Seven Students Present Research at American Chemical Society National Meeting

Students attending the ACS National Meeting.

Augustana students Lexie Snyder, Ellie Ronning, Peter Sanchez, and Marie Anderson posing with "moles" — the fundamental unit of the quantity of matter and the mascot of the ACS.

Seven chemistry and biochemistry majors attended the American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting in Orlando, Florida, from March 31 – April 4 to present chemistry research they conducted in the Augustana Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry during summer 2018. Each year there are two national meetings of the ACS, the largest scientific society in the world.

Dr. Jetty Duffy-Matzner mentored Hayley Masching, Annika Schull and Millie Wanous. Masching presented her poster, "Synthesis and characterization of a novel polymer by Sonogashira coupling between cyclopentadithiophenes and difurodiketopyrrolopyrroles for use in organic hybrid solar cells," which describes efforts toward new materials for solar cells. Schull presented her poster, "Propargylic isoxazoline antimicrobial agents," about antibiotic and antifungal compounds synthesized in the Duffy-Matzner lab. Wanous presented her poster, "Immersive layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly on siloxy amino functionalized generation 1 and 3 silicone hydrogel contact lenses," which describes work on delivering medicine that is attached to contact lenses.

Dr. Jared Mays mentored Marie Anderson, Lexi Snyder and Ellie Ronning. The group of three students presented their two posters, "Synthesis of 4-(Methylsulfinyl)benzyl and 3-Pyridylmethyl Glucosinolate via the Nitronate Pathway" and "Evaluation of the Antiproliferation Effects of Glucosinolates Against Human MCF-7 Cells," which describes their research with compounds derived from Brassica vegetables (such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts) that have anti-cancer properties.

Peter Sanchez also presented his research from his summer internship in Sioux Falls at the Sanford Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR). He worked with Dr. Paola Vermeer and his poster is titled "Validation of ephrinB1 binding partners," which highlights their work in trying to find the connection between higher levels of the Ephrin-B1 protein and tumor growth.

"When our research students graduate, they regard the ACS National Meeting as one of the highlights of their academic career at Augustana," says Dr. Barrett Eichler, Chair of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. "This prestigious event brings together over 15,000 attendees from around the world. Augustana students have access to nearly 50 professional training courses and workshops. They get to see what it means to be a professional chemist and they find that the research experiences they participate in at Augustana are high quality when compared to the rest of the research presented at the meeting."

The students were sponsored by the National Institutes of Health Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (NIH-BRIN) and by the National Science Foundation Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NSF-EPSCoR) programs. Part of Dr. Mays’ group travel was also covered by prize money from winning the Sioux Valley Local Section ACS Poster Competition last September. Dr. Duffy-Matzner attended the national meeting with the students and will also serve on the ACS Committee on Committees, Younger Chemists Committee and the Committee on Environmental Improvement as the Councilor for the state of South Dakota.

Katie LeBrun
Public Relations and Communications Strategist