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Biology Students Present Research at Internationally Renowned Conference

08/20/2013


This summer, Biology majors Vince Marino and Joe DeRaddo participated in a week-long scientific research conference in Newport, Rhode Island. It was part of the Gordon Research Conferences, a series of prestigious international scientific conferences that take place around the world annually.

Marino and DeRaddo were accepted to participate as presenters due to their work through the College’s Summer Science Fellows program. They received a grant for the program, and spent the entire summer in the lab conducting research with Dr. Alexey Ignatchenko, Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry.

The pair presented their project, “Dynamics of the Catalytic H-D Exchange of Alpha-Hydrogens on Carboxylates Absorbed on Metal Oxide Surfaces.” They shared their work with peers from universities including Yale, Stanford, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as part of the young investigator competition. They were the only undergraduate students at the conference, attended by more than 100 scientists.

“It was definitely an invaluable experience. The atmosphere was very conducive and the discussions were stimulating. We were able to gain new insights into our research and make great connections,” said Marino.

Marino and DeRaddo also attended cutting-edge presentations and met with world-renowned scientists, such as former Nobel Peace Prize winner John Polanyi and Sylvia Ceyer, Chair of the Chemistry Department at MIT.

“The conference was an amazing learning experience. We had an opportunity to interact with leading scientists in catalytic chemistry. I will be looking forward to attending another Gordon Conference in the future,” said DeRaddo.

Their work is not yet finished, and they can still be found in the campus labs until the start of the semester. They plan to publish their work in the ACS Journal and Journal of Organic Chemistry. The poster of their summer project is currently on display on the first floor of the Skalny Science Center.

Gordon Research Conferences cover topics including frontier research in the biological, chemical, and physical sciences, and their related technologies. The conferences have been held since 1931.


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