Halle BarberHalle Barber ’20 (CLAS) was an undergraduate researcher in the Rouge Lab since her first year at UConn, starting in the Fall of 2016. During her first two years in the lab, she helped with the synthesis of lipoplex nanoparticles designed to mimic endosomes and participated in fluorescence studies focused on the ability of modified DNA to rupture the lipoplexes, a study for which she co-authored a paper in ChemBioChem (https://doi.org/10.1002/cbic.201800302).

In later years, her research focus was on the synthesis and design of a new DNA-based bioconjugation approach for crosslinking surfactant micelles. For this independent project, she received the Chemistry Department’s 2018 Summer Research Fellowship, and the following year a 2019 UConn Summer Undergraduate Research Fund (SURF) award to continue her work. Also in 2019, Halle was the recipient of the 2019 LSAMP Fellowship Award which funded an opportunity for her to do research in Australia under the mentorship of Dr. Katharina Gaus at the University of New South Wales.

In addition to her research contributions, she participated in a number of outreach events, including helping with the UConn Science Activities Day run by the Rouge Group with other participating labs. During these events, Halle helped show high school teachers and their students how to characterize nanomaterials. She was also active in the broader UConn community, participating in the Husky Ambassador’s Program where she provided prospective students with a personal perspective on what it’s like to be a UConn undergrad to facilitate their college choice. She also helped students and parents learn more about UConn and the Honors Program of which she participated in and submitted her honors thesis entitled “Development of a Programmable DNA-Crosslinked Nanocapsule for Sensing Applications.”

Upon graduation, Halle received the 2020 American Chemical Society’s Connecticut Valley Section “Outstanding Graduating Senior Award,” reflecting her hard work both in the lab and in the classroom.

In Fall 2020, Halle joined the Ph.D. program in the Chemistry Department at McGill University.

Learn more about all Outstanding Senior Women Academic Achievement Awardees