The Chemistry SROP is focused on curiosity driven basic research. As such, the projects are specifically tailored to stimulate student curiosity by provoking students to ask "Why?" and "How?" about their research. Participants will progress from undergraduate textbook learning to discovering and solving challenging research problems during the 10-week program.
This SROP offers a wide range of topics, including: organic radicals, medical imaging agents, protein-DNA interactions, enzyme-assisted organic synthesis, catalytic nanoparticles, synthesis of algal quorum-sensing molecules, and drug-protein interactions. The faculty mentors bring strong records of commitment to one-on-one mentoring of undergraduates in their research laboratories, and each brings their own multidisciplinary approach, specific research objectives, and experimental methods.
Students will learn and experience a wide range of communication skills during SROP meetings, in mentor group meetings, career development seminars, lunch discussion groups, social activities, and visits to local industry. The program concludes with students presenting their research findings at a campus-wide poster symposium.
Late stage introduction of fluorine into drug-like molecules
To prepare PET radiotracers, the student will learn how to synthesize and prepare them by fluorination reactions with the "cold" (19F) isotope. What are the challenges involving the synthesis of the radiotracers with the "hot" (18F) isotope?
Analytical and Bioanalytical
Biological Mass Spectrometry
To characterize complex covalent and noncovalent biochemical interactions, the student will learn how to amplify DNA, isolate proteins, or study protein glycosylation.
To synthesize new amphiphiles for materials science and biosensing (collaborative) and to understand the synthesis of popular-linked bioactive molecules for cell biology studies (collaborative). Will also investigate new antimycobacterial agents (collaborative) and new reactions of organic peroxides.
Expanding the genetic code
To learn how protein structure determines its function, the student researcher will use the multidisciplinary tools of molecular biology and bioorganic chemistry to add chemically modified unnatural amino acids to the genetic code of a bacterium so it synthesizes protein molecules modified at specific and relevant locations.
Analytical and Bioanalytical
Rapid Analysis of Drug-Protein Interactions
To understand how drugs act on the body, the student will learn how to develop new analytical methods for studying the interaction between drugs and blood proteins. What are the driving forces for this interaction and how strong is it compared to a chemical bond?
Organic Radicals for Organic Magnets, Spin Labels, and MRI Contrast Agents
To prepare the spin labels, students will learn how to synthesize stable organic radicals. Free radicals are typically highly reactive, why then are some radicals such as nitroxides persistent and how to make them more stable?
Novel functional materials
To create materials with new properties for electronics, photonics, sensors, and energy storage, the student will synthesize new types of carbon nanotubes and modified graphene.
Tracking proteins in the cell
To allow monitoring of the precise spatial and temporal locations for proteins involved in cell motility, students will modify genes so they are specially labeled.
To synthesize new catalysts for use in energy production and energy storage, students will prepare nanomaterials with designed shapes and composition.