Three UO Chemistry and Biochemistry undergraduates will be participating in the 2017 McNair Scholar Symposium. Everyone is invited to attend the symposium and to hear our students present their research.
1:00PM – David M. Lee, Leafcutter Ants Inside the Nest Have Sharper Mandibles than Ants Outside the Nest
2:30PM – Lindan Comrada, Markers of Cardiovascular Health in Chronic Marijuana Smokers
3:00PM – Trenton M. Peters-Clark, Increasing the Efficiency of a Biotin-Streptavidin Pull Down for An Investigation of Pt(II)-Protein Interactions
Read their Abstracts here.
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About the McNair Scholar Symposium
The University of Oregon celebrates the research achievements of its McNair Scholars during the annual McNair Symposium. These achievements are made possible by faculty mentors who guide Scholars through scholarship activities and help prepare them for the challenges and culture of graduate school.
McNair Scholars participate in paid summer research internships in their fields of study. During the internships, students are involved in original research culminating in a presentation of their findings. Held winter term, the McNair Symposium provides a public forum for students to share their work with peers, mentors, faculty and staff, family members, and the general public.
Sarah Hashiguchi first became interested the connection between product design and chemistry when she took CH 114 Green Product Design, a course designed and taught by UO Chemistry and Biochemistry Sr. Instructor Julie Haack. That interest led Sarah, a Clark Honors College student, to pursue a Product Design major with a minor in Chemistry, and for Dr. Haack to help arrange for Sarah to meet with one of the head chemists at Nike to learn more about working in the field.
Sarah got an opportunity to put her knowledge into practice when, after Assistant Professor of Product Design Beth Esponnette won a 2016 Faculty Research Award for her proposal to explore chemical-reactive 3-D printing, she hired Sarah to assist her with her research.
Read more in the Oregon Quarterly piece, Fashion Statement – Collaborative Reseach
Last June, the UO Chemistry and Biochemistry department selected the recipients of our undergraduate scholarships for the 2016-17 academic year. Ainsley Taylor was awarded the Faith Van Nice Scholarship, and Brian Drury received the Kuntz-Swinehart Memorial Scholarship. (more…)
Chemical Society Reviews – 21 November 2016, Issue 22
Authors: Matthew Hartle, Michael Pluth
Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering – November 7, 2016, Volume 4, Issue 11
Author: James Hutchison
Angewandte Chemie International Edition – 24 October 2016, Volume 55, Issue 44
Hydrogen Sulfide Donors Activated by Reactive Oxygen Species
Authors: Dr. Yu Zhao, Prof. Michael D. Pluth
Chemistry of Materials – September 8, 2016
Authors: Michaela Burke Stevens, Lisa J. Enman, Adam S. Batchellor, Monty R. Cosby, Ashlee E. Vise, Christina D. M. Trang, and Shannon W. Boettcher
How I Spent My Summer Vacation – Catching Up with SAACS Summer Research Award Recipients Sam Prakel & Carson Adams
In June 2016, the UO chapter of the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS) presented Summer Research Awards to biochemistry majors Sam Prakel and Carson Adams. The SAACS awards are designed to support chemistry and biochemistry majors’ ability to conduct summer research in a UO research lab, or elsewhere in an REU summer program. Two research awards have been awarded each year since the program began in 2015, using funds the organization raises through its T-shirt sales. We asked Sam and Carson to share a little about themselves and their science.
Sam Prakel came to the UO in 2013 from Versailles, Ohio, attracted by the balance between the small, liberal arts feel of the Clark Honors College and the qualities of a large, research institution – as well as the desire to run for the Oregon track and cross country teams. Now in his senior year, Sam has made the most of his opportunities in the classroom, on the field, and in the laboratory.
The SAACS Summer Research Award motivated Sam to put continuous work into his research projects year-round. Working in both the Mike Pluth and Darren Johnson labs, his research seeks to find new ways to detect biological hydrogen sulfide, an important physiological mediator and signaling agent whose functions play a role in diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, inflammation, and neurodegeneration.
Sam finds inspiration in the complexity and open-ended nature of science. “The intricacies in the scientific field keep pushing me to learn,” he explains, “and the endless possibility of discovery keeps pushing me to think.” He plans to continue that push through grad school, furthering his studies in chemistry and biochemistry.
