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Kimberly A. Milligan, PhD

Kimberly A. MilliganAssociate Professor
Director of the Delaware State University Water Quality Lab
Director of the Hemp Analysis Laboratory.
Department of Chemistry
Office: SCS Rm 314
Lab: SCS Rms 305/313
kmilligan [at] desu.edu


Dr. Kimberly A. Milligan is a renowned chemist and academic leader who has made significant contributions to the fields of water quality analysis and experiential learning. Dr. Milligan is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Delaware State University, where she also serves as the Director of the Delaware State Water Quality Lab and the Hemp Analysis Lab, as well as the Co-Chair of Student Success. 

Dr. Milligan is a proud triple alumna of Delaware State University, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 2001, her master’s degree in Biological Sciences in 2004, and went on to earn her Ph.D. in Applied Chemistry in 2012. Her experiences as a student taught her valuable lessons that inform her work today as a faculty member and perhaps, a future administrator. Her doctoral research focused on developing novel biocompatible intranasal drug delivery system for the potential treatment neurological disorders and her work was recognized with the prestigious fellowship from NASA (2009-2012). 

Following the completion of her Ph.D., Dr. Milligan started an analytical testing company, BG Laboratory, Inc., where she analyzed sample composition, wastewater testing, and performed product formulations for several clients. In 2017, Dr. Milligan joined the faculty at Delaware State University as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry. She quickly established herself as a leading expert in the field of water quality analysis and was appointed as the Director of the Delaware State Water Quality Lab in 2018. Under her leadership, the lab has become a NELAP nationally accredited center of excellence in the analysis of water quality, providing critical training for graduate and undergraduate students, education, and public health efforts in the state of Delaware and beyond. In 2022, Dr. Milligan rose to the rank of Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry. 

In addition to her work on water quality analysis, Dr. Milligan has also been a pioneer in the emerging field of hemp analysis. In 2019, she established the Hemp Analysis Lab in the Department of Chemistry at Delaware State University, becoming one of the first academic researchers in the United States to focus on the chemical analysis of industrial hemp. Her work in this area has helped to advance our understanding of the chemistry and composition of hemp, as well as the potential applications of hemp-based products in agriculture, medicine, and industry. 

Dr. Milligan is also a committed educator and mentor. She has trained and mentored more than 35 students (graduate and undergraduate) and serves as the Co-Chair of Student Success in the Department of Chemistry at Delaware State University since 2022. In this role, she has been instrumental in developing and implementing initiatives to support the academic and personal success of students, particularly those from underrepresented groups in STEM fields. 

Research and Professional Experience

2022 - Associate Professor/Co-Chair of Student Success, Department of Chemistry       

2019 - Director of the Hemp Analysis Laboratory, Department of Chemistry

2017 - Director of the NELAP Certified Water Quality Laboratory, Dept of Chemistry

2013-2017 - Founder/Director of BG Laboratory, Inc. Dover, DE

2009-2012 - NASA Graduate Research Fellow

2007-2008 - Strawbridge High School Science Teacher, Baltimore, MD      

Technical Skills

  • University Teaching – Higher Education – CUREs/Active Learning
  • Grant Writing
  • Curriculum Development
  • Qualitative Research
  • Thermal Analysis: Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
  • Microscopy: Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)
  • Spectroscopy: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry (FTIR), Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-MS), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Liquid Chromatography- Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS)
  • Other Techniques: Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Western Blot, Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting Cytometry (FACS)

Honors and Awards

  • Subject Matter Expert (SME) for converting chemistry courses online during COVID-19 2020
  • Certificate of Achievement, DSU Master Blackboard Training Course (2019)
  • Center for Teaching & Learning 13th Annual Mini Grant Award Recipient  “Using Virtual Reality Laboratory (VRL) to Enhance General Chemistry Teaching” (Spring 2018)
  • MSI-PWI Seed Grant Recipient - Biochemical Summer Undergraduate Research Experience Program (BioSURE) - Collaboration with faculty from University of Texas (RGV), SUNY, and University of California, MERCED (2018-2019) 
  • Center of Excellence for Student Success Volunteer Award (2017)
  • NASA Delaware Space Grant Graduate Fellowship Recipient (2011-2012)
  • Center for Research and Education in Optical Sciences and Applications (CREOSA) Fellowship Recipient (2010-2011)           


