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Chemistry and Biochemistry News

Biochemistry junior, Yaakov Itzkowitz was chosen for the Toby Eagle Scholarship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  Here's his description of this exceptional opportunity:

"The Toby Eagle Scholarship for Cancer Research has provided me with the opportunity to participate in and observe research taking place in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. The department is renowned for its part in groundbreaking cancer research and my time here has allowed me to observe and participate in the medical community’s “front line of defense” against cancer.  In the weeks I have spent in the lab I have learned a great deal-- specifically about the epigenetic factors that contribute to cancer growth.  I am very excited about the work being done here and have been privileged to meet professionals who are not only outstanding scientists but remarkable human beings.

My work this summer has strengthened my resolve not only to attend medical school, but to participate in research that can save and improve the lives of those suffering from cancer and other debilitating or life threatening illnesses. This internship has taught me a great deal about medicine as well as molecular biology, both of which will undoubtedly serve me well in my career path."

Biochemistry senior Ciara Faupel is spending the summer at the Nathan Schnaper Summer Intern Program (NSIP) in Cancer Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She is testing the ability of novel small molecules to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. She loves this experience and is planning to use all the information, skills and experience she has gained towards her career goal as a biochemistry researcher.

The Chemistry Department is thrilled that our biochemistry major was featured in a Sun Ad for Stevenson Universities New Academic Center.  We're excited to showcase our new building with all the wonderful labs and learning spaces that it contains!

Several of our Chemistry Faculty members participated in the Writing Retreat at the Gramercy Mansion, sponsored by the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research.  This weeklong summer program allows interested faculty members the chance to write for a full week.  Faculty worked on grants and research papers without other usual office distractions.   Pictured above:  Dr. Tracey Mason (top left), Dr. Michelle Ivey (top right), and Dr. Tim Dwyer (bottom).  Not pictured:  Dr. Will Harrell.

July 4th wouldn't be July 4th without fireworks!  Our students learn the chemistry behind the colors of fireworks in General Chemistry.  In brief, the colors are produced by heating metal salts that emit characteristic colors. The atoms absorb energy and release it as light of specific colors. The energy absorbed by an atom rearranges its electrons from their lowest-energy (ground) state, up to a higher-energy (excited) state. The excess energy of the excited state is emitted as light. The amount of energy emitted is characteristic of the element, and the amount of energy determines the color of the light emitted.  For example, yellow fireworks are produced by sodium salts and orange fireworks are produced by calcium salts.  Purple fireworks are a mixture of copper compounds which are blue and strontium compounds which are red.  Happy July 4th- enjoy the fireworks!

 
 
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