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McDaniel students present Chemistry research at two major conferences

This spring, McDaniel students had the opportunity to present and be recognized for their original student-faculty at the American Chemical Society Conference and the Intercollegiate Student Chemists Convention, which host researchers from across the U.S.

McDaniel students and faculty pose for a group photo in front of an ACS conference sign

A group of McDaniel students and faculty attended the ACS conference from March 17-21 in New Orleans. Pictured in the photo from left to right are Associate Professor Peter Craig, Ashley Reyes, Lauren Logue, Matt Denny, Makela Brown, Khaleel Lee, Assistant Professor Stephanie Homan, and Dalton Pearl.

This spring, McDaniel students attended two regional and national chemistry conferences, where they presented their student-faculty research in Chemistry. The American Chemical Society Conference (ACS) was held in New Orleans on March 17-21, followed by the Intercollegiate Student Chemists Convention (ISCC) in Pennsylvania on April 6.

The ACS conference is an annual event featuring keynote speeches, presentations by leaders in the field, and various networking opportunities. Six McDaniel students traveled with faculty research mentors Associate Professor of Chemistry Peter Craig and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Stephanie Homan to the conference. They were also joined by Professor of Chemistry Dana Ferraris.

Senior Makela Brown, a Biochemistry major from Norfolk, Virginia, along with senior and Biochemistry major Matt Denny of Mount Airy, Maryland, presented a poster on research titled "Aqueous Colorimetric Schiff-base Complex Development.” This student-faculty research was conducted with Professor Craig.

Health Sciences majors Ashley Reyes of Mount Airy, Maryland, and Lauren Logue of New Windsor, Maryland, who also conducted their research with Craig, presented "Employing molecular modeling and alternate synthetic routes to better prepare Cobalt Schiff-base complex protease inhibitors.”

Khaleel Lee presented a poster on research titled "Co(III) Schiff-base complex inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 papain-like protease (PLpro)." Lee, a Biochemistry major from Columbia, Maryland, conducted this student-faculty research with Craig and senior Health Sciences major Victor Heasley.

Dalton Pearl, a senior from Jefferson, Maryland, presented "Examination of ultrafast excited state dynamics in Schiff-base metal complexes." Pearl, who is triple majoring in Physics, Chemistry, and Biochemistry, conducted research with Professors Craig and Homan, along with fellow students and presenters Matt Denny and Makela Brown.

On April 6, McDaniel students presented at the ISCC, hosted at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. This long-running conference for undergraduate students included 84 undergraduate research presentations in the chemical sciences from students representing colleges and universities in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey.

Professors Craig and Homan accompanied McDaniel students, many of whom also presented at the ACS conference.

Makela Brown earned third place in the inorganic research category for her presentation titled, "Making Metal Complexes of Halogenated and Water-Soluble Schiff-bases Designed to Detect H2S," which resulted from research conducted with Craig.

Other student-faculty research conducted with Craig and presented at the conference include Matt Denny’s "Chemosensor Development"; Ashley Reyes’ "Nitro Substituted Schiff-base Cobalt (III) Complexes as Protease Inhibitors”; Lauren Logue’s "Using Molecular Modeling to Optimize the Inhibition of COVID-19 Proteases using Cobalt (III) Schiff-base Complexes"; and Khaleel Lee’s "Cobalt (III) Schiff-base Complex Inhibitors of SARSCoV-2 Papain-like Protease (PLpro)." Senior Kramoh Mansalay of Darby, Pennsylvania, presented "Synthesis of optimized SARS-COV-2 Macrodomain Inhibitors." Mansalay is a double major in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies and Biomedical Science.

Undergraduate research at McDaniel College provides hands-on experiential learning, a major component of the McDaniel Commitment. The Student-Faculty Collaborative Summer Research Program supports students in the summer term with transformative research experiences, teaching students vital skills, critical thinking, and creativity. Many McDaniel students who participate in research opportunities become published authors and conference presenters during their time on the Hill.