Who We Are

Lauren Webb, Ph.D.Lauren Webb, Ph.D.

Department of Chemistry, University of Texas at Austin
Executive State Director, Welch Summer Scholars Program
WSSP UT-Austin Site Director

Lauren J. Webb is an Associate Professor of chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin. She obtained her A.B. in chemistry (music minor) from Bowdoin College in 2000. She entered graduate school at the California Institute of Technology supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and earned her Ph.D. in chemistry in 2005. She did her graduate work in the laboratory of Dr. Nathan Lewis, where she studied chemical and electronic properties of functionalized silicon(111) surfaces. From 2005 to 2008 she was a NIH NRSA postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Steven Boxer in the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University. Her research focused on quantifying electro- static fields in proteins using vibrational Stark effect spectroscopy. Dr. Webb moved to UT-Austin in 2008, where she has developed a research program based on her training in both surface and biological chemistry. Her research interests are centered on understanding and manipulating the mechanisms of interaction, organization, and self- assembly of biological macromolecules in both natural and artificial environments. She is an Arthur P. Sloan Fellow and the recipient of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface, the College of Natural Sciences Teaching Excellence Award, and the Iota Sigma Pi Agnes Fay Morgan Research Award.


BrendaBrenda Baxendale
Department of Chemistry, University of Texas at Austin
Program Director
Welch Summer Scholars Program

Ms. Baxendale has handled the day-to-day coordination of the Welch Summer Scholar Program since 2017.  She has been involved in many areas during over 20 years at the University of Texas including Scholarship Coordinator for the College of Natural Sciences Dean's Office and Administrator of the Texas Interscholastic League Foundation, the scholarship arm of the University Interscholastic League (UIL).


Stephanie HenryStephanie Henry, MA
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Texas at Arlington

Ms. Henry received her BA in 2012 and Masters in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies in 2016 from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is the Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry where she works closely with the faculty Graduate Advisor to coordinator all aspects of the department graduate program. She became the Site Director for the Welch Summer Scholar Program in 2022.



Anthony Cozzolino, Ph.D.Anthony Cozzolino, Ph.D.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Texas Tech University

Dr. Cozzolino hails from Ontario Canada where he completed his graduate work at McMaster University under the supervision of Prof. Ignacio Vargas-Baca.  There he designed new supramolecular materials that self-assemble through tellurium-nitrogen interactions.  Following this, he worked as an NSERC postdoctoral fellow at MIT with Prof. Christopher Cummins where he learned how to make and characterize some extremely reactive paramagnetic coordination complexes.  He then joined Prof. Mircea Dinca’s group at MIT as a postdoctoral associate in order to help take metal-organic frameworks in some unique directions.

Dr. Cozzolino accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University in 2013 and is pursuing new molecular and supramolecular materials.


Steve Baldelli, Ph.D.Steve Baldelli, Ph.D.

Department of Chemistry, University of Houston

Steve Baldelli received his B.S. degree from Framingham State College in Massachusetts in 1992 and his Ph.D. from Tufts University in 1998 under the direction of Mary Shultz. After spending three years at the University of California, Berkeley, with Gabor Somorjai and Phil Ross, he moved to University of Houston, where he is now an Associate Professor of chemistry. He is also a visiting professor at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. His interests center on using linear and nonlinear spectroscopic and microscopic methods to study surface chemistry problems including liquid and solid interfaces of ionic liquids, SAMs, electrochemical interfaces, and problems in corrosion.


Paul Pantano, Ph.D.Paul Pantano, Ph.D.

Department of Chemistry, University of Texas at Dallas

Dr. Pantano has been been a site-director of the Welch Foundation Summer Scholar Program since 1997.  He is an affiliate of the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute and a principal of the UT-Dallas Bionanosciences Group.  His research goals include elucidating the cellular response and fate of carbon nanotubes and advancing the diagnostic and therapeutic applications of carbon nanotubes.  His group’s areas of expertise include the characterization of nanomaterials, the reproducible preparation of purified nanotube samples, the assessment of potential nanomaterial cytotoxicity, and the development of label-free measurement of nanotubes inside living cells and tissue.

Dr. Pantano was awarded his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California at Los Angeles, his M.S. in Chemistry from the California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, and his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of California at Riverside; in addition, he completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris and at Tufts University.