Wagie, Hannah

Chemistry & Biochemistry

Year of Graduation: 2015
Research Lab: Professor Geissinger
Major Area of Focus: Physical Chemistry
Minor Area of Focus: Inorganic / Biophysics

Thesis: Porphyrin as a Spectroscopic Probe of Net Electric Fields in Heme Proteins

Previously Attended

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, 2006 - 2009, BS - Chemistry with Biochemical Option

Why I like Chemistry

Chemistry has always been a challenge for me, an engaging & satisfying game for my mind.

Why I chose the Chemistry and Biochemistry Program at UW-Milwaukee

Having completed my undergraduate degree at UWM after returning to school from a five-year hiatus, I found the chemistry faculty to be knowledgeable and accessible. I continued my graduate research with Dr. Peter Geissinger after a great undergraduate research opportunity with the group that included three poster presentations and an award.

Favorite things to do in Milwaukee

I love summertime in Milwaukee! The constant lakefront festivals and music events in parks gives this small town a celebration atmosphere from May to September.

Research Goals

We would like to measure internal electric fields inside myoglobin and hemoglobin using spectral hole-burning as a resolution method for Stark spectroscopy (application of an electric field to affect absorption or emission spectra). This parameter is being explored as a contributor to the impressive ligand discrimination displayed in these proteins, which will require the development of a theory to model the protein matrix as a proper microscopic distribution of electron density as opposed to the macroscopic dielectric material model used currently.


  • Wagie, H. E. and P. Geissinger (2012). "Hole-Burning Spectroscopy as a Probe of Nano-environments and Processes in Biomolecules: A Review." Applied Spectroscopy 66(6): 609-627.
  • Wagie, H. E., J. C. Woehl, and P. Geissinger (2015). "Practical Implementation of Infinite-Order Perturbation Theory with Stark Spectroscopy for Internal Electric Field Determination." In preparation.


  • Founding officer of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy (SAS) student section at UWM
  • Founding officer of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry Graduate Student Council
  • Three student poster awards at the SCIX conference, 2009, 2011, 2013
  • UWM Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry 2014 Awards Day, 1st Place poster
  • UWM Graduate School Distinguished Graduate Student Award, 2012–2013 academic year