Glenn T. Seaborg Institute


Denise Adorno Lopes

Fabrication of advanced nuclear fuel for next-generation reactors and fuel performance analysis, with a focus on the development of methods for Accelerated Fuel Qualification (AFQ). This involves supporting physics-based models by integrating modeling and separate effect tests, encompassing advanced fabrication methods, characterization, materials modeling, and fuel performance assessment. Email: [email protected]

Nikki Thiele

Dr. Nikki Thiele is a staff scientist in the Chemical Sciences Division at ORNL. Her laboratory focuses on developing novel ligand platforms for targeted radiopharmaceuticals and radiochemical separations. Dr. Thiele earned her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Medicinal Chemistry) at the University of Florida under the guidance of Prof. Kenneth B. Sloan, where she designed and evaluated small molecule prodrugs. From there, she joined the bioinorganic research group of Prof. Justin J. Wilson at Cornell University, where she worked as a postdoctoral associate to develop macrocycles for applications in targeted radionuclide therapy, industrial descaling, and chemical separations. In 2020, she accepted a research staff position in the Chemical Separations Group as a strategic hire. Her current research interests include advancing the coordination chemistry of rare radioactive ions, designing new chelation platforms for emerging alpha- and Auger-emitting radioisotopes in targeted cancer therapy; and targeted leaching and recovery of critical radionuclides using molecular recognition. This research is multidisciplinary, spanning the fields of synthetic organic chemistry, coordination/inorganic chemistry, analytical methodology, and radiochemistry. Email: [email protected]

Benjamin Manard

Interests revolve around analytical chemistry, specifically atomic spectroscopy and inorganic mass spectrometry. Much of my research is centered around the utilization and advancement of elemental and isotopic measurements, more specifically with inductively coupled plasma- mass spectrometry. These interest include the employment of various sampling introduction mechanisms including laser ablation, microextraction, and single particle / cell while utilizing a variety of mass spectrometric platforms including triple quadrupole, time-of-flight, and sector field (multi-collector). Email: [email protected]

Frankie White

My current areas of research interest are the solid-state coordination chemistry of medical isotopes including radium and actinium along with various f-elements such as promethium and the transuranic elements. Email: [email protected]

Luke Sadergaski

His research is focused on developing remote spectroscopy capabilities for online monitoring to support the production of radioisotopes in harsh environments (e.g., hot cells). His expertise and interests include optical spectroscopy, spectroelectrochemistry, separations, design of experiments, chemometrics, and machine learning. Email: [email protected]

Hunter Andrews

His research focus revolves around the development of in-situ, online monitoring tools for complex environments. His main expertise lies in optical spectroscopy, particularly laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), a rapid form of spectroscopy capable of elemental analysis regardless of sample form. Other research interests include analytical chemistry, electrochemistry, spectroelectrochemistry, neutron imaging, molten salts, inorganic mass spectrometry, chemometrics, and machine learning. Email: [email protected]

Joanna McFarlane

Dr. McFarlane is in the Process Engineering Group of the Isotope and Fuel Cycle Technology Division. Her recent experience in nuclear research is related to the chemistry of fission products in molten salt reactors, the purification and characterization of molten salts, and the measurement of thermochemical and thermophysical properties. Email: [email protected]

Cristian Celis-Barros

Currently, Cristian is part of the Radiochemical Process Development group in the Radioisotope Science & Technology Division supporting isotope production of Ni-63 and Pm-147 as well as conducting fundamental research for heavy actinide processing and separations. He is also interested in better understanding the fundamental chemistry of actinides such as Ac-225 and U-230/Th-226 to support their application to alpha-radiotherapy for cancer treatment. Email: [email protected]

Richard Mayes Email: [email protected]