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Undergrad Spotlight

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July 18, 2018

Four CH and BIC Majors Receive Summer Research Fellowships

Photo: student working in labFour Chemistry and Biochemistry majors are among the 2018 recipients of the UO’s Vice President for Research and Innovation summer research fellowships. The awards are designed to support the university’s undergraduate scholars as they pursue their research interests during the summer. Read more in AroundtheO


Casey Bisted

Major: Chemistry
Faculty Mentor: James Hutchison
Project Title: The Study of sub 10nm indium oxide nanocrystals as carbon dioxide reduction catalysts


Anson Dang

Major: Biochemistry
Faculty Mentor: Andy Marcus
Project Title: Investigating the single-stranded (ss)DNA binding protein (gp32) dimer formation on a 15-nucleotide ssDNA lattice using microsecond resolution single-molecule florescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET)r


Patrick Connor

Major: Biochemistry
Faculty Mentor: Michael Harms
Project Title: Evolution in the Protein Calprotectin


Nikki Szczepanski

Major: Biochemistry
Faculty Mentor: Diana Libuda
Project Title: Determining the Early DNA Break Repair Dynamics Specific to Crossovers

May 15, 2018

18 Chemistry and Biochemistry Undergrad Researchers will participate in Research Symposium May 17th

photo: UG Research Poster sessionThe UO’s eighth Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium is Thursday, May 17, 2018.  The event will host 382 undergraduates engaged in original research, creative work, and community-based projects from over 71 majors, 13 minors, and eight colleges. The full schedule and research abstracts are available here

Eighteen undergraduates will be presenting their chemistry and biochemistry research at the following sessions:

Concurrent Oral Session 2 – 11:45-1:15 p.m.

SPRUCE ROOM – SESSION 2S: CHEMISTRY, MATH, AND COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCE

Makenna Pennel − CHEMISTRY
Nanoparticles!
Faculty Mentor(s): Jim Hutchison, Kenyon Plummer

Concurrent Oral Session 3 – 1:30-3:00 p.m.

MAPLE ROOM – SESSION 3M: DNA & GENES

Rachel David − BIOCHEMISTRY
Investigating the Role of Genomic Positioning in Directing Meiotic Double-Strand DNA Break Repair
Faculty Mentor(s): Diana Libuda, Erik Toraason

 

Poster Session – 5:30-7:30 p.m.

EMU BALLROOM & GUMWOOD ROOM

HUSSEIN AL-ZUBIERI − BIOCHEMISTRY
Determining Scrib binding partners relevant to its spindle orienting function
Faculty Mentor(s): Ken Prehoda, Nicole Paterson

DYLAN BARDGETT − CHEMISTRY
Quantitative Analysis of Thin Films via X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy
Faculty Mentor(s): David Johnson

BRIAN CHASTAIN − GENERAL SCIENCE
The Effect of Different Substituents on the Optoelectronic Properties of Diindenoanthracene
Faculty Mentor(s): Michael Haley, Justin Dressler

ANSON DANG − BIOCHEMISTRY
Mapping Interactions Of Single-Stranded (Ss) DNA With the Ss-DNA Binding Protein (Gp32) of the T4 DNA Replication Complex at Specific Nucleotide Residue Positions
Faculty Mentor(s): Pete von Hippel

WILLIAM EDGELL − BIOCHEMISTRY
Synthesis of Alkyne Substituted Cycloparaphenylenes for Conjugated Polymers Research Area: Organic Synthetic Chemistry
Faculty Mentor(s): Ramesh Jasti

ADRIAN GORDON − CHEMISTRY
Title: Energetic Loss From the Use of Hole Scavengers to Measure Photoelectrochemical Cell Efficiency Limits
Faculty Mentor(s): Shannon Boettcher

SHAYAN LOUIE − BIOCHEMISTRY
Synthesis and Characterization of Ru(II) Cycloparaphenylene Complexes
Faculty Mentor(s): Ramesh Jasti, Jeff Van Raden

