Chemistry journal publishes senior’s research on bacteria

Scott Nussbaum

Divya Gupta’s ’15 research on antibacterial surfaces, which she began in 2013 at UCLA and is now continuing in her Studies and Scientific research class, was recently published in the “American Chemical Society Journal.” The research focuses on how materials can combat the growth of bacteria.

In addition to her research on bacteria, Gupta has also conducted research focusing on regenerating tissue and improving football helmets to reduce the impact of hits to the head.

“Anybody can have a passion, such as dance, art and sports,” Gupta said. “Some people go abroad to do community service, and my way is to do research. That is the way I give back to the community.”

Gupta became involved in scientific research when she visited her father’s lab during the summer. Gupta’s father, a professor and researcher at UCLA, had discovered a polymer that was not being used in any research projects. Gupta decided to study whether the polymer could improve football helmets so they can better reduce the shock delivered to the head.

Following her tests, Gupta discovered the polymer outperformed the Riddell helmets which are currently used in the NFL. In the future, Gupta hopes to continue this research in college and extend her findings to military gear.

“I want to do what I can to help society with whatever resources are available to me and use my education for the greater good,” Gupta said. “That is why I conduct scientific research.”

In her Studies and Scientific Research class, Gupta will continue to study how surfaces can be improved to combat bacteria growth. These surfaces are used in biomedical devices, such as hip and knee replacements and for surgical devices.