May 2014 Archways

In the Field

Students Present at American Chemical Society Annual Meeting

indexIn March, seven Bryn Mawr students got an initiation into the high-powered world of academic conferences as they presented their research at the American Chemical Society’s annual meeting in Dallas. Student travel for the conference was funded by the College through the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, which underwrites conference travel for students pursuing work in biology, chemistry, geology, neuroscience, and/or physics and who have participated in the College’s Summer Science Research Program. To be eligible for this award, students must present their research, either as a poster or as a panel presentation.

From Assistant Professor of Chemistry Jason Schmink’s lab, Summer Baker Dockrey ’15 and Alicia Makepeace ’14 reported on a never-before used transmetallation reagent and described a new way to make carbon-carbon bonds. Also working with Schmink, Janielle Vidal ’14 presented her in-depth investigations into a unique oxidative esterification reaction.

From Chemistry Professor and Dean of Graduate Studies Sharon Burgmayer’s lab, graduate student Ben Williams presented his dissertation research on model studies of molybdenum enzymes (see story on p. 8), and three undergraduates participated in the conference poster session. Chemistry major Anna Kalinsky ’14, who worked with Williams on his study, presented her findings on the reactivity of his model and its relationship to enzyme function. Alexandra Kirsch ’14 and Stephanie Yang ’15 reported on the details of how ruthenium complexes interact with DNA, as well as the mechanism leading to DNA damage in order to aid in design of anti-cancer drugs.

Kalinsky says, “Ever since joining [Burgmayer’s lab], I’ve been considered a full member of the lab. I’m not just a grunt worker. I don’t just make starting material for grad students’ projects or wash glassware for experienced members. I’m treated like a scientist.”