ALEXANDER LYGO − PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY
Properties and Synthesis of Three Component Heterostructure: (BiSe)1+δ(Bi2Se3)1+ δ (BiSe)1+ δ (TiSe2)
Faculty Mentor(s): David Johnson

SHAWN MELENDY − BIOCHEMISTRY
Assay of Insulin-Stimulated Signaling by Flow Cytometry: Key Points of Regulation Research Area: Natural/Physical Science
Faculty Mentor(s): Carrie McCurdy, Byron Hetrick

TRISTAN MISTKAWI − BIOCHEMISTRY
Synthesis of 7,14-Diarylfluoreno[3,2-b]fluorenes
Faculty Mentor(s): Josh Barker, Michael Haley

BENJAMIN MULLER − CHEMISTRY
Modeling the Behavior of Pyruvic Acid at the Air-Water Interface Research
Faculty Mentor(s): Brittany Gordon, Dr. Geraldine Richmond

MADELYN SCOTT − CHEMISTRY
Optimization of Deposition Techniques for Thin Film Production and Analysis
Faculty Mentor(s): Cathy Wong, Kelly Wilson

KEVIN SPIES − BIOCHEMISTRY
Developmental Synchronization Of The Purple Pitcher Plant Mosquito, Wyeomyia Smithii, as a Result Of Increasing Temperatures
Faculty Mentor(s): William Bradshaw, Christina Holzapfel

MARIBELLE STANLEY − PRE-CHEMICAL ENGINEERING
Drug Development with New Catalytic Molecules
Faculty Mentor(s): David Tyler

ASHLEE VISE − CHEMISTRY
Characterization of GaSbP as a photocathode For Water-Splitting
Faculty Mentor(s): James Young

CYRUS WATERS − BIOCHEMISTRY
Synthesis of 6,13-pentacene-incorporated [10]cycloparaphenylene
Faculty Mentor(s): Ramesh Jasti, Brittany White

January 11, 2018

Biochemistry Majors Tristan Mistkawi and Alex Egdell Recieve Research Minigrants

Photo: Alex Edgell & Trstan Mistkawi

(L-R) Alex Edgell & Tristan Mistkawi

Biochemistry majors Tristan Mistkawi and Alex Egdell are among nine UO undergraduate researchers awarded minigrants through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), a unit within the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation.  The $1000 awards are given to students to assist with research expenses including purchasing supplies and materials and paying for travel that is necessary to conduct research.

Tristan is conducting research in the Haley lab on electronic properties of indenofluorenes and their derivatives, and Alex is in the Jasti lab doing reasearch focused on the synthesis of alkyne substituted cycloparaphenylenes for conjugated polymers. Both scholars will present their research at the UO Undergraduate Research Symposium on May 17, 2018.

Read more in AroundtheO, or visit the minigrant website for a full list of scholars with descriptions of their research projects.

 

 

November 3, 2017

1st Annual Sustainable Invention Immersion Week

The Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact may not have broken ground yet, but its impact got a jump start by sponsoring five, $500 Knight Campus Student Innovation Fellowships for underrepresented students in STEM disciplines who participated in the Sustainable Invention workshop that kicked off the 2017-18 academic year.

One chemistry graduate student and two undergrads were among the five fellowship recipients: Genevieve Dorrell (undergrad, biochemistry), Carl Hartzell (post bac, physics), Ruth Maust (graduate student, chemistry), Makenna Pennel (undergrad, chemistry, honors college) and Pallavi Webb (undergrad, CIS). The fellowship funds could be used to offset academic expenses such as tuition, books, school supplies and travel to scientific meetings.

The week-long workshop, titled Sustainable Invention Immersion Week, took place September 10-15th at 942 Olive Street, the UO’s innovation hub in downtown Eugene. Participating students had the opportunity to learn from experts in design, business, chemistry and communication as they worked in interdisciplinary teams to create their own green product over the course of the event. The teams then pitched their product ideas to win funding to move their idea forward. Awards were given for the top four product ideas.

Photo Julie Haack

Julie Haack

The workshop was organized by professor Julie Haack, the assistant department head of the UO’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Kate Harmon, the undergraduate program manager and management instructor at the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship.  Their goal is for Sustainable Invention Immersion Week to become an annual event, with a changing theme that will be tied to what’s happening at the Knight Campus.

