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  • Anna G

Nikki Krahulik is a rising senior at Grove City College. She is pursuing a chemistry degree with a focus on synthetic chemistry. She is from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This summer, Nikki is conducting research under Dr. Wei Liu with Chao Wang as her graduate student mentor. She is investigating the synthesis of RAE—redox-active esters—via in situ reactions. RAEs are reactive and can undergo either reductive or oxidative quenching, which then allows for further reactions that can add a trifluoromethylated group to an alkyl molecule through copper-catalyzed decarboxylative trifluoromethylation. The importance of the synthesis of such products is that trifluoromethylated groups have grown in popularity in the medicinal chemistry field. The C-F bond is a strong bond that gives metabolic stability and increases lipophilicity that is important for transportation through the lipophilic membrane. This research investigates the ability and methods necessary to add a trifluoromethylated group to an alkyl group.


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  • Anna G

Hello, my name is Dejuan Jones. I am from Chicago, IL, and will be a junior at DePauw University this upcoming fall semester. I am a Biochemistry major, History minor on a pre-med track. When I obtain my undergraduate degree in the year 2024, I plan on attending medical school or partaking in a post-back program before applying to various MD/Ph.D. programs. I am currently working in Dr. Noe Alvarez’s lab for the summer here at University of Cincinnati. The Alvarez lab is interested in synthesis and application of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and other metal hybrid nanomaterials, where I and my graduate student mentor, Md Abdul Hoque, have been working on synthesizing vertically aligned building CNTs using bimetallic aluminum-iron oxide nanoparticles or aluminum-cobalt oxide nanoparticles as a catalyst. We are currently focusing on the synthesis of bimetallic aluminum-cobalt oxide nanoparticles synthesis and their assembly, where we use chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technique and reaction procedure to fulfill the goal of creating nanotubes. We are using two different element oleates to synthesize bimetallic oxide nanoparticles via thermal decomposition process and separate them using the centrifuge technique The ultimate goal of this experiment is to figure out how can we can form a monolayer film of nanoparticles on a flat surface for the synthesis of vertically aligned CNTs via CVD technique.


  • Anna G

Hello, my name is Bakht. I am currently a student at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. I am an upcoming Junior Biology student at the University of Cincinnati. This summer I am working in Prof. Ruxandra Dima’s research lab where I am studying microtubule severing enzymes with computational chemistry and machine learning. Microtubules are large biopolymers that have many diverse cellular roles ranging from cilia biogenesis, cell division, phototropism, and neurogenesis. Microtubule severing enzymes are biological motors that generate internal breaks in microtubules, which is critical for regulating microtubule’s many critical functions. The microtubule severing enzyme I am interested in, katanin, uses carboxy-terminal tails (CTTs) that protrude from the surface of microtubules and ATP in order to form a hexamer and undergo a conformational change from a ‘spiral’ to a ‘ring’ structure that is important for the severing event to occur. The questions that remain include ATP and CTTs’ individual contribution to the activation of severing enzymes. This summer I am working on applying classification machine learning algorithms to molecular dynamic simulations of katanin that either include neither, one of, or both ATP and CTT in order to identify the most important features for distinguishing these different states of katanin. This analysis will also be applied to the ‘spiral’ and ‘ring’ structures in order to gain information regarding possible allosteric changes to katanin’s structure in both conformations due to the addition of these elements.

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