Niagara University chemistry/biochemistry students won four of eight awards at the WNY American Chemical Society’s 2010 Undergraduate Research Symposium March 6. The students received two first-place awards for oral presentations, and first- and second-place awards for poster presentations.
Approximately 50 students representing about 10 universities in New York state and Canada attended the event, which was held at Niagara and co-hosted by the department of chemistry and biochemistry and the university’s ACS student affiliates. Keynote addresses were given by Dr. Susan E. Burke, a scientist in vision care research and development at Bausch & Lomb, and Dr. Ignacio Vargas, associate professor in the department of chemistry at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. The students also had the opportunity to network with various representatives from business and chemistry graduate programs who were in attendance.
“This was a wonderful opportunity for Niagara’s department of chemistry to showcase the research going on not only at the university, but throughout Western New York as well,” said Dr. Ronny Priefer, associate professor of chemistry and vice chair of WNY ACS. “It also allowed the students to learn what opportunities are available to them after graduation, and how what they’re doing now has real applications down the road.”
Winning presentations included “Comparison of Na(CN)BH3 and Si-CBH; Reductive Amination Agents,” by junior Paolo Grenga; “Iodinated Cubane Derivatives and their Thermal Properties” by senior Justin Griffiths; “Novel Synthetic Route to a Library of Isoflavone Derivatives,” by senior Kyle Biegasiewicz; and “Expression, Purification, and Kinetic Characterization of FET5 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae” by junior AnneMarie Laurri.