LVC Chemistry News

LVC Chemistry Students to do Summer Research in Hungary Under 2014 NSF Grant

Dr. Timothy Peelen of the LVC chemistry department has recently won a grant of $177,798 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in support of the chemistry department’s U.S.-Hungarian International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) project titled "U.S.-Hungarian Research on Harvesting Light Energy for Redox Chemistry and Biosensors." Funding for this project began Sept. 1, 2014, and is estimated to end Aug. 31, 2017.

Peelen, associate professor of chemistry, will serve as the principal investigator in this IRES project which supports undergraduate students' research visits to Budapest, Hungary, for an immersive collaboration with Hungarian mentors and students. Twelve LVC students, over the course of three summers, will work in laboratories at Eötvös Loránd University under the guidance of two lead Hungarian mentors, Dr. Zoltán Novák and Dr. Péter Kele.

Prior to departure, all students will attend a two-week orientation at LVC to prepare for their eight-week research experience abroad. During the orientation, students will learn about Hungarian culture and language, as well as instruction in concepts and techniques that will be utilized during their research.

Overall, IRES activities at Eötvös Loránd University will offer a valuable early immersive research experience that will prepare undergraduate researchers to engage productively with international colleagues as they pursue their future careers. Peelen will reach out to serve different underrepresented groups. He has committed to select an equal number of male and female participants, and will also strive to include underrepresented minorities and students with disabilities.


Professor Marsh Wins 2013 ACS PRF Grant for $65,000 to Support Green Chemistry Catalysis

The Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society has awarded $65,000 in support of a research project proposed by Dr. Anderson Marsh of the chemistry department at LVC. The project, "Selectivity Control in Aqueous Phenol Hydrogenation Using Palladium Nanocatalysts," will involve the use of "green" catalysts to carry out selective organic hydrogenations in aqueous environments instead of in more toxic organic solvents.  Students from the Marsh research group will prepare polymer-capped palladium nanoparticles, having well-defined particle sizes and shapes in the 1-10 nm size range,  and characterize them by electron microscopy, chemisorption, and spectrometric analysis. After immobilization on silica microsphere surfaces, the catalysts will be used to perform hydrogenations of phenol under mild reaction conditions, with students monitoring reaction compositions over time using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The grant project, which will support Professor Marsh and two undergraduate chemistry students for three summers, seeks to develop an environmentally more benign approach to producing hydrogenated organic feedstocks for commercially important products.


Chemistry & Biochemistry Research Presented at Regional Undergraduate Symposium.

Drs. Walter Patton (chem) and Robert Carey (bio) accompanied four LVC research students to the 15th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County on Saturday, October 20, 2012. Three out of the four students won awards for poster presentations in their respective divisions.

Stephanie Velardo (chem ’13; left) won a first place award for her work, “Ruthenium tris-bypyridine oligimers as host systems for alkali and alkaline earth guests,” performed with faculty mentor Marc Harris (chem).  Alyssa Mitchell (chm ’13; right) presented her work “Exploring non-innocent ligand behavior in Zn (II) diimine complexes.” Alyssa performed her research at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO during summer 2012 when she was a summer researcher in Colorado State’s National Science Foundation-sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.   Travis Bicher (bio ‘13; below left) also won a first place award for his work, “Production and characterization of the dimerization domain of E. coli GMP synthetase,” performed with faculty mentor Walter Patton.  Earning a second place award was Nate Hepler (bcmb ’13; below right), for his work, “Selaginella moellendorffii has a reduced and highly conserved expansin superfamily with genes more closely related to angiosperms than bryophytes,” performed with faculty mentor Robert Carey.

The undergraduate research symposium was sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health and featured two hundred and two poster presentations by undergraduates from colleges and universities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. Student researchers attended from both small colleges like LVC and top research universities such as Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania. Posters highlighted undergraduate research in areas of biology, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and computational chemistry, among others. Students were judged on the quality of their presentation, their understanding of the work presented, their general knowledge of science in the area of their work and the level to which their individual efforts contributed to the findings presented and overall work accomplished.

