Chemistry and Biochemistry News

Senior Biochemistry major Janine Cox is completing her internship capstone at Four Oaks Physical Therapy as an aide: making hot/cold packs, helping patients with exercises and cleaning equipment. Her favorite part of the experience has been interacting with new patients and learning new exercises. She notes that some patients spend many months at the clinic and seeing their progress over time has been rewarding. This internship has helped Janine see what the environment is like and reinforced her career goals of being in the healthcare field. “At times it can be overwhelming…” she says, “but I enjoy the patient to person interactions….”

Dan Bird (left) and collegues at Noble.

Biochemistry senior Dan Bird is completing his capstone internship at Noble Life Sciences, a “preclinical contract research organization…for safety and efficacy testing, for the development of drugs, vaccines, and medical devices.” Dan secured his internship completely through networking. At Noble, Dan is exposed to pre-clinical research using GLP (Good Laboratory Practices) and GDP (Good Documentation Practices) that are necessary to comply with FDA regulations. He is learning about in-vivo models of immuno-oncology. expanding his laboratory skills and enjoying his first real world work experience utilizing skills learned at Stevenson University. This experience has definitely confirmed for him that he wants to work in a laboratory setting.

Last week, Erika Harden (Chemistry ’14/Forensics ’15) from Baltimore Police, visited one of our Forensic Science classes to tell us all about their new crime scene scanners (FARO) and their soon to be integration with overhead drone imaging technology to create 3D point clouds. Erica is the technical lead on drones, while her partner, Megan Descalzi is the technical lead on the FARO system. For a look at what these combined technologies can do, visit the post on Erika’s LinkedIn page.

Erika Harden, Chemistry ’14/MSFS’15 and adjunct professor in Forensic Sciences, completed all of the requirements to earn certification as a Certified Senior Crime Scene Analyst from the International Association for Identification. This certification is currently only held by four other professionals in the state of Maryland, and involves hours of preparation and training, letters of endorsement and a certification board exam.

During Biochemistry Integrative lab, students are asked to work in teams to brainstorm and create analogs of Cisplatin, a platinum based chemotherapeutic that is very prevalent in the clinic. Unfortunately, Cisplatin therapy can result in some annoying or even dangerous side effects ranging from tinnitus to nephrotoxicity. The four student authors created and synthesized an ethylenediamine-coordinated Platinum complex, and an ethylenediamine-coordinated Palladium complex, among others, and characterized it. They tested the drugs in live cancer cell line culture and compared the data to the native Cisplatin. They were encouraged by their faculty mentors, Drs Burkett and Dwyer, to collate the data and sumbit it for publication. Their paper finally appears in the December 2022 issue of AJUR Volume 19 Issue 3. Congratulations to these first-time authors!

Samantha Rea and Brooke Hornberger graduated with their B.S. in Biochemistry Degree in December 2021, while Alexia Smith and Grace Fillmore graduated with their B.S. in Biochemistry Degree in May 2022.


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