While the campus was celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and speculating on snowfall from the fourth March nor’easter to hit the east coast, one chemistry professor, Amanda Reig, and two chemistry majors, Brian VanDyke and Sophia Worthington-Kirsch, headed south to attend the 255th ACS National Meeting in The Big Easy, New Orleans, Louisiana. The theme of the meeting was Nexus of Food, Energy & Water.
The American Chemical Society holds two national meetings and expositions each year and this was the first for 2018 with a second national meeting to follow in August. Thousands of attendees, who are chemists, chemical engineers, academicians, graduate and undergraduate students, and other related professionals, converged on New Orleans’ Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, along the Mississippi River, from March 18th to the 22nd for this national meeting. According to the ACS program book, programs and activities available to attendees included the Presidential symposium, technical symposia, scientific and poster sessions, ACS National Award presentations, various social and educational events, networking events, ACS division meetings, career development programs, a career fair, professional training courses and workshops, and the chemical industry exposition to name a few.
Both Ursinus students presented on March 18th, the first day of the conference, in the Division of Inorganic Chemistry. Brian VanDyke (CHEM & BCMB ’18) gave a talk entitled “Modeling coupled binuclear copper enzymes using de novo designed Due Ferri single chain (DFsc) proteins” in the Undergraduate Research at the Frontiers of Inorganic Chemistry symposium. Brian was the only undergraduate student to speak in his session, alongside faculty from other colleges and universities. A co-researcher, Sophia Worthington-Kirsch (CHEM ’19), presented her poster Sunday evening entitled “Altering the de novo Due Ferri single chain protein to mimic the structure and reactivity of coupled binuclear copper enzymes”. The work by both students was conducted under the mentorship of Professor Reig.
With their presentations concluded by the end of the first day, Amanda, Brian and Sophie availed themselves of the other programs and activities at this prestigious national meeting before heading back to Ursinus College.