Application of Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy to Forensic Auto Paint Analysis

Hello everyone! Have you ever been in a situation where your car was involved in a hit and run accident? Usually when this happens a paint sample is left behind by the car that hit you. This paint sample can be used in forensic analysis to identify the car of the offender. My research over the summer will be in applying a new analytical method in order to solve this common crime amongst other crimes involving paint evidence.

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Development of a Novel Grignard Reaction Lab

Hi everyone,

I’m Matt Smith and my research involves the development of a new organic chemistry experiment for W&M labs. The research will focus on the Nobel-prize winning Grignard reaction, where a carbon nucleophile is created to attack a carbonyl as shown in the image below. This reaction will create a tertiary alcohol. A unique aspect to this lab is the creation of the tertiary alcohol with multiple unknown starting materials. By providing a student with 2 unknowns, they will be able to complete an experiment without knowing the product, as with real world research labs. Because of limitations in lab size and time, the alcohols created will need to be solid, allowing the students to determine their product with melting point. Students may also be provided with NMRs of their product to ensure they identify the proper alcohol.

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Abstract: Educational Drug Synthesis for Improvement of Organic Chemistry II Lab Curriculum

In the current curriculum for the Organic Chemistry II Lab, there is limited opportunity for undergraduates aiming for future medical and pharmaceutical careers to gain actual, hands-on experience with medicinal chemistry.   In order to rectify this, our small team of independently working undergraduates will be continuing our improvement of various drug synthesis procedures, for use in the Organic Chemistry II Lab handbook next semester onward.  My own procedure will allow students to synthesize compounds of 1,5-benzodiazepine, a safe precursor to important psychoactive drugs such as Diazepam (Valium) and Alprazolam (Xanax); not only is the procedure inexpensive and straightforward, but will also allow students to review almost all of the important laboratory techniques and set-ups taught throughout the semester, while engaging in medicinal chemistry through a relevant drug synthesis.  Being a Neuroscience major interested in pharmaceuticals myself, I will definitely include supplementary information on the pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics of sedative psychoactive drugs in the introduction to my chapter.  Overall, the aim of my research is the enrichment of the Organic Chemistry II Lab experience, as well as the engagement of all students in the importance of medicinal chemistry.

Artificial Photosynthesis: Hydrogen Generation via Metal Catalysts

Hello all! My name is Megan Screen and I am rising junior at the college. I am a double major in chemistry and theatre. This summer I will be working in Dr. McNamara’s inorganic chemistry lab, working to further develop methods to harness solar energy in order to generate clean fuel.

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Development of New Biological Probes

Hello everyone!  My name is Christopher Travis and I am a freshman here at the College.  I plan on majoring in Chemistry and I’m finishing up my second semester carrying out research in Dr. Young’s lab.  I’m very excited to be able to focus on research full time over the summer.  My project is designed to synthesize fluorescent molecules known as profluorophores.  I will then use these molecules in specific reactions with unnatural amino acid technology.  These molecules ultimately will be used to develop novel labeling strategies to label specific parts of cells.  The implications for this research are tremendous.  Long-term, refined labeling strategies could be used to diagnose and treat many diseases.  Short-term, I hope to improve my laboratory skills and work successfully through the various stages of my project.

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