The Office of Student Research is proud to feature Lauren Johnson in this week’s “Scholar Story”.

Lauren Johnson is a senior chemistry major at Longwood University. Lauren’s computational chemistry research with Dr. Benjamin Topham was centered around single molecule electronics and gaining chemical control of molecules. Lauren first became involved in research because “in my freshman year I was encouraged by faculty and peers to apply for a summer program called PRISM, thankfully I was picked, and my love for research blossomed. Since then, I have completed six semesters of research in computational and theoretical chemistry, one in analytical chemistry, and one semester for method development in food chemistry.”

Her favorite part of doing research was “seeing all areas of chemistry work together in a single project. Physical, organic, analytical, and inorganic all go in to understanding how a molecule may react. And having started research my freshman year with each course I was able to relate it back to how or why something was occurring in my research.”

Lauren is happy that she has had multiple research opportunities because “by having a strong involvement in research, I was always craving to learn more in a classroom setting so I could apply it to whatever research project I was completing. It kept my brain engaged in a classroom setting where I might not have been super engaged. For example, topics like thermodynamics and calculus three are not inherently fun for me. But when you use those topics to design a molecule to determine if you can chemically control it, they become interesting!”

Lauren presented her research at many different conferences including the Virginia section of the American Chemical Society Annual Meeting in 2019 and the American Chemical Society National Meeting in spring 2020. She also published her research in INCITE, Longwood’s undergraduate research journal.

After graduation, she will be working as an industry chemist, most likely in a pharmaceutical laboratory.

Congratulations to Lauren on her successful research!


If you would like to have your research featured in a “Scholar Story”, or if you would like to learn more about getting involved in research at Longwood University, please visit Longwood’s Office of Student Research website

or contact Amorette Barber, Director of the Office of Student Research ( or