Researching Chemistry in Puerto Rico – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Researching Chemistry in Puerto Rico

In a program funded by the National Science Foundation, Tyler Fuller ’18 is conducting research on nano-sized drug delivery systems at the University of Puerto Rico’s campus in Río Piedras this summer. An opportunity tailored to his majors in biochemistry and Spanish and Hispanic studies, Fuller sees the research position as the next step in cultivating his passions.

“Research is the future and having a deep knowledge of the scientific process will help me develop a future career in medicine,” says Fuller, who conducted research on campus last summer alongside Assistant Professor of Chemistry John Newby.

Fuller’s days in the Lansing Hall lab fostered his ability to apply theoretical knowledge to pressing questions throughout the field. His research consisted of analyzing molecular structures using the resources of XSEDE, a National Science Foundation funded supercomputing environment, and infrared spectral data of matrix isolated molecules held at 15 Kelvin (-433 °F). This dual study strives to explain why some molecules stick to each other, while others self-segregate.

The Hobart and William Smith Undergraduate Summer Research Program annually supports approximately 60 students in research opportunities with as many as 25 faculty members. The program produces a steady stream of publications, helps support a research-active faculty, and ensures that students have the experience necessary to successfully enter graduate programs or careers in the sciences and social sciences.

“External research opportunities are a great complement to any education,” Newby says. “Tyler has the opportunity to interact with other scientists that look at different problems from different perspectives. It is sure to be an amazing and mind-expanding summer for him.”

On campus, Fuller is a member of the Druid Society and studied abroad at the University of Seville in Spain. He serves as a Student Trustee, vice president of Sigma Chi Fraternity, a technician for HWS Emergency Medical Services, co-host of “What are the Odds?” on WHWS and served as an Orientation Leader for the Classes of 2020. He is also the former president of HWS Republicans and a former member of the Chimera Society.

The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency operating with the mission of fostering innovation within the United States. Established by Congress in 1950, the foundation strives to fund projects that benefit the public while training the next generation of influential scientists and engineers.