Disappearing Boundaries Summer Research Conference Held in Neidig-Garber on July 18, 2012

On Wednesday, July 18, LVC sponsored its third annual Disappearing Boundaries Summer Research Meeting, a full-day summer undergraduate research symposium for science faculty and their research students from central Pennsylvania colleges. The symposium, funded through a Merck/AAAS grant awarded to Lebanon Valley College in support of interdisciplinary research, brought together 58 students and 26 faculty from the disciplines of chemistry, biology, psychology, physics, and mathematics. Professor Wally Patton, who wrote the successful grant Merck/AAAS proposal, served as organizer of the event. Schools represented were LVC, Elizabethtown, Ursinus, Albright, and Messiah Colleges.

Following a welcome by Dr. Patton and President MacDonald, the group listened to three opening presentations. Drs. James McKay and Kristi Kneas of Elizabethtown College talked about their efforts to integrate real research activities into a senior-level integrated laboratory course in chemistry. Dr. Jon Coren, also from Elizabethtown, talked about his research group’s work with genomic libraries, and Dr. Roseann Sachs of Messiah College  described her sabbatical experiences teaching a green chemistry lab in Cambodia.

 After the talks, faculty and students gathered in break-out groups according to areas of research. In the break out groups students and faculty shared their work with their counterparts from other institutions in a free-ranging give-and-take discussion. Lunch was served in the second-floor atrium of Neidig-Garber, followed by two sequential poster sessions in which students presented their work to their student peers and faculty from all the institutions represented.

Dr. Tibor Sipos (LVC Class of 1964), president of Digestive Care Inc., then presented the plenary lecture entitled “Protein (Enzyme) Drug Development in an FDA Regulated Environment,” in which he talked about his development of a pancreatic lipase therapy for patients with cystic fibrosis and other conditions causing a deficiency of digestive enzymes. The conference adjourned about 3:30 PM with an expressed intent to find a way to run it again in 2013.

Pictures above: Student/faculty team from Albright College discuss their research with Dr. Marc Harris of LVC; Stephanie Velardo of LVC explains her work to Dr. Kneas and research student from Elizabethtown College; Dr. Sipos during his lecture on drug development.

Professor Andy Marsh and LVC Students Present at 2012 ACS National Meeting in San Diego

Andy Marsh, Lindsay Carl ('12), Monica Carey ('12), Sarah Wagner ('12), and Allison Putt ('12) presented papers at the 243rd National Meeting of the American Chemical Society held in San Diego, CA on March 25-29, 2012. Marsh, Carl, Carey, and Wagner presented in the Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry Poster Session, and Putt presented in the Division of Chemical Education Poster Session. The titles of the talks are listed on LVC Chemistry web page under Student/Faculty Presentations. This trip was supported in part by a travel grant from the Southeast Pennsylvania Section of the American Chemical Society (SEPSACS).

All four student presenters graduated in May 2012. Lindsay Carl is entering a PhD Program in physical chemistry at the University of Califormia Berkeley, Monica Carey will enter a PhD Program in inorganic chemistry at Michigan State University, Sarah Wagner will enter a doctoral program in pharmacy at Temple University, and Allison Putt a PhD program in inorganic chemistry at the University of South Carolina.

Harris Group Publishes Research on Host-Guest Chemistry

Marc Harris, Allix Sanders ('10), Stephanie Velardo ('12), Lindsey McMahon ('12), Kenneth Houser ('08), and Johanna Scarino ('06) have published a recent article entitled "Cu(II), Ag(I) and Pt(II) Bipyridine Oligomer Metallomacrocycles that Function as Efficient Host Complexes for the Encapsulation of Alkali Ion Guests," in the journal Inorganica Chimica Acta (Elsevier Press).

The artice describes the synthesis of metallomacrocycles based on open-chain bipyridine oligomers that coordinate one or two metals to create the closed ring macrocycles. The paper lays out the synthesis and subsequent characterization of the metallomacrocycles by Fourier Transform NMR, MALDI Mass Spectrometry, and Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry. The paper also details the results of ion extraction studies in which the metallomacrocycles were used to transfer alkali metal ions from an aqueous phase to an organic phase, with the various macrocycles showing differing specificities for the alkalai metal ions used. This work has potential applications in the removal of radioactive Cesium-137 from nuclear wastewater streams. The paper can be viewed online at Inorganica Chimica Acta.

