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Chemistry & Biochemistry

Research and Internship Opportunities

 

On-Campus Research

 

Participation in independent research is one of the most valuable educational opportunities a chemistry or biochemistry major can experience during college. Not only does research require you to integrate many of the things you have been learning, it teaches invaluable laboratory skills and independent problem solving. Faculty in the department have ongoing projects in which students can be a participant. Beginning in the sophomore year, students can take course credit for CHEM 222, 322 or 422, Independent Research. Three credits of research can count towards the free elective required for the chemistry major. CHEM 393, Research Methods, can be taken in the junior year to provide the background for a project during the senior year, but is not required prior to beginning research.

 

On-Campus Summer Research 2012

 

 

Andrew Steele (Chemistry, '13), working with Dr. Alison Noble, developed a lithographic protocol for patterning fifteen micron interdigitated electrodes onto ZnSe substrates, for the purpose of measuring the orientational changes in liquid crystals which are induced by electric fields.  Andrew was funded by the Steinbrecher Summer 2012 Research Award.
   
Sarah Robataille (Chemistry, '15) designed a stamp master for micro contact printing thiolate self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) onto ZnSe substrates.  The long-term goal is to create "designed surfaces" by directing the orientation of liquid crystals using patterned SAMs on ZnSe.  Sarah was funded by the Steinbrecher Summer 2012 Research Award.
   
Julie Fenton (Chemistry, '14) and Caleb Wehrmann (Chemistry, '14) worked with Dr. Schaeffer to synthesize and characterize substituted barium apatite phases, and investigate reaction mechanisms for their formation.  The major application of the project was to form stable barium phases to remediate surface water contaminated with barium.  Julie and Caleb were funded by a National Science Foundation Partnership for Innovation seed grant.
   
Will Tidwell (Biochemistry, '14) worked with Dr. Reeve to develop a synthesis for Aspernigrin A, a secondary metabolite isolated from a marine fungus.  This compound has shown preliminary cytotoxicity against several cancer lines.  Will was funded by the Steinbrecher Summer 2012 Research Award.  Will is headed to the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia for Fall 2013, as our first student in the cooperative Biochemistry/Doctorate of Pharmacy program.

 

On-Campus Summer Research 2010

 

Stephaanie Ferguson

Stephanie Ferguson, a biology major, worked with Dr. Hannah Tims, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, on "DNA packaging by Archaeal Histones".  Stephanie amplified and purified DNA fragments known to bind tightly to Archaeal histones, and then tested the binding affinity of the DNA to native archaeal histones and to mutant histones.  Stephanie was a recipient of the Steinbrecher Summer 2010 Research Award.

   
Megan Buhler

Megan Buhler, a biochemistry and molecular biology major, worked with Dr. Anne Reeve, Associate Professor of Chemistry, on "Synthesis of 4-hydroxy-6-phenylmethyl-2-pyrone, Precursor to Aspernigrin A".  Bromination of dehydroacetic acid with NBS irradiated with a 160W UV lamp as the first step in the synthesis of Aspernigrin A. Megan was a recipient of the Steinbrecher Summer 2010 Research Award.

   
Kyle McGrath

 

Kyle McGrath, a chemistry major, worked with Dr. Richard W. Schaeffer, Associate Professor of Chemistry, on "Research and Synthesis of Solid Solutions: A look at the Cu/Zn hydroxy carbonate family".   Kyle is using a auto-titrator as a double jet reactor to synthesize a copper/zinc hydroxy carbonate solid solution.

   
Scott Hoeckele Summer Research

 

Scott Hoeckele, a biochemistry major, worked with Dr. Anne Reeve, Associate Professor of Chemistry, on research titled "Further Insight into the Aspernigrin A Pyridone System". Scott was a recipient of the Steinbrecher Summer 2010 Research Award.

 

On-Campus Summer Research 2009

 

Students and faculty work on summer research projects

   

Jonathan Lorgunpai working on summer research

Jonathan Lorgunpai, a biochemistry and molecular biology major, worked with Dr. Richard W. Schaeffer, Associate Professor of Chemistry, on "The solubility and stability of copper(II) hydroxynitrates."  " I synthesized inorganic double-salt compounds and solid-state solutions and then characterized the products with atomic absorption spectrometry and x-ray powder diffraction."  Jonathan is a recipient of the 2009-2010 Ray H. Crist Scholarship.

 
John Haller working on summer research

 

John Haller, a chemistry major with teaching certification, worked with Dr. Richard W. Schaeffer, Associate Professor of Chemistry, on "The synthesis and stability of copper(II) hydroxy halides."   John analyzed products and minerals using atomic absorption spectrometry and x-ray powder diffraction.

   
Synthesis of Structural Analogs of Aspernigrin A

 

Nick Sterling, a biochemistry and molecular biology major, worked with Dr. Anne Reeve, Associate Professor of Chemistry,on "Synthesis of structural analogs of Aspernigrin A."  Nick performed many reactions under specialized conditions.  Nick was a recipient of the Steinbrecher Summer 2009 Research Award.

   
Katrina Martin

 

Katrina Martin, a chemistry major, worked with Dr. Richard W. Schaeffer, Associate Professor of Chemistry, on "Synthesis and solubility of stoichiomers in the copper hydroxyl nitrate mineral system."  Katrina was a recipient of the Steinbrecher Summer 2009 Research award and was funded by the Keystone Innovation Zone Seed Assistance Grant..

   
Scott Hoeckele Summer Research

 

Scott Hoeckele, a biochemistry major, worked with Dr. Anne Reeve, Associate Professor of Chemistry, on " Synthesis of Aspernigrin A model from a model pyrone."  "My goal was to transform a pyrone ring into a pyridone ring in one of the steps of the Aspernigrin A synthesis." Scott was a recipient of the Steinbrecher Summer 2009 Research Award.

   
Gabriel Fickett, a biology major with teaching certification, worked with Dr. Michael Shin, Assistant Professor of Biology and Dr. Richard W. Schaeffer, Associate Professor of Chemistry, on "Environmental nickel and Arabidopsis thaliana:  Accumulation, localization, and the effect of progagation on a nickel-free medium."   Gabriel was a recipient of the Steinbrecher Summer 2009 Research Award.
   
Caitlon McMahon, a chemistry major, worked with Dr. Anne Reeve, Associate Professor of Chemistry, on "Synthesis of 4-hydroxy-6-phenylmethylpyrone – A step toward the synthesis of Aspernigrin A."  "I was trying to synthesize a compound needed for the synthesis of Aspernigrin A, which is a natural product that shows potential for cytotoxicity against cancer cells.  Caitlin was a recipient of the Steinbrecher Summer 2009 Research Award.