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Peter A

- Research Program Mentor

PhD at University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)


Chemistry, Organic Chemistry


I first moved to the Philly area a little over eight years ago to begin my Bachelors at Swarthmore College where I thrived in the small, liberal-arts environment. I grew a lot as a person and also fostered my love for science - specifically Chemistry. Once I had graduated I moved to the city to pursue my PhD in Organic chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. Here I have developed a deeper knowledge and appreciation of Chemistry, but I have also established a healthy work-life balance. During my free time I enjoy baking, tutoring, roller skating and karaoke.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

The Chemistry of Baking

Every body loves a good cupcake or pastry, but do they really understand how the raw ingredients are transformed into fluffy confections? There are plenty of chemical transformations that occur when food is cooked depending on the components, and in this project you will explore those transformations! You can analyze acid-base reactions, the formation of gluten, and how changing ratios of ingredients affects the texture and flavor of your product. This is a very delicious way to develop your understanding of chemistry and the scientific method!

The Chemistry of Cosmetics

Our skin and hair have complex chemical structures, and we go to great lengths to take care of them! There are many naturally occurring and synthetic molecules that help us maintain a healthy appearance, but how do they work? You can investigate how different chemicals interact with the various layers of our skin and/or hair. The cosmetics industry sells us a variety of products, but you can use your understanding of chemistry to help parse out what is best for your skin/hair type - a skill that will prove very helpful in the future!

Teaching experience

I have TA'd Organic Chemistries 1 & 2 both at Swarthmore College and at The University of Pennsylvania for several semesters. I have also served as an independent tutor for the past few years at The University of Pennsylvania.



Swarthmore College
BA Bachelor of Arts (2015)
University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)
PhD Doctor of Philosophy (2019)
Organic Chemistry

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