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 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."
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 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.”