Regarding the student co-authors who have already graduated, Johanna Scarino received her PhD in chemistry from Princeton University, Kenny Houser received his MS degree from Penn State University, and Allix Sanders is completing her PhD in chemistry at Johns Hopkins University.

Kim Manbeck (LVC '10) Wins 2011 NSF Fellowship

The National Science Foundation has awarded Kimberly Manbeck, LVC class of 2010, a highly competitive Graduate Research Fellowship to support her PhD studies in chemistry at the University of Rochester.  While at LVC, Kim carried out research with Professor Andy Marsh, publishing four journal articles and presenting four papers at national and regional research conferences.  At Rochester, Kim is a member of the Center for Enabling New Technologies through Catalysis (CENTC) through her work in the laboratory of Professor William Jones. The research of the Jones group focuses on the development of new Pt, Rh, and Ir catalysts for electrophilic C-H activation, which is key to improving the Shilov System (first example of methane functionalization, where methane is converted to methanol). Kim is studying a Rh(III) complex for the functionalization of methane. Additionally, she has been doing DFT studies for support of a mechanism for H/D exchange in aromatic substrates using an electrophilic Rh complex. Finally, she is completing for publication a project on the C-O bond activation of esters using reactive Pt (0) phosphine fragments. The picture above shows Kim while on an Oktoberfest 2011 visit to the department.

Two LVC Seniors Present Research in St. Louis in October 2011

Allison Putt (chem; ’12) and Kimberly Holt (chem; ’12) traveled to Saint Louis, MO to present their respective research at the 46th Midwest/ 39th Great Lakes Joint Regional ACS Meeting on October 19-22, 2011. Putt’s work in the laboratory of Dr. Marc Harris led to her presentation: “Complexation studies of Ru(II) and Re(I) pendant polyamine host complexes” Working with Dr. Walter Patton, Holt’s work was entitled, “Synthesis and characterization of peptide-capped ZnS nanoparticles.”

Ray Schaak (LVC '98) Wins 2012 National Chemistry Award

The American Chemical Society has selected Dr. Raymond Schaak, LVC class of 1998 and Professor of Chemistry at Penn State University, to receive the 2012 National Fresenius Award. The Frenesius Award is presented annually to an outstanding young scientist who has attained national recognition in the areas of research, teaching and/or administration. A complete list of 2012 ACS national award winners can be viewed at ACS Awardees.  Dr Schaak will be honored at the Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, in conjunction with the 243rd ACS National Meeting in San Diego.

Dr. Schaak, whose work is directed toward the synthesis and applications of nanoscale materials, earned his PhD from Penn State in 2001, carried out postdoctoral research at Princeton from 2001-2003, taught at Texas A&M from 2003-2007, and then joined the chemistry department at Penn State in 2007 where he earned the rank of full professor in 2011. The author of over 80 scientific publications, Dr. Schaak has received several prestigious awards, including an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (1999), an NSF CAREER Award (2006), a Beckman Young Investigator Award (2006), a DuPont Young Professor Grant (2006), a Sloan Research Fellowship (2007), a Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award (2007), and a Research Corporation Scialog Award for Solar Energy Conversion (2010).

Dr. Schaak is shown in the picture above with his wife, Dr. Janell Schaak (LVC class of 1996) who earned her PhD in chemical biology from Penn State University. The picture was taken at a May 2011 LVC alumni event at State College.

Laura Pence (LVC '87) Elected 2011 ACS Fellow

Dr. Laura Pence, LVC alumna (1987) and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Hartford, joined 212 other scholars nationwide in being elected to the 2011 Class of American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellows. The ACS Fellows Program, which began in 2009, recognizes and honors members of the American Chemical Society who have made significant contributions to the science and provided excellent service to the society. The full list of ACS Fellows can be viewed at: List of 2011 ACS Fellows.