Carson Adams grew up in Salem, Oregon, close enough to hear about some of the research coming out of the University of Oregon Chemistry department and to know that he wanted to be a part of it. And he has certainly done just that – joining the Andy Marcus lab at the beginning of his sophomore year. He has continued his research work right up through his current and senior year, studying the ways in which DNA strands interact and how these interactions affect DNA replication.
“We use special molecules called fluorophores which release light when light is shined on them,” Carson explains. “The released light is of a different color than the light projected onto these molecules, so we can use special machines and apparatuses to measure the emitted light. We can then use this information to conclude things about how the DNA molecules are interacting and how their bases are positioned.”
Carson says his inspiration to be a scientist stems from the inventiveness of the process – seeing the creativity and incredible discoveries of the past, and looking forward to similar discoveries in the future. He also enjoys the challenge involved in finding a viable and unique way to solve a problem. His SAACS award has helped him to pursue his research goals, and affirmed the importance of his studies. He plans to earn his PhD in biochemistry and conduct biochemical research at a professional level, perhaps eventually teaching what he learns to the next generation of undergraduate students.
by Leah O’Brien
Ann Greenaway, a chemistry Ph.D. student at the University of Oregon, is one of 90 doctoral students in the U. S. and Canada selected to receive a $15,000 Scholar Award from the P.E.O. Sisterhood. She was sponsored by Chapter W of Arkansas.
In addition, Ann was chosen by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) for the prestigious 2016–17 AAUW American Fellowship.
Ann is a 2012 graduate of the Hendrix College in Conway, AR, where she was the recipient of Goldwater and Truman scholarships, among many other honors. She is currently completing her fourth year in the University of Oregon Chemistry PhD program, working in Prof. Shannon Boettcher’s research laboratory on the development of low-cost alternative growth methods for the world’s most efficient solar cell materials. After graduation, Ann plans to pursue a career in fundamental solar energy and solar fuels research, while working to advance the presence of women in science.
About the P.E.O. Scholar Awards
Supporting Women…Changing the World
The P.E.O. Scholar Awards (PSA) were established in 1991 to provide substantial merit-based awards for women of the United States and Canada who are pursuing a doctoral-level degree at an accredited college or university. Scholar Awards recipients are a select group of women chosen for their high level of academic achievement and their potential for having a positive impact on society.
The P.E.O. Sisterhood, founded January 21, 1869, at Iowa Wesleyan College, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, is a philanthropic educational organization dedicated to supporting higher education for women. There are approximately 6,000 local chapters in the United States and Canada with nearly a quarter of a million active members.
About the AAUW American Fellowship
One of the world’s oldest fellowship programs for women
American Fellowships, AAUW’s oldest and largest funding program, date back to 1888, making them one of the oldest and most prestigious fellowships in the world exclusively for women. AAUW American Fellowships support women scholars who are completing doctoral dissertations, conducting postdoctoral research, or finishing research for publication.
“I am incredibly excited to receive this fellowship,” Ann says. “The American Fellowship will allow me to focus full-time on completing my dissertation this year, as well as on continuing my mentoring and outreach activities within the University of Oregon’s scientific community.”
“We have a long and proud history of supporting exceptional women scholars through our American Fellowship program. This year’s group includes women who are leaders in their institutions and their fields working on issues related to sexual violence, race, and other topics of importance to women and girls. They aren’t just brilliant, they are agents of change,” said Gloria Blackwell, AAUW vice president of fellowships, grants, and global programs.
For the 2016–17 academic year, AAUW awarded a total of $3.7 million to more than 230 scholars, research projects, and programs promoting education and equity for women and girls through six fellowships and grants programs. AAUW is one of the world’s leading supporters of graduate women’s education, having awarded more than $100 million in fellowships, grants, and awards to 12,000 women from more than 140 countries since 1888.
Read AAUW’s announcement about this year’s awards. To find out more about this year’s exceptional class of awardees, visit AAUW’s online directory. To reach an award recipient, call 202.728.7602 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and more than 800 college and university partners. Since AAUW’s founding in 1881, our members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political. Learn more and join us at www.aauw.org.