Joshua Beaver

Joshua Beaver

Teaching Assistant Professor

   Kenan Laboratories C147D
  Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Bioorganic Chemistry

Research Synopsis

Myriad fundamental chemical interactions cooperate and compete to drive biological processes. My chemistry research interests combine organic and biological chemistries to probe the intermolecular interactions between large molecules in water.

My graduate work focused on building our understanding of the contribution of aromatic, hydrophobic, and hydrogen-bonding interactions to protein-substrate binding and my postdoctoral training translated this work to the development of targeted anticancer drug delivery agents using DNA-based nanoparticles.

As a teaching professor I adapt this interdisciplinary problem-solving approach to active, evidence-based learning within the classroom. My highest priority as an educator is to provide my students with opportunities to take an active role in learning. My goal is to help students understand chemistry by developing translatable problem solving and critical thinking skills that will benefit them both in and outside of the classroom.

As a teaching professor at UNC, I am involved in several clinical research and curriculum development projects. One project is in collaboration with researchers in the School of Education and the Office of Digital and Lifelong learning to create data-driven analytics that correlate student success with their resource use, early performance on low-stakes assessments, and overall course engagement early in the semester. We then use these models to identify students that benefit from additional support or interventions at early stages of the semester to improve their trajectory and ultimately their learning and performance in the course. Other projects include deepening our understanding of modes of instruction and how they influence student learning, developing and establishing effective teaching methodologies regardless of instructor, and developing novel scaffolded learning resources for CHEM 261/262.

Professional Background

B.S. Chemistry, Juniata College, 2009; Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, NSF Graduate Research Fellow, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2014; Postdoctoral Researcher, Duke University, 2014-2016; Teaching Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2016-present