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  • Writer's pictureAnna G

Updated: May 15



My name is Clarissa Flores. I am a rising Junior studying Biochemistry at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. This summer, I have been given the privilege to work in Dr. Mack’s lab under my mentor Rohesh Silva. The Mack lab’s research focuses on understanding and conducting solvent-free organic reactions under the innovative, solvent-free technique of mechanochemistry. Within mechanochemistry, we can use a high-velocity ball bearing to pulverize reagents in a Mixer/Shaker Mill or transfer material down a barrel with interlocking screws to be compressed and sheared in a Twin Screw Extruder so that a reaction may occur. Utilizing this novel technique, I am currently investigating radical alkylation of aromatic compounds. Radicals are atoms or molecules that contain an unpaired election. Within radical reactions, highly reactive intermediates are formed and at that point, they may be involved in a variety of chemical reaction processes. Initially, we investigated how/if a primary alkyl halide could undergo these conditions, then transferred our focus to secondary and tertiary radicals. Currently, we are exploring how the use of different activating and deactivating groups operate/effect the reaction in these conditions. The opportunity to work in a graduate chemistry research lab has offered skills and knowledge that go beyond what is available in a classroom, and I am excited to see all that I can learn this summer.


Hear Clarissa talk about her experience.


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  • Writer's pictureAnna G

Updated: May 16



My name is William Franklin. I am studying Chemistry at Lander University. This summer I am excited to work in Dr. Noe Alvarez’s Electrochemistry and Materials Science lab under Bishow Regmi. My project is focused on nanoparticle synthesis that will then be used to develop a monolayer. Atomic Force Microscopy will be used to analyze the nanoparticles synthesized and monolayers formed. This monolayer will be a free-standing film that can be placed on a silicon substrate; this film will ultimately be used to grow carbon nanotubes. A technique involving oil-water interfaces will be implemented to form the free-standing monolayer. The opportunity to work in a graduate chemistry research lab has offered skills and knowledge that go beyond what are available in a classroom, and I am excited to see all that I can learn this summer.


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  • Writer's pictureAnna G

My name is Nathan Junker. I am a fourth-year undergraduate student who will graduate in the spring with a BS in chemistry. After graduation I plan to work abroad for a year, followed by attending grad school for either pharmacy, chemistry, or chemical engineering. I am working in the White lab under Dr. Celeste Rousseau. We are working to improve our electrochemical aptamer-based (E-AB) sensors which will ultimately be used to detect biomolecules in vivo. These sensors are composed of synthetic DNA strands (aptamers) which fold to bind a particular target, for which the DNA sequence is specific. In E-AB sensors, the aptamers are typically attached to gold electrode surfaces via a gold-sulfur bond though a 5’ sulfhydryl group. These sensors detect target molecules with high specificity due to a conformational change that changes the rate of electron transfer between the Au surface and methylene blue, a redox reporter covalently attached to the 3’ end of the aptamer. Self-assembled monolayers are adsorbed on the electrode surface to prevent fouling and nonspecific redox reactions from occurring at the gold surface. I am studying the effects of using ethanol as a solvent in the preparation of the self-assembled monolayer as well as the effects of identity of the self-assembled monolayers with an emphasis on the longevity of the sensors.

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