Read more in AroundtheO or visit the event website:  http://www.sustainableinvention.com

October 12, 2017

Meet our 2017 Chemistry and Biochemistry Scholarship Recipients – Madi Scott, Ashlee Vise & Cyrus Waters

The UO Chemistry and Biochemistry department has announced the recipients of our 2017 undergraduate scholarships. Madi Scott was awarded the Faith Van Nice Scholarship, and Ashlee Vise received the Kuntz-Swinehart Memorial Scholarship, and Cyrus Waters was selected for the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS) Summer Research Award.

Photo: Madi Scott

Madi Scott

The Faith Van Nice Scholarship is dedicated to the memory of alumna Faith Van Nice, and recognizes exceptional UO undergraduate students majoring in Chemistry or Biochemistry. This year’s recipient, Madi Scott, is a Chemistry major beginning her sophomore year in the Clark Honors College.  She grew up in Medford, Oregon, with a strong interest in math, science and medicine. Madi joined the Cathy Wong lab halfway through her freshman year, and is particularly interested in how physical chemistry research applications can be used to make medical devices more effective and affordable, allowing for greater access to people who need them. She was very surprised to be selected for the Faith van nice scholarship, and feels honored to have the opportunity to share in Faith’s legacy. Madi plans to pursue a PhD or MD after completing her B.S. in Chemistry.

Photo: Ashley Vise

Ashlee Vise

The Kuntz-Swinehart Memorial Scholarship is meant to recognize and encourage academic excellence in our majors, and was established by former UO Chemistry students in honor of two professors whose instruction, influence and inspiration had a significant impact on their career paths. Our 2017 recipient, Ashlee Vise is from Scottsdale, Arizona, and a chemistry major entering her senior year. She has been conducting undergraduate research in the Shannon Boettcher lab since the fall of her sophomore year.  Her research involves renewable energy, focusing on the development of catalysts to produce zero-emission hydrogen fuel. Ashlee’s passion for nature inspires her interest in green chemistry and sustainable practices, and she hopes to take that passion and apply it to her career.  She got off to a good start this summer, as an intern for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Denver, Colorado. After completing her baccalaureate degree, Ashlee plans to take a gap year before pursuing an MS or PhD.

Photo: Cyrus Waters

Cyrus Waters

The SAACS Summer Research Awards are sponsored by the UO chapter of the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society.  Now in their third year, the annual awards seek to support chemistry and biochemistry majors’ ability to engage in research during the summer term. This year’s recipient, Cyrus Waters, is from Beaverton, Oregon.  When choosing a university, Cyrus says it was a toss-up between UO and OSU, but in the end, the Ducks won out.  A Biochemistry major in his senior year, he is making the most out of undergraduate research opportunities in the Ramesh Jasti lab. Cyrus’ research involves organic synthesis, designing molecules with properties that are applicable for use in solar cells. After completing his undergraduate degree, Cyrus is considering entering the UO Masters Industrial Internship Program, on the Polymer Science track.

 

– by Leah O’Brien

February 9, 2017

Three Biochemistry Undergrads to Present at 2017 McNair Scholars Symposium

2017 McNair Scholars Symposium 
New Voices in Research

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Noon – 4pm
Gumwood Room, EMU

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 ComradaMarkers 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.

November 17, 2016

Meet our 2016 Chemistry and Biochemistry Scholarship Recipients – Ainsley Taylor & Brian Drury

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…)

November 4, 2016

UO SAACS Annual Pumpkin Drop makes a Splash!

20161028_121615Check out these great videos of our Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS) 2016 chem demo and pumpkin drop! (more…)

October 11, 2016

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.

 

samprakelSam 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.

 

carsonadamsCarson 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

July 14, 2016

Incoming CH major & Jim Hutchison participate in “Run with a Researcher”

Chemistry professor Jim Hutchison and incoming freshman Mckenna Pennel

Overlapping interests in running and nanoscience ~ read about it in AroundtheO

 

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