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Chemistry and Biochemistry News

Alum Nicole Heil (Biochem BS'15/MS'16) contributed to the inaugural issue of "The Forensics Report", a new biannual newsletter developed by the Maryland Forensic Educator's Committee to showcase research and educational experiences of students being trained in forensics in the state of Maryland. She wrote about the persistence of  explosive TNT on metal and plastic evidence. Also a contributor was Taranjit Athwal (Biotech BS '15/MS '15) who wrote about forensic DNA analysis. If you would like to contribute to the next newsletter, please contact Alison Shao, adjunct professor of forensic science at Stevenson. 

Biochemistry senior, Angelica Lackey attended the 2017 American Epilepsy Society in Washington, DC this week where she presented her work with Dr. Kossoff on Ketogenic Diet Second Opinion Clinics. Her internship was conducted at the Ketogenic Diet Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital this summer, where patients learn to control epilepsy through diet. She was able to meet many of the important people who work with the ketogenic diet including famous patients, such as former U.S. ice hockey Olympic Chanda Gunn, who manages her seizures with the help of this diet.  Angelica was even was able to engage in a virtual reality experience where she was able to "walk" around in someone’s brain to map and conduct glutamate receptor binding which she said was "... incredible to say the least!" 

Mat Sterner, a 2011 SU chemistry graduate has been working with NeverWet, LLC since graduation.  NeverWet functions as a Research and Development company for all things water-repellent and has been an industry leader for the past ten years in developing superhydrophobic products for paint, coating, and textile applications. Their major manufacturing partner is Rustoleum, but they are an independent company that has also developed water repellent solutions for several other customers. Their website is and can be found on YouTube and other major social networks. Products include multi-surface superhydrophobic (andsuperoleophobic) systems, a water-shedding treatment for glass surfaces, and fabric treatments for boots/shoes as well as indoor and outdoor fabrics. Mats work with a few other people in a small lab in an industrial park outside Leola, PA. The office is built into a warehouse operated by a metal working company. It makes for a close-knit environment where everyone gets along rather well.

When asked how his Stevenson degree helped him in his career, Mat said  "Stevenson helped prepare me for my career by training me to do more than just complete academic work. From the Capstone program focusing on an internship and dissecting the experimental design of research papers, to the professors who would emphasize understanding the purpose of lab experiments and how to transfer that understanding to a detailed report on the results, to the tutoring programs at the Academic Link that allowed me the experience of working with other students to aid their understanding and my own ability to communicate clearly; Stevenson's program was focused on developing practical skills for use in my career. The faculty and staff were all tremendously passionate and committed to preparing their students to succeed."

Happy Thanksgiving from the Faculty and Staff of the Chemistry Department!

Chemistry alumna (BS ’11, MS’12) Katie Pryor has a career in the scientific industry that most students are not aware exists. Katie (above, left)  is a LCMS Product Specialist with Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, Inc. with its U.S. headquarters based out of Columbia, MD. Shimadzu is one of the largest suppliers of analytical instrumentation in the world. Katie’s specialization is in liquid chromatography/ mass spectrometry (LC/MS), and she travels throughout the country sharing her knowledge and expertise. As a small part of her job at headquarters she attends expositions across the nation and sometimes internationally. She regularly attends Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, or Pittcon as it is commonly known, American Society for Mass Spectrometry Conference, the American Chemical Society National Meeting, which most recently convened in Washington, D.C, and the Society of Forensic Toxicology conference. Her traveling is not limited to just conferences, she also travels when customers need to be trained or need one-on-one help with their systems. When asked how her Stevenson degree helped her in her career, Katie said “I have to remember organic chemistry on a daily basis: learning how a compound interacts with ionization sources, or how it will travel and interact with a LC column and mobile phases. Customers are working on applications daily and it is part of my job to help them with their method development. Listen in Analytical Chemistry and Statistics as well, LCMS method development is governed by guidelines that require a lot of math and statistical data.”.  She also has the good fortune to work with a fun group of people! 

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