RENEW Post Doc: Karla Lievanos

Karla R. Sanchez Lievanos.

Karla was awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) fellowship, the MPS-Ascend Postdoctoral Fellowship, which aims to advance scientific discovery and diversify the fields of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

Karla earned her PhD in chemistry from the University of Rochester in 2023. As a postdoctoral fellow at UB, she will focus her research on the development of safe prototype photoactive molecular materials for PFAS capture and degradation. These nanocages function like tiny spongey containers that absorb pollutants from water and have unique responses to light, enabling them to transform pollutants into safe by-products.

Lievanos will work under the mentorship of Dr. Diana Aga, director of the UB RENEW (Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water) Institute, and co-mentor Dr. Timothy Cook, director of graduate studies and professor in the Department of Chemistry.

To better connect with and inspire young scientists, Karla has launched a series of projects, all embraced within the PFAS Future Leaders Initiative, to raise awareness about PFAS, promote scientific excellence, and contribute to a safer, healthier world by amplifying the voices of dedicated individuals who are working to understand, mitigate, and develop sustainable PFAS solutions.