Chemistry Students Present at the Research and Science Poster Session 2019

The undergraduate summer research fellows presented posters on their accomplishments on July 25, 2019. Twenty-four of the presentations were on work done in the Chemistry Department, representing 8 different groups. For more on the event, visit News@Wesleyan. A list of the chemistry presenters is below the photographs.

 


Sydney Taylor-Klaus ’20, O’Neil Group


Leila Etemad, ’20, Personick Group


Sally Landon Tepper, ’22, Northrop Group


Amy Liu, ’20, Taylor Group

Anastasia Saar “Allosteric Regulation in the MutS Protein”
Miranda Nestor “MD Simulations of CAP to Detect Allostery without a Conformational Change”
California Clark “Natural Product Analogue Synthesis to Fight Caner”
May Do “Synthesis of Analogs of Rocaglamide via the IFB Reaction”
Alexandra Goss “Synthesis of Nigrospine”
Aryan Vavila “Investigating the Electrical Properties of Zigzag and Armchair Cyclacenes”
Sally Tepper “Study of Methyl Propiolate in Thiol-Michael ‘Click’ Reactions”
Jaina Wollowitz “A Computational Investigation of the Mechanisms of Thiol-Vinylsulfone Reaction Initiators”
Christopher Falls “The Rotational Spectra of Phenylsulfur Pentaflouride”
Valerie Balog “iPSC-derived Astrocyte and Motor Neuron Co-Culture in a Lentiviral Expression Model of SODI-A4V Amyotrphic Lateral Sclerosis”
Camille Chossis “Cell Non-Autonomous Effect of GLIA on Neurodegeneration in C9ORF72 Dependent Frontotemporal Dementia and Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis”
Matthew Huston “Inhibition of Specific Cancer Cell Lines Using Rocaglamide Derivatives”
Daniel Kulick “Motor Neuron Specific Sensitivity to Organochlorine Pesticides”
Sydney Taylor-Klaus “Biochemical Analysis of Superoxie Dismutase I”
Leila Etemad “Generating Bimetallic Silver-Platinum Nanoprisms and Methods to Interconvert Between Nanoprisms and Bipyramids”
Abrar Habib “Plasmonic Approach to Synthesizing Bimetallic Nanoparticles as Functional Catalysts”
Claire (Jing Jin) Wang “Optimization of Palladium Nanoparticle Syntheses for the Underpotential Deposition of Silver”
Nafisa Masud “Elucidating Protein Dynamics with the Kinetic Ensemble Approach”
Nicholas Wells “Molecular Dynamics Simulations of ALS-Causing Superoxide Dismutase I Mutations”
Brynn Assignon “Creating Chimeric Proteins Using a Domain Swapping Mechanism”
Colleen Castro “Using Molecular Docking Techniques to Find an Inhibator of Heptosyltransferase I in E. coli
Amy (Zhiqi) Liu “Investigation of Kinetics and Protein Dynamics of Escherichia coli Heptosyltransferases II”
Kate Luo “Investigating the Mechanism of LigAB Catalyzed Lignin Degradation”
Kate Sundberg “The Synthesis of a Probe for Lignin Depolymerization Detection”

 

Tishler Pizza Party and Awards Ceremony

The 2019 Tishler Chemistry Pizza Party & Awards Ceremony was held on May 1 this year. Department Chair Westmoreland noted the following milestones and accomplishments for the department:

– The Department published 23 papers (with 37 different Wesleyan authors).
– Eight graduating seniors will receive Honors or High Honors for their senior theses.
– Six majors were elected to Phi Beta Kappa this year.
– Six M.A. students and two Ph.D. students have completed their degrees this year.

The 2019 Chemistry Department Awards were announced. Congratulations to all our award recipients!

ACS Analytical Award: Leticia Costa
Awarded for excellence in analytical chemistry
ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry: Grace Chen
To recognize achievement in inorganic chemistry and to encourage further study in the field
ACS Award in Organic Chemistry: David Cabanero
To a student who has displayed a significant aptitude for organic chemistry
ACS Award in Physical Chemistry: Matt Erodici
To recognize achievement in physical chemistry and to encourage further study in the field
ACS Connecticut Valley Section Award: Jaquelin Aroujo
For outstanding achievement by a graduating chemistry major
American Institute for Chemists Award: Eija Kent
For outstanding achievement by a graduating chemistry major
Bradley Prize: David Cabanero and Theo Prachyathipsakul
To the senior or junior who excels in chemistry and particularly in special original work
Silverman Prize: Alison Biester
Awarded to a member of the junior or senior class for excellence in chemistry
CRC Award (General Chemistry): Megan Tran
For the outstanding first-year student in Principles of Chemistry
CRC Award (Organic Chemistry): Sally Tepper
For the outstanding first-year student in Organic Chemistry
Hawk Prize: Frank Tucci and Victoria Yu
To the students who have done the most effective work in biochemistry
Martius Yellow Award: Allie Goss and Rochelle Spencer
Awarded for excellence in Integrated Chemistry Laboratory
The Wallace C. Pringle Prize for Research in Chemistry: Alison Biester
Awarded to a student for excellence in research.
Peterson Fellowship: Cody Hecht
For graduate study in biochemistry
Tishler Prize: Vasileios Drogkaris
Awarded to the best graduate teaching assistant in chemistry

Undergraduates Present Research at ACS Section Symposium

Seven of our undergraduate majors presented their research work at the American Chemical Society Connecticut Valley Section Undergraduate Research Symposium held Apr 27 in the new science center at Amherst College. At the symposium Jacquelin Aroujo was presented with Wesleyan’s Connecticut Valley Section Award, given for outstanding achievement by a graduating chemistry major. In addition, David Cabanero received one of two prizes for the Best Poster Presentations. The students enjoyed sharing their work and hearing about what their peers at other schools are doing.

