Ursinus Chemistry Hosts 80th Annual ISC Convention

The 80th Annual Intercollegiate Student Chemists Convention hosted by Ursinus draws student chemists from area colleges to highlight undergraduate research.

On Saturday, April 16, the Ursinus College chemistry department hosted the 80th Annual Intercollegiate Student Chemists Convention.  This conference highlights research done by undergraduates in the chemical sciences.  Over 80 students and faculty attended, and 32 students from 11 different institutions presented talks in biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and physical chemistry.  Institutions represented include Ursinus, University of Delaware, Towson University, Franklin & Marshall College, West Chester University, Gettysburg College, Elizabethtown College, La Salle University, Penn State—Berks, Penn State—Schuylkill, Albright College, and Muhlenberg College.

Nine Ursinus students presented talks on their research:

Shelby Marchese, “Investigating Interactions between Complement Component 3 and the Lectin-like Domain of Thrombomodulin in Atypical Hemolytic-uremic Syndrome”, advisor Dr. Julia Koeppe

Madison Force, “The Use of Tetracycline-Functionalized Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes to Overcome Tetracycline Resistance in Escherichia coli”, advisors Dr. Mark Ellison and Dr. Anthony Lobo

Nathan Fritzinger, “Protein-Protein Interactions between the Lectin-like Domain of Thrombomodulin and Complement Component 3”, advisor Dr. Julia Koeppe

Laura Nebel, “Carbon Nanotubes as Molecular Conduits”, advisor Dr. Mark Ellison

Casey Williams, “Desorption of Fluorescently Labeled Oligomers from Carbon Nanotubes”, advisor Dr. Kyle Wagner

Several Ursinus students won awards for their presentations.  Allison Arinaga (Chemistry ’17) won 2nd place in the Inorganic Chemistry Division for her talk, “A Pyrazine-Modified Cyanoferrate Complex for the Photocatalytic Reduction of Carbon Dioxide”, about research she conducts with Dr. Brian Pfennig.  Katie Fiocca (Biology ’16) won 2nd place in the Biological Chemistry II Division for her talk, “Antibiotic Delivery in Resistant Escherichia coli using PEG-modified Nano-graphene Oxide”, about research she conducts with Dr. Mark Ellison and Dr. Anthony Lobo.  Finally, Sam Menges (Chemistry ’16) won 1st place in the Physical/Analytical Division for his talk, “Motion of Methanol through Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes”, about research he performs with Dr. Mark Ellison.

This ISCC was the last for retiring chemistry professor Ronald Hess.  In his 50 years of teaching chemistry and guiding undergraduates in research at Ursinus, he mentored dozens of students who presented their research at the ISCC over the years.  It was entirely fitting, then, that one of Dr. Hess’ students, Brendan Phillips (Chemistry ’16), won first place in the Organic Chemistry Division for his talk, “Catalytic Transfer Hyrdogenation of Nitroalkanes to Primary Amines”.