Chemistry _2003

Larkin Professor Emeritus of Chemistry. She also coauthored an article with Fried about the effects of temperature on the flatworm that was published in Journal of Helminthology. She has presented herresearch at the National Conference onUndergraduate Research and PennsylvaniaAcademy of Science.
in combination with the EXCEL research I have done at Lafayette, will better prepareme for graduate school and a career inresearch,” says Ponder, who plans to earn aPh.D. in virology, and then teach and conductresearch focusing on the human immune In an EXCEL Scholars project, Alison Campbell ’04 (right) assisted Joseph Sherma, Larkin Professor Campbell, a biochemistry major and Trustee
Emeritus of Chemistry, in uncovering inaccuracies Scholarship recipient, plans to obtain a Ph.D.
in listings of active ingredients in dietary research. “The rich academic setting at Lafayette, coupled with close faculty-studentinteraction, are providing a strong foundation Alison N. Campbell ’04, Elizabeth L.
Ponder ’04, and Meghan C. Ramsey ’04
organometallic research with Chip Nataro,
of chemistry, has received a three-year, $100,000 grant from Goldwater Scholarships, the premier under- chromatography research with Joseph
graduate award in science, engineering, and Sherma, Larkin Professor Emeritus of
mathematics. Goldwater Scholars are selected Chemistry, coauthored papers, and presented for academic merit, outstanding potential, and intention to pursue careers in natural sciences, engineering, or mathematics.
Ponder, a biochemistry major with a
Chemistry major Katie Thoren ’06,
and biochemistry majors Steven
biomedicine, was also selected as one of Presciutti ’05 and Maura Scolere ’05
just ten undergraduate students in the nation to participate in a prestigious National Science faster, more cost-efficient method of screening cancer drugs for toxic or beneficial effects at Undergraduate Research in Biotechnology and Elizabeth Ponder ’04 (right) studies the EXCEL research with faculty and coauthored flatworm Echinostoma caproni in EXCEL Scholars They include Meghan Ramsey ’04,
an article about the physiology of a parasitic research with Bernard Fried, Kreider Professor flatworm in the journal Parasitology Research with Bernard Fried, Kreider Professor
Emeritus of Biology, and Joseph Sherma,
On behalf of the department of chemistry, I am pleased to introduce the first issueof our newsletter. Whether you are a recent alum, a not-so-recent alum, or someone with little familiarity with our department, it is our hope that this periodic publication will be Stacey Wagner ’03, B.S. biochemistry,
of our recent departmental activities, major professor, to investigate the rate of protein as well as the interests and accomplishments Alzheimer’s have been linked to improper folding of proteins. Wagner investigated the kinetics of refolding and aggregation of two Michelle Ferguson ’04 (right) studies ways colored proteins. She discovered that even in recent years. Our physical facilities have glycerol is produced by certain algae in EXCEL undergone a significant expansion, including a Scholars research with H. David Husic, professor remarkable transformation of the former Olin oligomerize prior to refolding while the Hall of Science. The project was completed in January of 2001, and Hugel Science Center provides classroom and laboratory facilities for teaching and research in chemistry and physics at Boulder pursuing a graduate degree in that we believe are among the finest at any undergraduate institution. These facilities have already had immeasurable impact on our recruiting of outstanding new students and faculty, For her honors project, Abby O’Connor
our approaches to classroom and laboratory teaching, our ability to effectively conduct ’03, B.S. chemistry, investigated the heat of
student/faculty collaborative research, and the ways that we interact with students both protonation of 1,1’-bis(diphenylphosphino) inside and outside of our classrooms and laboratories. ferrocene (dppf) and 1,1’ bis(diphenylphosphino) There have been quite a few changes to our faculty and staff over the past several years, and ruthenocene (dppr). Both dppf and dppr have our new and continuing faculty members bring to our students a strong and diverse background been bonded to a variety of transition metals in various areas of chemistry, and share a sincere dedication to bringing out the best in all of our students in the classroom and the laboratory. The department continues to offer a major applications as catalysts. Frequently, the dppf in chemistry with a curriculum that is certified by the Committee on Professional Training of and dppr catalysts are superior to previously the American Chemical Society, and we continue to emphasize our commitment to the importance of faculty/student research collaborations as a critical element of an undergraduate understood why this is the case. The heat of education in chemistry. Sparked by faculty with innovative ideas and a valuable external program protonation studies that O’Connor performed review in the fall of 2002, we are in a strong position to make adjustments to our curricular determined the basicity of dppf and dppr and offerings to ensure that we continue to offer major programs in chemistry and biochemistry that will aid in understanding why dppf and dppr can most effectively serve our students.