Talks:
Grace Chen (’20): A 1H Relaxometric Approach to Understanding the Solution Speciation of Mn(II) Complexes in the Context of MRI Contrast Agents
Eija Kent (’19): Synthesis of Gold Alloyed Nanoparticles
Jessica Garcia (’19): Synthesis of Pyridine-Based Ligands for Use in MRI Contrast Agent Design

Posters:
Abrar Habib (’21): Synthesis of Bimetallic Palladium-Copper (Pd-Cu) & Silver-Platinum (Ag-Pt) Nanoparticles
David Cabanero (’19): Investigating the Mechanism to Enantioselective Induction of the “Interrupted” Feist-Bénary Reaction
Jaquelin Aroujo (’19): An Enantioselective Synthesis of Rocaglamide via an “Interrupted” Feist-Bénary Reaction
Theo Prachyathipsakul (’19): Synthesis and Study of a Water-Soluble Macrocycle

Participants in the ACS-CVS Undergraduate Research Symposium. Seated (left to right): Jessica Garcia, Eija Kent, Grace Chen, Jaquelin Aroujo, Abrar Habib, David Cabanero, and Theo Prachyathipsakul. Standing: Professor Westmoreland

Abrar Habib with his poster waiting the start of the session.

Jaquelin Aroujo receiving the ACS-CVS Award.

David Cabanero with his winning poster.

Chemistry majors present at conference

Christine Little, Cody Hecht, and Emily Kessler (third, fourth, and fifth from left)
Christine Little, Cody Hecht, and Emily Kessler (third, fourth, and fifth from left)

Chemistry majors Christine Little, Emily Kessler, and Cody Hecht, along with three MB&B majors, attended the annual Experimental Biology (EB) conference in San Diego in mid-April. All three were invited as members of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), a participating society of EB. At the meeting, Christine, Emily, and Cody each competed in an undergraduate poster competition (in which Christine was awarded an honorable mention for an exceptional poster!) and presented their posters in sessions according to their area of research.

Christine’s project in Ishita Mukerji’s lab focuses on characterizing the binding interactions of yeast histone H1 to DNA four-way junctions. Cody’s research in Erika Taylor’s lab investigates the protein dynamics of Heptosyltransferase I as part of ongoing inhibitor design efforts. Emily’s work in Manju Hingorani’s lab concentrates on the link between mutations in DNA mismatch repair protein MutS and Lynch Syndrome.

Personick group presentations at ACS meeting

Members of the Personick research group (left to right: David Solti ’18, Melissa King (grad), Prof. Personick, and Danny Robertson ’18) attended the American Chemical Society Spring National Meeting in New Orleans, LA from March 18-22, 2018. Danny gave a talk on Sunday on “(Ag)Au concave cubes as experimental models of computationally predicted active sites for the oxygen-assisted coupling of alcohols.” Melissa presented on Wednesday about her work on “Coupling competitive surface interactions: a synthetic route to enhanced grain boundaries at the exterior of multiply twinned palladium nanoparticles.” On Thursday, Prof. Personick presented the group’s recently published research regarding “Approaches for bridging dissimilar reduction kinetics in the synthesis of bimetallic nanomaterials.” All of the talks were well received by their respective audiences.

In addition to presenting their research, the Wesleyan contingent also recruited prospective graduate students for the Wesleyan PhD program at the graduate school recruiting fair, and Melissa was invited to participate in a panel on “Graduate School: The In’s and Out’s of Getting In” which was very highly attended. Prof. Personick caught up with Wesleyan alum Prof. John Keith (Univ. of Pittsburgh) over breakfast, and everyone spent time sampling the local cuisine.

New Scanning Electron Microscope

The Chemistry Department welcomes a new Hitachi SU5000 field-emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM), which arrived in mid-January, to the newly renovated microscopy classroom in Wesleyan’s Advanced Microscopy Facility. The SU5000 has a resolution of 1.2 nm and it is equipped with an energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) detector to provide elemental and chemical analysis as well as other specialized detectors. The instrument will support the growing Materials Cluster in the Chemistry Department, particularly Prof. Personick’s research with catalytic metal nanoparticles, and will also be used by other research groups in Earth & Environmental Sciences, the Planetary Sciences Cluster, Physics, and Biology. Funding for the purchase of the FE-SEM was provided by a grant from the National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation program, as well as matching funds from Wesleyan. Click here for more information on this new scanning electron microscope.

Some photos of the newly renovated space and renovations: