Cassandra Ward and Dennis Anderson join the Lumigen Instrument Center

Wayne State's Lumigen Instrument Center welcomed two new members in 2018 – Cassandra Ward and Dennis Anderson.

In December 2018, Cassandra “Cassie” Ward, Ph.D., joined the Lumigen Instrument Center (LIC) as the associate director of the X-Ray Laboratory. In 2014, Ward earned a Ph.D. in chemistry in the laboratory of Chris Elles at the University of Kansas. Her dissertation research used ultrafast laser pulses to control photochemical reactions of photochromic molecular switches.

As the first member to join the Elles Lab, Ward developed the ultra-fast laser spectroscopy experiments, including all of the LabVIEW programming, the detector hardware development and the optical layout. She then moved to the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, where she worked for Jerry Meyer as a postdoctoral researcher. There, Ward combined electrochemistry with steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopy to study Ru-bipyridyl complexes on transparent metal-oxide surfaces for applications in dye-sensitized solar cells.

With a background in developing novel instrumentation, Ward joined the Linz Lab at Wayne State, where she developed a rapid thermocycling system to perform microfluidic digital quantitative PCR. Additionally, she developed a novel microfluidic gel electrophoresis system for the enhanced fluorescence detection of small molecules and nucleic acids. Cassie then transitioned to a postdoc position in the LIC X-ray laboratory prior to obtaining her current position. She manages and maintains the X-ray instruments and the optical spectroscopy instruments, trains and assists users on these instruments, and solves small-molecule, single-crystal structures.

Dennis Anderson joined the in October 2018 as a senior research scientist in charge of the NMR and EPR laboratories. Anderson attended college at Purdue University and received an M.S. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology.

Anderson began his career as the instrumentation facilities manager at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He then worked in the chemistry department at Central Michigan University for nearly six years.

Anderson next joined Pfizer Global Research & Development in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and then spent 11 years at the company’s main research and development facility in Connecticut.

Anderson enjoys training for and riding in long-distance road cycling events. He took up kayaking a year and a half ago and likes to travel when possible.

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