Branchini Bioluminescence Research Group

The Branchini Bioluminescence Research Group (BRG) at Connecticut College is under the direction of Professor Bruce Branchini in the Department of Chemistry.

Bioluminescence — the emission of light by living organisms—is a beautiful natural phenomenon that has enchanted children, challenged those who have tried to understand it, and provided the basis for an important research tool.

Examples of bioluminescence can be found throughout nature in bacteria, mushrooms, jellyfish, earthworms, clams, fish and beetles.

The group researches the bioluminescent pathways of fireflies and other organisms, increasing the understanding of how living organisms convert chemical energy into light. With consistent funding from sponsors, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and the Hans & Ella McCollum '21 Vahlteich endowment, as well as the collaboration of lab technicians and undergraduate students, the Branchini Bioluminescence Research Group is actively developing practical applications for non-toxic biodegradable bioluminescent materials.

We encourage students from Connecticut College or from other institutions who are interested in summer research to contact Professor Branchini.

Pictured above, the 2014 Branchini Bioluminescence Research Group. Members from left to right: Leah Salituro '17, Professor Bruce Branchini, Tara Southworth, Curran Behney, Munya Talukder '16, Danielle Fontaine and Aliya Holland '17.

Contact Information:

Dr. Bruce Branchini
Hans and Ella McCollum '21 Vahlteich Professor of Chemistry
Phone: (860) 439-2479
Hale Laboratory
Box 5214
Connecticut College