American Chemical Society Undergraduate Research Symposium – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

American Chemical Society Undergraduate Research Symposium

Students and faculty from area colleges and universities will convene to present chemistry research at the American Chemical Society’s Undergraduate Research Symposium at the Colleges.

April 12, 2002 GENEVA, N.Y.—The 47th Undergraduate Research Symposium sponsored by the Rochester section of the American Chemical Society will be held on Saturday, April 20, on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus. More than 70 chemists will hear research presentations by 13 Hobart and William Smith students as well as several students from other area colleges and universities.

Wendell Roelofs, the keynote speaker, will talk about “Defining Sex Signals in Moths and Mammals” at 9 a.m. in the Sanford Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library. Roelefs is the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor of Insect Biochemistry at Cornell University's New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, entomology department. His research interests focus on insect chemical communication: defining sex pheromone blends, how they are biosynthesized and genetically controlled by female moths, how they are perceived by male moths and more. His studies are directed to practical use in insect monitoring and control programs. Roelofs has received numerous awards including the 1977 von Humbolt award, the 1982 Wolf Prize and the 1983 National Medal of Science.

“He is an excellent speaker and we are thrilled to have him present our keynote address,” said Parish.

Students will give oral or poster presentations of their research in such areas as HIV inhibitor drugs, the ladybug defense system, and the extracts from spider venom.

Emelyn Smith, a junior from Tunkhannock, Pa.; Jennifer Pratt, a junior from Rochester, N.Y.; Yixiu Zheng, a senior from Bronx, N.Y.; Myrianne Dure, a senior from Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Julia James, a sophomore from Brooklyn, N.Y., each did research in the lab of Assistant Professor of Chemistry Carol Parish.

Chassidy Pierce, a junior from Groton, N.Y.; Heather Lavender, a junior from Cleveland Heights, Ohio; and Sheila McKevitt, a junior from Clinton, N.Y., each performed research in the lab of Assistant Professor of Chemistry Christine de Denus.

Aaron Coffin, a sophomore from Skaneateles, N.Y., worked in Assistant Professor of Chemistry Erin Pelkey's lab. Heather Beach, a senior from Eldred, N.Y.; and John Stevens, a senior from Paoli, Pa., did research with Assistant Professor of Chemistry Alexis Puerta.

Lindsay Bowser, a senior from LaFayette, N.Y., worked with Director of Environmental Studies John Halfman.

Lisa Vinikoor, a senior from Meadowbrook, Pa., worked with Christoph Schmutte at Thomas Jefferson University, on mutating proteins known to be defective in hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer (HNPCC).

Chemistry students from other colleges and universities will attend the symposium, representing Hamilton College, the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Brockport, Syracuse University, ESF-Syracuse, Nazareth College, and SUNY Buffalo.

In addition, faculty from local Ph.D. programs will attend, providing the students with an opportunity to learn more about graduate programs in the area. Representatives from local chemical industries will be available to talk with students who are interested in entering the job market directly after graduation.

“This is a perfect opportunity for students to gain experience describing their science in a comfortable setting,” said Parish. “It will also allow them to participate in one of the most exciting aspects of science–discussing their work with colleagues.”