Chemistry and Biochemistry News

Here in the Beverly K. Fine School of the Sciences, it is our mission to help students succeed. To reflect this, we have updated our mission statement, and you will find it hung in the science spaces as a reminder of our commitment to student success. Welcome to the Fall 2017 semester to our new and returning students!

Ian Liyayi, senior biochemistry major, spent his summer University of Michigan in the lab of Dr. George Garcia working on a drug discovery project. Specifically, he worked with the transcriptional activator, VirF, which regulates the virulence cascade of Shigella Flexneri, the causative agent of shigellosis. He conducted mutagenesis on VirF to isolate its DNA binding domain in order to develop a crystal structure to probe interactions with a known inhibitor of the VirF DNA binding domain. Ian enjoyed his experience in Michigan, saying: “The lab work was challenging and taught me a great deal on conducting research. The experience was eye opening. I realized that I’m interested in pursuing a PhD in medicinal chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry. “

Faculty, staff, students, and family members gathered in the Greenspring quad on Monday to observe the solar eclipse. The Westminster Astronomical Society was on hand to provide viewing glasses and sun-themed snacks were provided by organizers from the School of the Sciences and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. The physics department set up their telescope to view the event up close. It was a little overcast, but there was definitely enough breaks in the clouds to get a good view of the 80% sun coverage here in Maryland.

Chemistry major Krystine Hill is wrapping up her summer internship at the Naval Medical Research Center. She has spent the summer conducting research on infrared spectroscopic methods for the study of combat injuries. Specifically, the focus is on the occurrence of bony tissue in soft tissues as a result of injuries or skeletal trauma. This syndrome, known as heterotopic ossification is typically diagnosed with x-rays, but is difficult to visualize in its early stages. The work Krystine is doing will help lead to methods of earlier detection. Photo credit: Naval Medical Research and Development Enterprise Laboratories

December 2016 biochemistry graduate Dzov Singman began her studies at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine. The first year of medical school is marked by the “white coat ceremony”. According to the University’s website, the coat is a symbol of a physician’s compassionate care and celebrates the start of a medical student’s education and career. The white coat is also a welcome to students as junior members of the profession of medicine. Dzov is pictured with her mother who attended the event with family.