Chemistry and Biochemistry

Chromatography Student Published in Top Journal

Posted: Jan 29, 2015

PhD student Tayyebeh Panahi recently had an article published in the Journal of Chromatography A, one of the top journals that publishes work in analytical chemistry. 

Panahi works in Dr. Roger Harrison’s lab developing new stationary phases for ion chromatography columns. She then applies these columns to the separation and detection of analytes in biofluids and environmental waters.  Her article (on which she collaborated with Dr. Harrison, Dr. John Lamb, and Douglas Weaver) focuses specifically on separating and detecting low levels of toxins in urine.  “People who suffer from kidney failure accumulate toxins in their body,” she explained. “This paper is about the detection and quantification of some of these toxins, which could lead to an earlier diagnosis of kidney problems and start of patient care.”

Panahi graduated with her B.S. in chemistry from Shiraz University in her hometown of Shiraz, Iran.  She stayed in Iran to obtain her master’s degree in organic chemistry from the Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences in Zanjan.  Panahi heard about BYU through one of her friends, and after studying more about the research, she decided to move over seven thousand miles away to join the graduate program here.

Panahi said that at first her parents were a little nervous about sending her to the U.S.  “However,” she said. “Studying more about BYU—the honor code, the cultural values, and the city’s atmosphere—comforted my parents a lot. My culture shares many of the same values as BYU does.  My parents always encourage me to reach higher goals and values. In this case, they supported me to reach my goal and obtain my wish of coming to the United States for my PhD.”

Depending on her research, Panahi plans to graduate in early 2016 and hopes to find work in U.S. industry where she can expand her knowledge and experience in chromatography. Her dream job is to join the research and development department of ThermoFisher Scientific Inc. However, she knows that the experience she gains with other companies will help her reach her goals.

Panahi’s goals have been shaped and developed at BYU, particularly with the help of her mentors. “I want to thank Dr. Harrison and Dr. Lamb for their great support and help through my PhD program at BYU, and for encouraging me to reach my goals,” she said. “My experience at BYU has not only affected my science studies but also my personal goals. I have met so many wonderful people here who have inspired me to pursue great values in life.”

Read Panahi's article here: "Separation of uremic toxins from urine with resorcinarene-based ion chromatography columns"

Article by Jordan Wright

Photo courtesy of Tayyebeh Panahi