Chemistry Research Opportunities Abound – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Chemistry Research Opportunities Abound

From quantum mechanics to E. coli, 16 undergraduates searched this summer to find answers to a variety of scientific questions. They weren't hanging out at the beach, but they investigated lake water bacteria and zebra mussels. They weren't slathering bug repellent, but they’re discovering how to keep insects from becoming resistant to it.

Sixteen chemistry majors at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y., pursued science research projects, including materials for molecular devices, anti-cancer drugs, and molecular wire electron transport. Thirteen worked with professors in the chemistry department, while two worked with professors in the geoscience department and one is did research at the Cornell Experiment Station, also located in Geneva.

Aaron Coffin (Hobart ’04) researched new methods for synthesizing analogs of staurosporine. Coffin is pursuing a chemistry major with a minor in environmental science. Coffin is the co-author on an impending research publication titled “Regiocontrolled Controlled Synthesis of 3-Pyrrolin-2-Ones from Pyrrole Weinreb Amides,” and he has presented his research at regional and national conferences within the past two years. Coffin is an Emerson Scholar and is currently enrolled in the Honors program for chemistry.

Adam Lanious (Hobart '04) conducted research on developing new synthetic methods for the preparation of nitrogen heterocycles. Lanious is pursuing a double major in chemistry and music. Lanious is a member of the Hobart rugby team and the budget allocation committee and he tutors students in music. In his spare time, Lanious enjoys playing the guitar.

Nicolette Guthrie (William Smith ’05) conducted research on the synthesis and reactions of 1,3-diisocyanoacetone. Guthrie is pursuing a chemistry major with a concentration in biochemistry and a minor in environmental studies. Guthrie is currently a resident advisor, treasurer of the Health Professions Club, member of the Chemistry Club, and volunteer facilitator for the Acquaintance Rape Awareness Workshop. She plans to attend medical school and become a pediatrician.

Michael Liquori (Hobart ’05) worked on the synthesis and reactions of N-Methyl-N-phenylisocyanoacetamide. Liquori is pursuing a chemistry major with a concentration in biochemistry and a minor in environmental studies. Liquori, the son of Lori Hale of Marcellus, is a member of the HWS Chemistry Club, the Health Professions Club, and is a student mentor in the First-Year Advantage program. During the academic year, he has volunteered at the John D. Kelley Behavioral Center in Canandaigua, N.Y.

Carrie Provenzano (William Smith '04) conducted research with Sarah Bates, a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University's New York State Agricultural Experiment Station located in Geneva, N.Y. She is investigating strategies to help delay/prevent the development of resistance in insects to insecticidal transgenic crops. Provenzano is pursuing a double major in biochemistry and biology with a minor in classical studies. She is currently doing research with Sarah Bates, a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University's New York State Agricultural Experiment Station located in Geneva, N.Y. She is investigating strategies to help delay and prevent the development of resistance in insects to insecticidal transgenic crops. Provenzano was a Helen Heath Scholar in 2000-2001.

Rebecca Splain (William Smith '04) investigated the effects of tautomerization in the Bergman cyclization of ten-membered enediyne anticancer warhead drugs. She will be presenting the results of her study at the upcoming 2003 MERCURY supercomputer conference at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. Splain is pursuing a double major in biochemistry and English. She plays goalkeeper on the William Smith lacrosse team. She is the recipient of a 2003 American Chemical Society Summer Research Fellowship, a member of Hai Timiai, layout editor for Thel, a recipient of the Betsy Mitchell '65 Award and a Heron scholar athlete. During her first year, she received the CRC First-Year Prize in Chemistry. She has been named to the Dean’s List all three years.

Jeff Sullivan (Hobart ’04) investigated the effects of aromaticity in the Bergman cyclization of ten-membered enediyne anticancer warhead drugs. Sullivan is a chemistry major who is currently performing quantum mechanical studies in the laboratory of Professor Carol Parish, investigating the effects or aromaticity in the Bergman cyclization of 10-membered enediyne anticancer warhead drugs. He will be presenting the results of his study at the upcoming 2003 MERCURY supercomputer conference at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. Sullivan is a member of the nationally ranked HWS sailing team. He is currently a member of the HWS chemistry club, and is also a Statesman Scholar Athlete.

Hilda Castillo (William Smith ’05) studied the effects of charge in the Bergman cyclization of ten-membered enediyne anticancer warhead drugs. Castillo, who is pursuing a major in biochemistry and a double minor in education and Spanish, will be presenting the results of her research at the upcoming 2003 MERCURY supercomputer conference at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. The results of her previous research on HIV-1 protease inhibitors were recently submitted for publication to the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Castillo is interested in pursuing a career in pediatrics. She is the recipient of a 2003 National Science Foundation Summer Research Fellowship. She presented her HIV protease inhibitor results at the 224th National American Chemical Society conference in Boston and at the 48th Undergraduate Chemistry Research Symposium at SUNY College at Brockport. Castillo's awards include the 2002 CRC First-Year Chemistry Achievement Award, the Robert A. Huff Scholarship and the Alger Adams Academic Excellence Award. She was recently named an American Chemical Society Scholar, and she is a member of tthe HWS chemistry club and the American Chemical Society.

Elina Tserlin (William Smith '04) investigated new methodologies in synthesizing 3-pyrrolin-2-ones, which are precursors to biologically active compounds such as staurosporine. These compounds have the potential to serve as therapeutic agents for cancer. Tserlin plans to expand this research topic into an honors thesis during her senior year. She is a co-author on a forthcoming research publication titled “Regiocontrolled Controlled Synthesis of 3-Pyrrolin-2-Ones from Pyrrole Weinreb Amides,” and has presented her work at both regional and national symposia during the past year. Tserlin is pursuing a major in chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry and a minor in science and society. Tserlin has volunteered at Geneva General Hospital, served as president on the board of the Chemistry Student Association, and has been a member of the Laurel Society. She is a recipient of the Organic Chemistry Achievement Award and has enjoyed tutoring and serving as a teaching assistant in organic chemistry.

Gilberto Arbelaez (Hobart ’06) investigated the effects of aromaticity in the Bergman cyclization of ten-membered enediyne anticancer warhead drugs. He will be presenting the results of his study at the upcoming 2003 MERCURY supercomputer conference at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. Arbelaez is pursuing a chemistry major, with a minor in environmental studies.Arbelaez is the rec