improve some catalysts. She is attending the The quality and success of our programs depend not only on the innovations that our University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faculty implement and their knowledge of educational trends in their chemical subdisciplines, to pursue a degree in inorganic chemistry.
but also on the feedback and advice that we receive from our alumni as they progress in their In her honors thesis Amanda Ohs ’03,
subsequent education and careers. We welcome and encourage our alumni to contact us to offer B.S. biochemistry, investigated transition observations, recommendations, and advice that can help us to continue to adjust and update our metal compounds containing a dppf ligand.
courses and programs so that our majors can continue to be well prepared for the opportunities that await them upon graduation from Lafayette. Our students are often inspired by the successes and career directions of our alumni, and we encourage our alums to keep us up to date on their These compounds allowed Ohs to investigate activities and to visit the department.
the different ways that dppf can bond to transition metals. She is now studying at the University of California, San Diego. Ohs plans to study X-ray crystallography, atechnique she became interested in duringher research at Lafayette.
Chemistry & Biochemistry Newsletter is published annually by the Department of Chemistry for chemistry and biochemistry alumni and students, with the assistance of theOffice of Public Information. Photography by David W. Coulter, Joe Edelman, and Rick Smith. Send news, comments, and letters to the address or numbers below.
Department of Chemistry, 124 Hugel Science Center, Lafayette College, Easton, PA 18042 ■ (610) 330-5213, Fax (610) 330-5714 ■
Nataro Receives Petroleum Research Fund Grant of chemistry, received a $35,000 grantfrom the Petroleum Research Fund administered by the American ChemicalSociety to continue research with studentsthat will help the chemical community knowwhen certain compounds are ideal to usewithout having to test them.
“Lafayette students are a major part of this research,” says Nataro. “My students havedone some great work to date, and I would say that was a big help in getting this grant.
We are looking to build on the work we havealready accomplished and hopefully answer some very interesting questions.” was conducted through Lafayette’s EXCEL
Scholars program by chemistry major Abby
O’Connor ’03
and biochemistry majors
Amanda Ohs ’03, Michelle Ferguson ’04
and Alison Campbell ’04.
“We are looking at a series of compounds that have two interesting features,” saysNataro. “First, these compounds have a Laura Hagopian ’06 (left) works with Chip Nataro, assistant professor of chemistry, on research funded by metal atom at the center. Second, there is a grant from the Petroleum Research Fund. Hagopian is investigating the effect of different organic groups on the electrochemistry of the metal center.
molecule. These phosphorus atoms are capable of grabbing a second metal atom.
When our molecule grabs a second metal, small enough so those who want the chance it is called a ligand. The unique part of our to do research have the opportunity to do so.
molecule acting as a ligand is that it has a My choice to come to Lafayette was definitely metal atom at the center. There are many “Lafayette has wonderful facilities,” adds Ohs. “The small, strictly undergraduate type of ligands the Lafayette researchers are studying behave differently than those offers to its students is research opportuni- reactive in some cases and less reactive in ties,” says O’Connor. “Lafayette provides such Hugel Science Center has state-of-the-art instruments and laboratories. The campus is Three Win Goldwater Scholarships (continued from page 1) contribution to the scientific community.” problems rationally when there is not always The goal of Ramsey, a neuroscience major,
an apparent logical answer has been extremely Campbell discovered her love of chemistry is to obtain an M.D./ Ph.D. in biomedical and treatment options. This will “allow experimentation, working through the logical me to conduct important research on humans process of inquiry, seeking explanations for that I could not do with just a Ph.D.,” she says.
