Record Number of Wooster Students Present Research at National Science Meeting

21 undergraduates and nine faculty attend the ACS Meeting in New Orleans

May 9, 2013 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio — A record number of students and faculty from The College of Wooster attended the annual American Chemical Society national meeting in New Orleans last month (April 7-11). A total of 21 undergraduates and nine professors from the departments of biology and chemistry represented Wooster at the five-day meeting.

“Our students represented themselves and the college in a highly professional manner, said Nicholas Shaw, visiting assistant professor of chemistry. “We are very proud of them and their work.”

Wooster’s senior class sent 11 students: Brittany Begres, Sarah Blosser, Mike Chido, Becky Craig, Andy Lamade, Lydia Niemi, Paige Piper, Nikolai Radzinski, Ryan Shafranek, Cody Staebler, Erica Villa, and Andy Young. Begres talked about her work on the enzyme kinetic characterization of two novel phosphagen kinases from human parasites to support their future use as a chemotherapeutic drug target for parasitic disease management; Blosser discussed her research on the design and synthesis of hairpin polyamide conjugates, which are capable of recognizing specific gene sequences; Chido explained his work on the synthesis of a crown-ether-containing conjugated polymer via acyclic diene metathesis; Craig shared her findings about an investigation of the rate for the reaction of one organic molecule, oxalic acid, with hydroxyl radical; Lamade characterized a newly discovered role of the antioxidant enzyme, Tsa1, in an effort to determine how cells cope with electrophiles and oxidants to help better understand a diverse range of disease mechanisms; Niemi summarized her work on the fate and transport of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the environment; Piper provided an overview of her involvement in the characterization of a phosphagen kinase homolog from the protozoan parasite Cryptosporidium muris; Radzinski gave details about pronounced toxicity of bifunctional electrophiles in comparison to monofunctional structural analogs; Shafranek described his involvement in efforts to synthesize a small-molecule analog of a naturally occurring cell membrane component in the hopes that it will serve as a model for protein and metal ion-binding studies; Staebler reviewed his involvement in the adaptation of wastewater treatment methods in order to remove pharmaceutical contamination; Villa illustrated her efforts to determine the oxalate species degradation mechanism; and Young talked about his research on impact of solvent upon the photo-induced chemistry of 1-acylaminoanthraquinones.

Also presenting were Wooster juniors Lauren Fleming, Steven Hardy, Zach Harvey, Helena Kondow, Da-Sol Kuen, Matt Naticchia, and Andrea Steiger. Fleming addressed research that dealt with finding a rate constant for the photochemistry of aqueous oxalate and the hydroxyl radical; Hardy gave an overview of his work on the synthesis and purification of cyclohexyl phosphatidylserine lipid analogues in an ongoing pursuit of an effective method of drug targeting for cancer medications; Harvey discussed his work on the remediation of such contaminants as pharmaceuticals and personal care products from surface and storm water; Kondow shared her research on the synthesis of mono-substituted phosphatidylserine analogs; Kuen summarized his research on the findings about the solute-solvent trends using a "home-built" multi-pass absorption spectroscopy; Naticchia described molecules that can link, or staple, proteins to other proteins; and Steiger reviewed her research on supramolecular systems and host-guest recognition for various applications.

Several Wooster sophomores also shared their research: Rachelle Herrin and Lucas Webber. Herrin recapped her work on pronounced toxicity of an isothiocyanate-containing protein cross-linker; and Webber talked about his involvement in a synthetic project that focused on producing azaindole-based derivatives that could potentially be used as anti-tumor agents.