Dr. Santai is a graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology where she earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry with an emphasis in Biochemistry for her research into novel nucleic acid structures she created and termed mixed-stranded DNA. She investigated the ability of these unique DNA structures to condense into nano-sized particles and their suitableness for gene delivery using Atomic Force Microscopy and Transmission Electron Microscopy techniques. Dr. Santai has been teaching in academia for 10 years. She is passionate about education, research, and increasing representation of women and minorities in STEM fields. She is the current Chair of National Chemistry Week and executive member of the SE PA Section of the American Chemical Society. Her current research interests include determining how the method of plant oil extraction impacts antibacterial effectiveness.