Updated: Jun 6, 2018
Tom came all the way from University of Bordeaux, in Bordeaux French to work on mechanochemistry with Professor James Mack.
Tom studied Mechanochemical Catalysis using ball milling. By just using the combination of stainless steel and water, Tom has been able to reduce various functional groups in a cheap, safe and sustainable way.
Take a look at this article that Tom wrote for UC-Chem undergraduate journal.
We are grateful for the support from UC International for their support and Professors James Mack NSF-1465110 funding to make it possible for Tom to participate in the REU program summer 2017
In this video below
Tom describes his experience participating in the REU program.
Updated: May 5, 2018
Currently, Safiya studies at Siena Heights University. She joined Professors Peng Zhang research team over the summer, working with his graduate student Emily Westbrook.
Her research was centered on probing the distance-dependence of surface-enhanced Raman Spectroscopy using nanocomposites composed of raman reference and probe conjugated copolymers grafted to gold nanoparticles.
Polymers are a large chain of monomers. Nanoparticles are microscopic materials that have a large surface area. Nanocomposites are made up of polymers and nanoparticles, which are used for instrumentation. One type of instrumentation that can be used is Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS); however criteria needs to be developed for future nanocomposite research. We grafted a series of block copolymers to gold nanoparticles to investigate the distance-dependence of SERS. The block copolymers were composed of Poly(Me methacrylate-glycidyl methacrylate) (PMMA-b-GMA). The copolymer series used an increasing amount of GMA (5-45 mol %) to determine the trend with the enhancement of SERS. It was detected that the enhancement of the probe signal was the greatest at the medium distance from the particle.
Take a look at Safiya explaing her experience in the REU program
Updated: May 5, 2018
Jacob is currently studying at University of Wyoming. He joined Professor Ruxandra Dima and her graduate student Dale Merz. Jacob was very succesful in his research and presented his work at the ACS meeting in New Orleans spring of 2018.
Jacob investigated allosteric mechanism of peptide release in the molecular chaperone Hsp70. In more details Hsp70 is a two-domain molecular chaperone involved in maintaining cellular homeostasis. Its function results from mech. changes caused by hydrolysis of ATP in the N-terminal nucleotide binding domain (NBD) that alter the client binding affinity of the C-terminal substrate binding domain (SBD). To study the dynamics of client binding, we linked the C-terminus of Hsp70 to a client peptide by means of an unstructured, chimeric linker. Utilizing coarse-grained simulations in concert with laser optical tweezer experimetns, we investigated the effects of force applied at various points of the linker on the unfolding of the SBD. Initial results indicate that stabilization varies across the SBD β-sandwich subdomain: the N-terminal β strands can detach before or after disruption of the rest of the subdomain.
Here is a link to a video of Jacob describing his experience at the end of the REU program