Chemistry Supports Undergraduate Summer Research Students

Chem_Summer_2016For the third summer in a row, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is hosting 45 undergraduate students in faculty research labs.  Twelve faculty members are mentoring students this summer on a wide variety of projects such as tracking the chemical fate of pharmaceuticals or nanoparticles in the environment, the synthesis of polymeric nanoparticles for medical imaging, and design of better solar cells.  Students are funded from a wide array of external funding agencies such as:  the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the American Chemical Society, Research Corp, NASA, and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation.  In addition, some students are funded by the College’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities office or from endowed research funds, such as the Blalock-Stephenson-Stirling, Horatio Hughes, and  W. Frank Kinard funds.  In addition to College undergrads, the Department is also hosting six high school students who are preparing for their college careers.

The School of Sciences and Mathematics is dedicated to providing hands-on research experiences for our undergraduate students. The status of co-author on a paper published in a peer reviewed journal is favorable when applying for entrance to graduate and PhD programs or medical school.  In 2015-16, twenty-nine students published papers with chemistry faculty members based on their research projects. Grants and private donors funds provide students with the financial means to focus on research rather than working in an unrelated field.

NASA Provides Funding to Support Pharmaceuticals Research

Cory_Summer_2016_ResearchDr. Wendy Cory’s research group is collaborating with space medicine scientists at NASA’s Johnson Space Center to study medications recently stored on the International Space Station. Thanks to funding from NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute undergraduate research grant, students Ginny James, Jessica Moon, Alisha Lamas, and Katrina Mangiaracina are spending ten weeks this summer analyzing these medications in the lab to determine if their potency is affected by the more extreme storage conditions on the International Space Station. These results will be reported back to NASA and used by space pharmacologists to determine what medications are safe to include on future deep space missions.

Individuals interested in supporting academic experiences like these should contact Erica Rabhan, Senior Development Officer for the School of Sciences and Mathematics, rabhaner@cofc.edu.

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