Cooper Hawkins Battle
I'm originally from South Louisiana, and after a circuitous path including working as a Vet Tech, and short flirtation with Fashion Design, I found my way to the Chemistry major at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. I was fortunate to be able to do an undergraduate thesis through the Honors College, working with Dr. August Gallo looking at using variable temperature NMR to optimize hetero-Diels-Alder reactions as a way to make some interesting heterocyclic compounds.
After I finished my BS, I made my way not too far down the road to Tulane University in New Orleans, where I did my PhD in Chemistry with Dr. Janarthanan Jayawickramarajah in the area of supramolecular chemistry, fusing my background in organic synthesis with an interest in biological applications to look at molecular assembly as a way to make better therapeutics.
My graduate work led me to my current interest in developing biologically inspired sensors based on self assembly and conformational switches, with projects that fall both on the organic and biological side of chemistry. After graduate school I made my way up the Mississippi river valley to Iowa, where I spent two years in a term faculty position at Grinnell College, and was able to start my research lab.
In 2018, I made the very long move across country from Iowa to Oregon to take a tenure-track position at Willamette University, where I've been able to establish my research lab in addition to teaching general chemistry, biochemistry and the experimental biochemistry series.
On a more personal note, I grew up on a horse farm and I love cooking. The lack of easily available crawfish has shut down regular backyard boils, but I do make a good gumbo when the weather turns cold, and am enjoying finding new and different ingredients to add in from the local area. I'm also an avid reader, largely science fiction and fantasy, and keep a lending library in my office at school- stop by some time to talk about books or borrow one!
In addition to my time teaching in Iowa, we picked up the most recent member of our family: Roulez (short for laissez la bon temps roulez, or "let the good times roll" in Cajun French) on an Amish farm in southern Iowa. He has greatly enjoyed the transition to the west coast, and can frequently be found in my office or the Chemistry hearth.