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Research Results on Display
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
By Chelsea Platt '13
On April 17 Siena College hosted the Fifth Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium of the Eastern New York Chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS). This year, 11 Siena students were selected to present their independent research projects conducted with Siena faculty over the past year. Several of the students have already presented their results work at national conferences.
“This is an opportunity for students to share their research projects with the local chemical community,” Jodi O’Donnell, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry and conference co-organizer, said.
One of the research posters, titled “Characterization of the Metal Induced Interaction of Syntaxin-1A and Synaptotagmin-1,” was presented by Ryan Clarke ’14 and Kelsey Lubin ’14. Under the supervision of Jesse Karr, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, they studied the effects of lead poisoning from a biochemical standpoint, as it is one of the most common preventable health problems but can lead to devastating damage to the nervous system.
“Becoming involved in research was the best decision I have made at Siena,” said Lubin. “As a biochemistry major, I am introduced to multiple lab techniques in my biology and chemistry courses. Research allows me to use those techniques in a real lab setting where the results aren’t always known in advance.”
Lubin has been part of this research project since June 2012 when she participated in Siena’s Summer Scholars Program.
Another research topic presented was in computational chemistry, offered by Andrew Geragotelis ’13 and advised by George Barnes, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry. Their poster presented results obtained from state of the art computer simulations. The simulations provide an atomic level view of chemical reactions, which helps scientists visualize how chemistry takes place.
“Computational chemistry is a very interesting field involving the overlap of several different disciplines including chemistry, physics, mathematics and computer science. I have been very fortunate to have some great professors here at Siena to work with,” said Geragotelis.
Geragotelis also had the chance to present his work at the 245th ACS National Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans, held just last week. He also participated as well in the Eastern New York ACS Undergraduate Research Symposium that was held at Siena in April 2010.
The ACS is the largest scientific society in the world. The Eastern New York Section is one of 187 local sections that comprise the total membership of the organization. For the past five years, Siena has been hosting the symposium, an annual conference focused on the communication and celebration of excellence in undergraduate research in the chemical sciences. This year, student presenters from Siena were joined by undergraduates from Albany College of Pharmacy, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Russell Sage, Skidmore and Union Colleges as they presented their research to an audience of more than 100 chemists from the Capital Region.
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