findings, and developing defensible conclu- sions.” Already dedicated to a career in chem- istry, she says, “the research projects have Yvonne Gindt, assistant professor of chemistry.
strengthened my career choice. The laboratory “Every day I am presented with challenges provides me with the opportunity to make a and obstacles,” she says. “Working through Faculty UpdateJOANNE FOLLWEILER, visiting assistant professor research that was carried out by several students in Haug’s group over Her recent research interests include the synthesis of sulfur the last several years: Nhat-Khai N. Do ’98 published in Phys. Rev. B.
substituted porphyrins, the role of microwave radiation in rates and 60, p. 11095, (1999); Timothy Jenkins ’99 published in J. Phys. Chem.
yields of organic reactions, and the oxidative process involved with B. 104, p. 10017, (2000); Jessica Jamhoury ’03 published in J. Phys.
antioxidants such as gallic and citric acids. Her present Chem. B. 106, p. 11253 (2002); and Gretel Raibeck ’03, submitted to J.
pedagogical focus is developing new analogies for the mole.
Huang started at Lafayette this fall, having most recently served as a staff scientist at the National Institutes for Standards and Technology. She earned her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry at the University of Kansas. Huang’s teaching responsibilities include analytical and introductory chemistry, and she will be carrying out research involving surface measurement techniques to characterize biomolecule-modified surfaces and biosensor development.
study these fundamental processes.
The research is funded through Jessica Jamhoury ’03
developed some of the basic procedures necessary to denature the protein. Stacey Wagner ’03 initiated studies on isolated α and β
subunits of phycocyanin for her honor’s thesis, and Steven Presciutti
’05 is continuing those studies as an EXCEL scholar. Meghan Ramsey
’04 (pictured above) worked out the procedures for using a stopped
flow mixer to study the refolding of the αβ heterodimer using absorption spectroscopy. Katie Thoren ’06 is building upon Ramsey’s
work using fluorescence spectroscopy to monitor the binding pocket kinetics of the heterodimer. Katelyn Connell ’04 and Maura Scolere ’05
Gina Nubile ’01) teaches three
have initiated projects studying the higher order structures of hexamer and trimers. Connell will continue her studies to complete First Year Seminar that focuses on topics relevant to risk assessment, management, and analysis. He continues to study various aspects of Along with protein folding processes, Gindt is also interested in photosynthetic carbon metabolism in the unicellular green alga, the DNA repair enzyme, DNA photolyase. She is using absorption and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. For many years he has worked with emission spectroscopy to study the mechanism that the enzyme uses students to study aspects of the mechanism for inorganic carbon to recognize damaged DNA. Ramsey is measuring the kinetics of acquisition and concentration, and the roles and properties of the photolyase binding to DNA in which the damage on the DNA is either carbonic anhydrase enzymes that are involved in the process. In the at the end of the strand or in the middle of the strand, and will past year with the work of Michelle Ferguson ’04 and Karin Hessler
continue this work for her honor’s thesis.
’03, they have made progress in the characterization of the pathway
for the accumulation of glycerol in this alga, which accumulates as
osmoregulatory solute in response to osmotic stress. This new work is an extension of research that Husic initiated many years ago, and began to revisit during a sabbatical leave in 2001.
kinetics and surface growth,
Haug worked with Nate
Lonergan ’04 (pictured right)
Varun Mehta ’06, an electrical
epitaxial (atom-by-atom) growth. An understanding of the detailed mechanism by which such metallic surfaces grow is useful for control started by Katelyn Connell ’04
of the surface morphology and therefore of the chemical, electrical, and magnetic properties of high performance alloys which are of interest in microelectronic device engineering as well as in catalysis.
Experiments have shown that epitaxial growth can give rise to rough or smooth surfaces depending on the growth conditions, indicating phase of this project, which resulted in a paper that appeared in that a variety of competing mechanisms is involved. The computational Tetrahedron Letters earlier this year. Mehta has made significant research is designed to give a detailed atomic/molecular level under- progress in the synthesis of calcitriol, the hormonally active form standing of such mechanisms that can then be compared with of Vitamin D and the most important synthetic target in the area experimental results. This work is a direct extension of previous of research; Miles hopes to publish this work early next year. Miles also gave seminars on the Vitamin D work at the national isolated in 1987 that has never been synthesized, meeting of the American Chemical Society in August 2002 and the is nearing completion by Nutaitis and his students.
Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting at Princeton University this June. biology. He and his students develop and validate new and improved quantitative high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC) methods for analysis of pharmaceuticals, food and beverage ingredients and additives, cosmetics, dietary supplements, and pesticides in environmental samples. well understood why. He is seeking to answer that question using His second research area involves collaboration with Bernard Fried,
Kreider Professor Emeritus of Biology. Their joint work began in the As part of her senior honor’s thesis, Abby O’Connor ’03
1980s and has included studies on the chemical content (i.e., lipids, investigated the basicity of two of these metallocene-containing phospholipids, pigments, sugars, amino acids, and metal ions) of phosphines. By determining how basic these phosphines are, a parasitic flatworms and medically important snails, pheromones measure exists of how electron donating they are in comparison to released by parasites and snails, and the chemical composition of other phosphines. In her senior thesis, Amanda Ohs ’03 (pictured
above) investigated the electrochemistry of chromium, molybdenum, Students whose research Sherma has supervised recently include and tungsten compounds containing dppf in a variety of bonding Alison Campbell ’04, Beth Ponder ’04, and Jessica Schneck ’04.
modes. Goldwater recipient and EXCEL Scholar Alison Campbell ’04
Among their research projects, which have all involved analyses by has been looking at the catalytic activity of compounds containing quantitative HPTLC, Ponder determined the free pool amino acid dppf and dppr. She gave an oral presentation of her work at the content of four larval stages of the medically important digenetic American Chemical Society this September. This work has been trematode Echniostoma caproni, Campbell developed and validated funded in part by a grant from the Petroleum Research Fund a new method for assay of tablets containing the laxative bisacodyl, and Schneck analyzed the neutral lipids and phospholipids in Nataro is involved in a number of collaborations. The senior thesis Helisoma trivolvis snails maintained on different diets. Daniel Ruddy of Dan Ruddy ’03 was a continuation of a project begun as an REU
’03 worked with Sherma on research that led to the development of program at the University of Pennsylvania. Nataro has also had three new HPTLC pharmaceutical analytical methods. Caitlin Sullivan
numerous crystal structures determined by Dr. Arnie Rheingold at the ’05 (pictured above) is working as an EXCEL Scholar with Sherma
University of California, San Diego. It was through this collaboration that Nataro met Chris Incarvito ’96 who is a co-author of a recent paper.
Sherma’s and Fried’s interdisciplinary research has been supported for the past three years through the Dreyfus Foundation Senior Scientist Mentor Program. Sherma has applied for renewal of this His research is in the area of organic synthesis, focusing on the grant to fund their work with students over the next two years development of new synthetic methodologies as well as total synthesis.
on the analysis of lipids and compounds of other classes in the The synthetic methodology research employs sodium borohydride medically important leech Hirudo medicinalis and the economically in combination with carboxylic acids to accomplish transformations important land snail Helix pomatia. The latter is the edible snail not possible with the use of sodium borohydride alone. Nutaitis and used for escargot throughout the world. H. medicinalis is used in Tom Greshock ’99, Steve Houghton ’00, Lynn Moran ’99, and Melissa
human medicine in the treatment of wounds that require the use Walter ’99 were coauthors of “Reduction of Pyridyl Carbinols with
of the natural anticoagulant (hirudin) produced in the salivary Sodium Borohydride/Trifluoroacetic Acid,” published in Organic gland of the leech. An invited journal article describing in detail Preparations and Procedures, International, 2001. Brett Swartz ’04
the collaborative program and listing their publications with is currently applying this methodology to the reduction of 1,3-azole research students (mostly biochemistry majors) is available at <>. ■ The total synthesis portion of Nutaitis’ research is primarily in the area of aromatic heterocyclic chemistry as well as natural products.