  • JM Patterson, K Milligan, C Winstead. Development of a QSAR model to predict molecular inhibition of human STAT3. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.10.29.466511. November 2021.
  • JM Patterson, C Winstead, K Milligan. Effectiveness of Antibiotics as a Treatment Option for Adults with Active Crohn’s Disease: A Meta-Analysis. Microb Health Dis 2021; 3: e501.
  • JM Patterson, C Winstead, K Milligan. Is Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) associated with Crohn’s Disease? doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.09.27.21263960 (preprint)
  • C Winstead, L Lott, K Milligan, L Hyppolite. Review: Biomimetic nanofibers in the ex vivo expansion of cord blood-derived hematopoietic stem cells. https://doi.org/10.18103/mra.v8i7.2080 July 2020.
  • K Milligan, C Winstead, J Smith. Preparation and Physiochemical Characterization of Chitosan Nanoparticles for Controlled Delivery of Oxytocin. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research. April 2018.


  • PI, NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Education and Human Resources (IUSE: EHR): Engaged Student Learning and Institutional and Community Transformation Level 2, $591,627 (2020-2023)
  • Multi-PI, NIH Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) (R25) $1,300,000 (2020-2025)
  • Co-PI, NSF HBCU-UP Transforming Education through Active Learning (TEAL) $1,800,000 (2017- 2022)
  • Key Personnel, National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) $750,739 (2020-2022).
  • Key Personnel, NSF Soft Matter Research and Technology and Quantum Confinement Materials Design Partnership for Research and Education (SMaRT QD PREM). $799,058 (2021-present)
  • Key Personnel, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Grant (HHMI) $1,000,000 (2017-2021)
  • Co-PI, Building STEAM at DSU: STEM Experiential, Academic, and Mentoring Pilot Program at Delaware State University ($1,000,000 pending)
  • Key Personnel, Promoting Green Economy, Digital and Precision Agriculture, and High-Value Agriculture in Delaware, Congressional Funding ($1M pending)

Professional Affiliations

  • American Chemical Society, Member
  • Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance, Member
  • Delaware Bioscience Association, Member
  • Teacher Certification Program, Association of College and University Educators (ACUE), Member – June 2020
  • Quality Matters (QM) Certification in Online Teaching – June 2020


  • Faculty College Online Coordinator for the College of Agriculture, Science and Technology (CAST) March 2022 - present
  • Chair, Excellence Awards Committee (Delaware State University) 2020- present
  • Served on the MSCHE Standard III (Design and Delivery of Student Learning Experiences) Criteria 4 Committee -2020-present
  • Teaching Effectiveness Committee Member – January 2022 - Present
  • Faculty Senate Alternate – Department of Chemistry 2019- present
  • ADCS Assessment Report Liaison – Department of Chemistry 2018-present
  • DSU Grants Transformation Team October 2021- present
  • UD Provost’s Symposium Planning Committee 2021 - present
  • Assisted in the development and facilitation of the University-Wide Online & Hybrid Course Conversion Training Module Summer and Fall 2020 during the pandemic
  • Transitioned Department of Chemistry courses online during pandemic – Spring and Summer 2020
  • Science Fair at Towne Point Elementary School 2020
  • Science Fair at Lake Forest Central Elementary School 2019
  • Chemistry for Kids at Delaware State University Summer Program 2018-2019
  • Science Day at William Henry Middle School 2018
  • Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honor Society (Advisor) 2019-present
  • National Organization for the Advancement of Black Chemistry and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE), Advisor 2019-present
  • American Chemical Society (ACS), Advisor 2019-present


Institution Course Role Year
DESU General Chemistry 101/102 Lecture/Lab 2016-Pres.
DESU Chemistry for Health Lecture/Lab 2008-2010
DESU Chemical Toxicology 562 Lecture/Lab  
DESU Selected Topics 511 Lecture/Lab  
DTCC Nursing Chemistry Lecture/Lab 2007-2008
Strawbridge HS Earth and Environmental Science Teacher 2007-2008
UD Biology Laboratory TA 2006-2007
DESU Organic Chemistry TA 2004
DESU Genetics Laboratory TA 2003