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Denise N. Williams-Harris


Denise graduated cum laude from the University of New Haven, where she received Bachelors in both forensic science and chemistry. As an undergraduate researcher, Denise worked on characterizing fast blue salt precursor solutions and their interaction with silica.

Denise joined the Rosenzweig Group as a Meyerhoff Graduate Fellow in 2015. Her research is aimed at 1) synthesizing nanomaterials that are more environmentally benign without compromising their luminescent properties or intended applications in bioimaging or drug applications, and 2)investigating the implications of quantum dot surface chemistry on their interactions with bacterial targets.

In addition to her work in the Rosenzweig Lab, Denise has worked as a team member with the PROMISE AGEP program under the direction of Dr. Renetta Tull. UMBC’s PROMISE AGEP  supports academic and professional development of graduate students from all backgrounds, in all fields, and in  conjunction with PROMISE and AGEP programs across the University of Maryland system and the country. Denise has also served a Senator for the Chemistry Graduate Student Association and Secretary for the  Living Network for Connective Science (LNCS), a UMBC graduate student organization with a mission for STEM outreach.

Denise’s personal website can be found at

 Journal Publications

  1. Williams, D. N.; Saar, J.; Bleicher, V.; Rau, S.; Lienkamp, K.; Rosenzweig, Z. Poly(oxanorbornene)-coated CdTe Quantum Dots as Antibacterial Agents. ACS Applied Bio Materials. 2020, 3, 1097-1104. Read Here
  2. Williams, D. N.; Pramanik, S.; Brown, R.P.; Zhi, B.; McIntire, E.; Hudson-Smith, N.V.; Haynes, C.; Rosenzweig, Z. Adverse Interaction of Luminescent Semiconductor Quantum Dots with Liposomes and Shewanella oneidensis. ACS Applied Nano Materials. 2018, 1 (9), 4788–4800. Read Here
  3. Zhi, B.; Cui, Y.; Wang, S.; Frank, B.; Williams, D. N.; Brown, R.; Melby, E.; Hamers, R.; Rosenzweig, Z.; Fairbrother, D. H.; Orr, G.; Haynes, C. Malic acid carbon dots: from super-resolution living cell imaging to highly efficient separation. ACS Nano. 2018, 12, 5741-5752. Read Here
  4.  Pham, S.; Kuether, J.; Gallagher, M.; Hernandez, R.; Williams, D.; Zhi, B.; Mensch, A.; Hamers, R.; Rosenzweig, Z.; Fairbrother, D. Howard; Krause, M.; Feng, V. Z, ; Haynes, C. Carbon Dots: A modular activity to teach fluorescence and nanotechnology at multiple levels. J. Chem. Edu. 2017, 94 (8), 1143–1149. Read Here
  5. Lyons, T. Y.; Williams, D. N.; Rosenzweig, Z. Adding Fluorescence Lifetime Spectroscopy to the Tool Kit Used to Study the Formation and Degradation of Luminescent Quantum Dots in Solution. Langmuir. 2017, 33 (12), 3018-3027. Read Here

Group News

  1. 3/4-7/2020 Laura and Denise presented at the 2nd PANNANO Conference in SP, Brazil. Denise won a poster award!
  2. 12/13/2018 Read Denise’s blog post on her Germany cross-training experience
  3. 3/28/2018 Denise featured in Spotlight tweet by UMBC’s College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences
  4. 3/29/2017 1st Place 3MT Presentation at UMBC’s GRC
  5. 2/17/20117 1st Place TED-Style Talk at PROMISE Symposium
  6. 9/21/2016 Read Denise’s Blog Post