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Chemistry and Biochemistry News

Mercedes Vilasoa is currently traveling in Europe to celebrate her graduation in December with her BS in Chemistry.  She is visiting her cousin who is studying abroad in France for the year.  She will then travel to Spain to see additional family members.  Mercedes is looking forward to starting pharmacy school this fall.  So far, she has been accepted to three pharmacy schools and looks forward to choosing which offer to accept! 

In the first Organic Chemistry II lab of the semester, students separated a mixture of two compounds, ferrocene and acetylferrocene, using column chromatography. In the pictures shown above, the students are testing the purity of their compounds by finding the melting points.  When asked about their first experiment of the semester, students responded that they really enjoyed it! One student said, “I enjoyed that this experiment incorporated techniques from one of my favorite experiments from last semester, Thin Layer Chromatography.”

One way for students to stay on top of things during the semester is to attend SoLVE sessions. SoLVE, Solutions for Learning and Vibrant Education, gives students the chance to work through practice problems with a small group to facilitate deep thought and independent learning. SoLVE sessions are offered in many introductory courses.  In these photos, Mrs. Lisa Fridman and junior biochemistry major, Robert Chen, facilitate a session in Organic Chemistry I.

The American Chemical Society Student Club kicked off the first meeting of the semester by making stress balls. The stress ball were made out of common products such as flour and party balloons.  The event was a great chance to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones!

Juniors Makik Naanaa, Robert Chen and Ryan Drazenovic (left to right) each completed a research project in the fall on a project related to the Hepatitis C Virus.  Malik and Robert worked with Dr. Dawn Ward on the synthesis inhibitors of the virus using organic chemistry laboratory techniques.  Ryan worked with Dr. Jason Sonnenberg on using computational molecular modeling to determine which compounds work best at bonding metals that may lead to the inhibition of the virus.  They all presented their research at the School of the Sciences Poster Session in December.

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