Chemistry and Biochemistry News

The 7th Annual Spring Spectacular (video) was held on Wednesday and feautured more demonstrations than ever before! The ping pong ball explosion was a favorite. Special thanks to our engaging and fun glass blowing demonstrators from McFadden Art Glass. Shout out to our outstanding organizing chairs, Drs Burkett, Tucker and Wilson, and many thanks to all the super faculty, staff and student volunteers!

The semi- annual SOS Poster session was this week, where capstone seniors of all majors share about their research and internship experiences. Forty-four students participated in all majors: applied math, biology, environmental science, chemistry, biochemistry and biomedical engineering.

Maryam Al Naseri (L) and Brie Dewan (R), with Dr. Dwyer, presented their research at the the 86th Annual Intercollegiate Student Chemists Convention, hosted by Lebanon Valley College on April 15th. The ISCC is a long-running convention for undergraduate students in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania, and was an in person event for the first time since 2019. The students made short oral presentations in a forum of supportive student peers and faculty judges. After lunch and a plenary lecture, awards were presented to the top two students in each division.

Biochemistry senior, Mya Nicholson, was awarded the Whitley A. Mayo Scholarship for Minority Women in Forensic Science for the 2023-2024 academic year. Mya is currently in the BS/MFS program and will start her fulltime graduate studies this summer. This scholarship is intended to provide financial assistance to an African American female pursuing a graduate degree in Forensic Science. Both donors Whitley Mayo, and Gerald Abrams are SU Graduates. Whitley is currently employed with the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division as a forensic scientist. Gerald Abrams is currently the US Director of Sales at Rockmount Alloy & Research. They wanted to provide this scholarship as a way to give back to the University, and to be a resource for others by assisting in the advancement of their careers

Nate at work in the lab

Biochemistry senior Nate Nash is investigating whether or not red harvester ants can be conditioned to respond to the odor emitted from ammonium nitrate, a common component for IED (improvised explosive devices). The inspiration for this research is based on previous work in which silky or dusky ants ants have been trained to seek out volatile organic compounds that are evolved from solid tumor cells in vitro. Ants show promise in serving as rapidly trainable biological detectors for different organic volatiles.