Emphasis is on the synthesis of new heterocyclic ring systems and
natural products total synthesis. Megan Brennan ’02, who is currently
pursuing a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Stanford University,
developed a synthesis of three new pyrido[2,7]naphthyridines; an
article will be submitted for publication in the near future. A project
focusing on the total synthesis of angoluvarin, a natural product
proteins to associate are not well understood, partially due to the challenges of studying techniques,” Connell says. “It’s not like the classroom; it’s like nothing I’ve ever done must occur to either prevent or facilitate before. It’s real hands-on experience.” protein association,” says Gindt. “To study “This project was very exciting because such processes, we have selected a model other researchers wrote a research paper system with some unique features that allow organisms, including humans,” says Ramsey, us to follow the actual association steps.” standout. “If protein structure can be the human eye and do not absorb visible light.
better understood, then it may open doors Gindt’s model system, phycocyanin, evolved to understanding diseases that result from Gindt says her research is just starting in blue-green algae to specifically absorb to uncover the importance of protein folding Trustee Scholarship recipient Stacey
and aggregation in biochemical processes.
“The protein contains a colored entity Wagner ’03, who graduated cum laude with
“Chemical reactions in biological systems that is sensitive to both the folding state honors in biochemistry, used biochemistry are controlled and catalyzed by large mole- of the protein and its association state.
cules called proteins,” she explains. “In many investigate protein isolation and stabilization.
cases, the protein molecules must associate, visible light absorbed by the colored entity, Her work included growing E. coli or oligomerize, with other protein molecules we can determine if the protein molecule to form an active complex that is actually is in its proper shape and if the protein has responsible for carrying out the chemistry. associated with other proteins. Since we The addition of a small molecule or inducer For example, the structure that carries the can monitor the amount of light absorbed to the bacteria caused production of the oxygen in your blood, hemoglobin, is actually a complex of four proteins. In other cases, intermediates that form going from one state proteins that normally act alone in a biological of the protein to another as we monitor the rate with Gindt and other researchers that was system can associate in an undesirable way of these reactions. These experiments will allow presented last August at the annual meeting that causes problems for the biological system; us to learn more about the basic biochemistry Alzheimer’s Disease appears to be an example that is involved when proteins associate in Biochemistry major Katelyn Connell ’04
either favorable or unfavorable ways.” ■ Four Graduate with Honors(continued from page 2) Abby O’Connor
Catherine Buttolph
year, Dan Ruddy ’03, B.S. chemistry, was
Susan Heinsohn
polymers containing a germanium backbone.
Karin Hessler
These polymers have a variety of potential applications, but the particular focus in Amanda Ohs
the Berry group is their function as Light- Emitting Diodes (LED). Ruddy was looking at how fixing the position of aromatic groups off of the main polymer chain affected the Jessica Jamhoury
Jennifer Stroka
particular interest in polymers/materials, Daniel Ruddy
at the University of California at Berkeley. ■ Herbert Kennedy III
Stacy Wagner
Meredith Walburg
Joseph Sherma, Larkin Professor Emeritus
Chip Nataro, assistant professor
“Ruthenium cluster compounds containing of Free Pool Amino Acids in Cercariae, Rediae, of eugenol from clove oil.” [co-author P.
1,1’-bis(diphenylphosphino)ferrocene (dppf): Smiley] Journal of Chemical Education An electrochemical analysis and the crystal Metacercariae of Echniostoma caproni.” [co-authors Elizabeth Ponder ’04 and Bernard [co-authors A.R. O’Connor ’03 and A.L.
Fried] Journal of Liquid Chromatography & Charles Nutaitis, associate professor
Rheingold] Journal of Organometallic Related Technologies (2003) 26, 2679-2684.
sodium borohydride/trifluoroacetic acid.” [co-authors T. Greshock ’99, S. Houghton ’00, bis(diphenylphosphino)ferrocene (dppf) and L. Moran ’99 and M. Walter ’99] Organic 1,1’-bis(diphenylphosphino) ruthenocene: a Preparations and Procedures International structural and electrochemical investigation.
Pharmaceutical Tablets.” [co-author Alison X-ray structures of [MCl2(dppr)] (M = Ni, N. Campbell ’04] Acta Chromatographica Pd).” [co-authors A. Campbell ’04, M.
