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Natural Science and Mathematics Blog

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UMBC Conference

For the better part of the last 20 years, UMBC has hosted an annual Undergraduate Research Conference. This event exclusively highlights the undergraduate research in the biology, chemistry, and biochemistry fields. This year...

Sarah Bonson, Matthew Koury, Camille Werzowa, and Jacqueline Rowan attended the 18th Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences and the UMBC campus on October 3rd. The Symposium invites mentor-approved contributions from undergraduates investigating any aspect of chemistry, biology, and biochemistry. These advances will be disseminated in a daylong event that typically offers nearly 200 student contributions and gathers more than 400 beginning scientists, mentors, and other guests. The event will feature two poster sessions with posters judged by panels of participating mentors and other qualified attendees. 

Sarah Sarah Bonson presented her research project titled the  Synthesis of Gold Micelles for Use in Targeted Drug  Delivery Systems. The goal of her research was to  synthesize gold polycaprolactone nanoparticles, which  form micelles to be used in a targeted drug delivery  system. The system would provide healthier and more  effective treatment as it specifically targets malignant  cells, leaving healthy cells unharmed. The gold  nanoparticles build up in tumor sites due to their  enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effects and  have the ability to convert light energy into heat, allowing  the drug to be released into the body using a laser.  Oleylamine coated gold nanoparticles are  synthesized, thiolated withmercaptoundecanol, and then  polymerized with polycaprolactone, allowing the  nanoparticles to form micelles. Sarah described “It was  a great experience and a privilege to be able to represent the Mount and our Science Department! I had a great time at the conference and it was really neat to learn about the research of other students from all around the country."

Matt and Jacqueline Matthew Koury and Jaqueline Rowan presented their research titled The Synthesis of Ethyl and Methyl Benzoate with a Reduced Reflux Time. Jaqueline explained “I did feel very good about our presentations. I think it all went very well. It was a great atmosphere being around other people who share the same passion for science as I do. I learned a lot, this being my first presentation, but now I know what to expect and what to fix in the future.”

Camille Camille Werzowa presented her research titled  Understanding C/EBP B, a Transcription Factor Expressed  Downstream in Neuroinflammatory Events Mediated by  HMGB-1. Camille explained “I felt good about my  presentation. I had a lot of fun explaining what I have  done during my time in the lab. Though I did not have as  much data as I had hoped, the judges and other students  who listened to my presentation were impressed with what  I had so far.” When asked about the atmosphere of the  Symposium Camille responded “I was just in awe the  entire time with all of the different research undergraduate  students, like me, have done. It's so fascinating talking to  everyone and hearing what  they worked on and the data  they obtained. It made me want to continue with my  research and to present at more conferences.”

 
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