, and I welcome contacts from colleagues wishing to collaborate or explore ways our well-equipped labs (SEM, NMR, FTIR, UV/VIS, AFM, and HPLC) and supervised students might provide key analyses of your samples.

At the right side of this page will appear occasional updates on my work as time permits. My own research interests include:
  • Fluorescence spectroscopy, particularly materials, equipment, and methods for quantitative Near-Infrared (NIR) fluorometry. I am using computational chemistry (molecular dynamics and quantum mechanical density functional theory) to elucidate and assign observed spectroscopic effects related to solvation, aggregation, and intermolecular interactions of both natural and synthetic fluorescent materials. In this work, Biola University students prepare materials and characterize them by collecting vibrational, absorbance and fluorescence spectra. This experimental data is compared to the results of DFT and TDDFT calculations performed on BLESS, the Biola Low-Emission Scientific Supercomputer, a solar-assisted 40-node Rocks computing cluster housed in Bardwell Hall.

  • Signal processing methods for the quantitative analysis of complex data originating from many simultaneous measurements of a system (e.g. time, wavelength, frequency, and spatial coordinates) where multiple interferences make analysis difficult by conventional methods. This research interest grew naturally out of my work in biomedical assay development, and has grown to encompass difficult problems in chromatography, electrophoresis, and even real time audio processing (pitch and voice recognition, etc.). My work in this area is very applied, and done often in a consulting role or in support of my specific research interests.

  • Physical chemistry of ligand binding assays. Immunoassays and nucleic acid hybridization are two ways of detecting infectious diseases, endocrine dysfunction, cardiac disease, and cancer. Both techniques exploit the in vitro use of binding reactions that normally occur within cells. My work studies these reactions from two directions: changing kinetics and thermodynamics that result as conventional medical tests are miniaturized; and the ways in which in vivo kinetics and thermodynamics are perturbed when cellular recognition reagents are adapted by scientists for medical testing.

  • Physics of stringed musical instruments, particularly bowed instruments of the violin family. This unusual field of investigation grew out of my work as a semiprofessional musician, and has led to publications on the dynamics of bowed string motion, the design of sensors and pickups for study as well as musical uses, and the use of warped FIR filters for instrument body modeling. I consult actively in this field and additionally am on the advisory board of the Savart Journal, an excellent online publication geared toward stringed instrument technology. And yes, I regularly use my own technology to make music!


It is the glory of God to conceal things
but the glory of kings is to search things out. --Proverbs 25:2 (ESV)
Articles:
> Computational Chemistry
> NIR Fluorescence


Articles, media, art, and figures are ©2015 by John Silzel, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
For permission to reproduce or use these materials, please contact info (at) silzel.com