Yvonne Gindt, assistant professor
Ferguson ’04, C. Incarvito ’96 and A.
Rheingold] Journal of Organometallic H. David Husic, professor and
structural properties of DNA photolyase.” department head
“Dissolved inorganic carbon concentration S. Wagner ’03, M. Ramsey ’04 and J. Schelvis] mechanism in Chlamydomonas moewusii.” of Ru2(µ-H) bond dissociation enthalpies.” [co-author K. Rourke ’01] Journal of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 2002, Ken Haug, assistant professor
“Kinetic Monte Carlo study of the effects of hydrogen on the 3-D epitaxial growth of Ni(100) and Ni(110).” [co-author J. Jamhoury Mike Chejlava, laboratory/
’03] Journal of Physical Chemistry B 2002, instrumentation specialist
“Use of a modified flatbed scanner for Tina Huang, assistant professor
William Miles, associate professor
“Analysis of Thiols and Tyrosinase-Modified A. Campbell ’04 and J. Sherma] JPC-Journal of Planar Chromatography-Modern TLC [co-author K. Connell ’04] Tetrahedron Biosens. & Bioelect. 2002, 17, 1107.
“Effects of Euhaplorchis californiensis 1-(3-furyl)alkan-2-ols.” [co-authors S.
in the host snail Cerithidea californica Heinsohn ’03, M. Brennan ’02, D. Swarr ’03, Electrodes.” [co-authors R.S. Kelly, B.D.
(Gastropoda).” [co-authors S. Kaufer (’02), P. Eidam ’01 and K. Gelato ’01] Synthesis J. Sherma and B. Fried] Parasitology Analytical Chemistry 2002, 74, 6364.
Lehigh Valley ACS Awards Scholarship to Evans ’05 Biochemistry major Ryan Evans ’05
since Nutaitis has taught the class, only humans,” says Evans, who is co-writing a paper on the subject with Fried and Sherma. Chemical Society. Evans, a Marquis Scholar, collaborative research project in which Evans studies in graduate school. “I enjoy the scored the highest on an organic chemistry fed, infected, observed, and dissected tiny, freedom I am given to explore these situations disk-shaped snails. He conducted the work and the excitement of finding new knowledge as an EXCEL Scholar with Bernard Fried,
Kreider Professor Emeritus of Biology, and Joseph Sherma, Larkin Professor Emeritus
chemistry over the past 16 years,” says Charles Nutaitis, associate professor of
“We were hoping to see more closely what diet and parasitism do to these snails, since students who have taken organic chemistry they are an important model in the life cycles Let us know what you have been doing since leaving Lafayette. Share special memories of faculty, students, or courses from your days as a chemistr y major.
Name: ______________________________________________________________________ Address: ____________________________________________________________________ sightings occurred this springduring a number of open houses ____________________________________________________________________________ for prospective students. Springing
from the mind and artistic talent of Stacey
Postgraduate education: ______________________________________________________ Wagner ’03, this leopard has become the
official mascot for the chemistry department.
Employment: ________________________________________________________________ While the leopard currently resides on thedepartment poster and web site, it is hoped Family: _____________________________________________________________________ that it will appear at other events and functions, such as the annual thrashing of Special memories of the chemistr y depar tment:__________________________________ the biology department in softball. However,our leopard is not yet complete. It is missing ____________________________________________________________________________ a name. Many have been suggested including:Linus, Lewis, Lavoisier and Le Chatelier. If ____________________________________________________________________________ you would like to vote on a name or suggestanother, please contact the department. We ____________________________________________________________________________ will update the voting on the department web page. ■ ____________________________________________________________________________ Suggestions for the newsletter: ________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ Other comments: ____________________________________________________________ qualified faculty, committed to each student’s success.
____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ Depar tment of Chemistr y, 124 Hugel Science Center, Lafayette College, Easton, PA 18042 or email replies to [email protected] offering an exciting social life with a broad spectrum of extracurricular To keep up to date on department news, visit chemistry’s home page on Lafayette’s web site ( Choose “academics,” then “departments and majors,” then “chemistry.”


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