Dr. Sean Moran

Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, 2014-present.

Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2009-2013

Ph.D., Columbia University, 2008

M.Phil., Columbia University, 2006

M.A., Columbia University, 2003

B.Sc., McGill University, 2001



Sean Moran is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at SIUC (2014-present). He received his B.Sc. in Biochemistry from McGill University in 2001. He did his graduate work with Brian Gibney at Columbia University in biophysical/bioinorganic chemistry with an emphasis on thermodynamics and protein design. Afterwards, he did his postdoc with Martin Zanni at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, focusing on vibrational labeling and 2D IR spectroscopy of proteins. The Moran lab at SIUC combines these interests in a wide range of projects aimed at understanding the structures and dynamics of complex biopolymers, including enzymes, DNA/RNA, and biomaterials.


Sean’s hobbies include playing the guitar, watching other people play the guitar, and complaining. He also loves cats. As a Connecticut native, he roots for the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Celtics, the UCONN Huskies, and the Hartford Whalers (RIP).


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Asia Hughes

Asia got her B.Sc. in Chemistry from Technical University of Wroclaw in Poland in 2014. She did her graduate project with Alex Jones at Manchester University in England, where she investigated magnetic field effects in biological and chemical systems with the main focus on instrument development. In addition to working on the enzyme project, she will contribute to other work, which includes using 2D IR for structural studies of biomolecular aggregates, including nucleic acids and amyloid peptides relevant to disease.

Asia’s hobbys include cooking, painting and getting angry when the laser alignment takes more time than expected. As a foreigner, she knows nothing about American football and doesn't support any team.


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Graduate Students

Tayler Hill

Tayler is a fourth year PhD student whose research focuses on using FTIR and 2D IR spectroscopic techniques and site-specific labeling to understand ultrafast vibrational dynamics in enzyme active sites. She is also interested in dynamical differences between thermophilic enzymes and mesophilic analogues.  She received her B.S. in chemistry and biochemistry from SIU in 2014, and received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to support her studies in 2015. 

Outside of lab, she enjoys visiting national parks, playing with her cats, cooking, and watching football (Geaux Saints!).


David Price

David is a 4th year PhD student whose research focuses on using IR spectroscopy to gain insight into biomolecular structure and dynamics by examining the vibrational coupling within molecules. Of particular interest are aggregating nucleic acid sequences as well as membrane proteins. David received his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Evansville in Evansville, IN in 2014. 


David's hobbies include golfing, cooking, hiking and following the St. Louis Cardinals and Blues. David is currently deciding where to lend his NFL fandom after being abandoned by the St. Louis Rams in 2016.


Richard Peterson (Ricky)

This is Ricky's first semester as a graduate student, and the first group member from the Physics department. Currently he is pursuing his Masters in Physics. Ricky's first task has been to expand the labs capabilities to include molecular dynamics simulations and further computational possibilities. He enjoys all of the nature that Southern Illinois has to offer, and tries to get out hiking as much as possible.  As for sports it is Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks, and Bulls that have always be Ricky's favorites. 



Additional graduate positions available through SIU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

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Undergraduate Students 

Hannah Lepird

Hannah is a senior studying chemistry with a specialization in biochemistry. She expects to receive her BS in May of 2018, after which she is planning to stay in the Moran lab for her graduate studies. In her spare time she enjoys reading, hiking, and playing video games.


Kaitlyn Hutson

Kaitlyn is a junior microbiology major. She expects to receive her BS May 2019, and plans to go to graduate school to study virology. In her spare time she enjoys baking and playing video games.


Brian Kettell

Brian (AKA Old Spice) is a senior undergraduate in the Moran lab. His hobbies include running til it hurts, going to thrift shops, making puns, learning about smoky eye, and playing with his roommate's cat.  He is also captain of the best flag football team in Southern Illinois (the Moran lab team). After graduation, he plans to attend the University of Tennessee for graduate studies.


Blaze Rightnowar

Blaze is a senior chemistry major specialized in biochemistry planning to graduate spring of 2019. His hobbies include studying classical and 20th century philosophy and playing video games. After graduation, he intends to go to graduate school for computational biochemistry or bioinformatics.


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