I'm a biochemist (with some synthetic organic leanings) at Willamette University, with interests that focus on designing fluorescent sensors that mimic biological function, in particular to detect the early progression of tumors via micro-RNAs. I'm originally from rural Louisiana (Sunset, specifically), where I spent many of my formative years working on a horse farm- and I can make a fantastic gumbo when the weather gets cold. I stayed local for my undergraduate work at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and then moved a short distance to New Orleans for my PhD with Janarthanan Jayawickramarajah at Tulane University. Following graduate school, I made a longer move to to Grinnell College in Iowa for two year faculty postion. I have recently made my longest move yet to come to Willamette University, where I teach general chemistry, biochemistry and the experimental biochemistry lab series.
My research area primarily focuses on the development of fluorescent sensors that work in biological systems, and mimic some of the high sensitivity and responsiveness that we see in biological systems. I base my sensors off of folded nucleic acids, as well as supramolecular host-guest systems that work in a similar fashion to fluorescent proteins. I am particularly interested in designing sensors able to probe micro-RNA levels and localization in real time to better understand their role in the early progression of tumors, with an eye towards the long-term development of inexpensive, durable and straightforward systems for the early detection of cancer. For more information on my research, including current and past projects as well as collected techniques and publications, check out the research section of my website. Research is all about the people you work with, and I've had the chance to work with some fantastic students, so I also encourage you to check out some of my current and past research students!
I am also passionate about teaching, in lectures and labs as well as through mentoring in research settings and extra-curricular activities. I think strong foundations and the integration of investigation into early coursework is extremely important to developing the next generation of talented scientists. More information on my approach to teaching can be found on the teaching section of my website, including my teaching philosophy, material for some past and current classes, and a section devoted to outreach (currently under development).
You can get in touch with me via gmail at chbattle, or find me on Willamette's campus in the Olin Building, Room 317. In addition to always being happy to talk about my work, chemistry, or science in general, I love reading science fiction and fantasy and maintain a modest lending library of paperbacks in my office- feel free to stop by and borrow some of my favorites!
Spring 2018 Highlights
- Congratulations to Emma Olson on a summer research internship at the Air Force Research Labs at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and Allison Brink on a summer REU at Penn State!
- A Jayawickramarajah Group Reunion/Battle Group Meetup at the ACS Meeting was a great time for renewing old connections and making new ones
- A successful and enjoyable 255th National ACS Meeting, with presentations given by Allison Brink, Francisco Sanchez-Conde, Emma Olson, Gwen Holtzman and many other Grinnell Chemistry Students.
Fall 2017 Highlights
- Congratulations to all of my research students for getting posters accepted at the 255th National ACS Meeting in New Orleans this Spring! Chloe Briney will be presenting in the Biochemistry section, Gwen Holtzman and Emma Olson will be presenting in the Undergraduate Research in Organic Chemistry, and Francisco Sanchez-Conde and Allison Brink will be presenting in the Undergraduate Research in Biochemistry section.
- Chaperoned a great group of students to the Midstates Consortium's Undergraduate Research Symposium in Physical Sciences at the University of Chicago, at which Emma Olson gave another poster presentation.
- Had a good trip with Emma Olson to the Midwestern Regional ACS Meeting in Lawrence, KS for her to present her work from the Summer and Fall.
- Glad to have Emma, Gwen & Allison continuing their research projects from the summer into the fall semester
Summer 2017 Highlights
- All of the new group members had a successful (and hopefully fun) summer of research, and all gave great poster presentations for the end of summer session. Looking forward to Emma's poster at the Midwestern Regional ACS meeting this fall, and Francisco, Gwen & Allison's posters at the National ACS Meeting next Spring!
- 4 new group members- Francisco Sanchez-Conde, Gwen Holtzman, Emma Olson and Allison Brink- are joining me for the summer (group picture below). Read more about them here. Francisco & Allison are working on projects related to sensing miRNAs in cancer, and Emma & Gwen are working on synthesizing novel naphthalene derivatives for sensors.
- Group member Chloe Briney (2017) graduated with Honors, and is going on to a post-bac position at the NIH's National Cancer Center. Congratulations, Chloe!
- New group member, Chloe Briney (2017) is doing a Mentored Advanced Project this Spring on dual-loop quadruplexes as molecular logic gates.
- Very excited to be staying on a second year at Grinnell College!
- Presentation by Alex Schmiechen and Francisco Sanchez-Conde on miR-let-7a targeted molecular beacons at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in Biological Sciences & Psychology, Midstates Consortium for Math and Science in Chicago, IL from my BCM 395 classes independent projects.
- Took a great group of students to the Midstates Consortium for Math and Science at the University of Chicago (pictured below).
- Presentation by former undergraduate researcher Aaron Coulon on our work with degradable, miRNA-targeted delivery systems at the 72nd Annual Southwestern Regional ACS Meeting in Galveston, TX.
- Hired at Grinnell College as a Visiting Assistant Professor
- Awarded Tulane 34 award for service, leadership and academic excellence during my graduate career.
- Defended my dissertation in April.
- Presented a poster at the 251st National ACS Conference in San Diego in March.
- High Throughput Host-Guest Sensing manuscript accepted at Chemical Communications as part of a special collection on Host-Guest Chemistry
- Gave a talk in the 27th Annual Frontiers in Nucleic Acids Symposium at the Southeastern Regional ACS Meeting in Memphis, TN
- Submission of final revisions of CA-II Inhibiton manuscript with Xiaozhu Chu & Janarthanan Jayawickramarjah