Below are more detailed descriptions of a few of the many senior research projects taking place over the course of this year.
Tyler Herman '16, Waukegan, Illinois
"My senior project involves computer modeling of chemical systems using open source programming. Specifically, I seek to develop a computational laboratory exercise in which students can model kinetic properties of a reaction. This will provide students with a hands-on approach to understanding the physics of chemistry. It should also help to develop computer skills beyond the level typical of an undergraduate chemistry student."
Achamaporn (Nutt) Punnanitinont '16, Thailand
"My senior research project will entail a combination of my previous two summer research projects done through the LU-R1 program at Lawrence. The major focus will be on my first summer research project, whose purpose was to determine the interaction of two key enzymes involved in the pentose phosphate and trehalose pathways in the human opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. In addition, I will also talk about the immunohistochemistry used to determine the ratio between proliferation and apoptosis of cardiac myocytes obtained from premature lambs, which are models for the pulmonary hypertension study in Professor Albertine’s lab where I spent my last summer.
Annabelle Tsai '16, Katy, Texas
"Yeast is a model organism used to study countless biological and biochemical mechanisms. By analyzing the biochemical processes of different yeasts through a brewing lens, we can enhance the brewing process while gaining information on yeasts’ biochemical function. Over the summer, we analyzed the flavor profiles of 700 wild yeast isolates and brewed beer from those with the best profiles. My project is to create hybrids between these wild yeast strains and domesticated Saccharomyces cerevisiae used in the brewing industry in an effort to make new beer yeasts that combine the unique flavor of the wild yeast with the brewing properties of the domesticated yeast."
Charlie Martin ’16, Plymouth, Wisconsin
"My research focuses on using new methods to make molecules with potential anti-malarial activity. An interdisciplinary project between the organic chemistry and biochemistry classes at Lawrence has students make potential drugs and then test them on cells; my research supports this project in a number of ways. The current iteration of the project involves the functionalization (addition of new components) of a class of molecules called triazolopyrazines. I am attempting some novel synthetic methods towards the functionalization of these compounds, with the goal of learning about new ways to make these molecules and others like them."
These are just a few of the many projects taking place throughout the year. Whether during the year or over the summer, faculty and students are engaging in various investigations. Some of those projects can be found here. Check back for exciting developments and read about past challenges in the research occurring within Chemistry.