Pence, who carried out undergraduate research in inorganic chemistry with Dick Cornelius and published a laboratory experiment with Owen Moe while at LVC, earned her PhD in inorganic chemistry at Michigan State University in 1992.  She then won an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship to study with Professor Steven Lippard at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Chemistry Department from 1992-95.  Pence has been at Hartford since 1995 and has served as departmental chair for several of those years.  Dr. Pence has been particularly active at the national level in the area of chemical education.  Congratulations to Laura Pence for achieving this exceptional level of recognition!

Andy Marsh and Students Publish P-Chem Laboratory Experiment

Andy Marsh, Kim Manbeck ('10), Nick Boaz ('10), Nate Bair ('09), and  Allix Sanders ('10) published a new experiment for the physical chemistry laboratory entitled: "Substituent Effects on Keto-Enol Equilibria Using NMR Spectroscopy."  The article, published in summer 2011 in the Journal of Chemical Education, describes an experiment in which students use Fourier-Transform NMR to quantitate the amounts of the keto and enol forms of substituted 2,4-pentanediones.  The substituents, ranging from electron donating to electron withdrawing, markedly affect the amounts of the keto and enol forms and therefore also the equilibrium constant that governs the interconversion of the two forms.  The student coauthors helped to develop this experiment while working on it as a developmental project in physical chemistry lab at LVC.  The article and abstract can be found at Marsh Article

All of the student coauthors have graduated from LVC, with Manbeck currently studying in a PhD program in physical chemistry at the University of Rochester, Boaz in a PhD program in organic chemistry at Princeton, Bair teaching chemistry at Lancaster Catholic High School, and Sanders in a PhD program in inorganic chemistry at Johns Hopkins University.  Professor Marsh is currently writing a new textbook for the physical chemistry laboratory while on sabbatical leave during the fall, 2011 semester

Disappearing Boundaries Research Symposium Held at LVC on July, 2011

With more than thirty faculty and sixty student attendees from chemistry and biology departments in thirteen institutions in Central Pennsylvania, the day-long Disappearing Boundaries Summer Research Meeting '11 featured undergraduate summer research on Wednesday, July 13, 2011. Funded by a generous grant from the Undergraduate Science Research Program (USRP) of Merck-AAAS, this unique summer meeting brought together student and faculty researchers from throughout Central PA to talk about their work in chemistry & biology and also highlighted undergraduate research at the biology-chemistry interface.

Events included talks by biologists and chemists about their research programs, a poster session and a Plenary Lecture by Professor Jong Yun, of the Penn State College of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology. Yun's talk entitled, “Drug Discovery Where Biology & Chemistry Meet: A Story of Sphingosine Kinase Inhibitors,” concluded the conference.

This meeting is part of the Disappearing Boundaries interdisciplinary research program established at LVC in 2009 following a successful grant proposal to Merck-AAAS, written and submitted by Dr. Walter Patton (Associate Professor of Chemistry). Patton's program established interdisciplinary research teams composed of faculty and students in chemistry & biology at LVC. Currently, research under this program at LVC includes a project involving the design synthesis of molecular sensors for tracking intracellular signaling events, as well as a project involving the interaction of nanoparticles with living systems.

The Merck Institute for Science Education and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) sponsors the USRP, with the explicit purpose of enhancing undergraduate science education in the areas of chemistry and biology through undergraduate research experiences that foster an understanding of the interrelationship of these sciences. The world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal, Science, AAAS was founded in 1848 and serves 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, reaching 10 million individuals. LVC was one of 14 colleges and universities nationwide to receive a 2009 Merck-AAAS award.

Marsh Group Publishes July 2011 Article in Applied Catalysis A
Andy Marsh and five LVC undergraduates published a research article in the Elsevier journal Applied Catalysis A. The article, "Activity and Selectivity of Colloidal Platinum Nanocatalysts for Aqueous Phase Cyclohexenone Hydrogenation, " describes a study of the effect of varying the particle size of poly(vinylpyrrolidone)-capped colloidal platinum nanocatalysts on the activity and selectivity of the aqueous-phase hydrogenation of cyclohexenone. Student coauthors were Nathan Musselwhite ('11), Sarah Wagner ('12), Kimberly Manbeck ('10), Lindsay Carl ('12), and Kyle Gross ('13). Kim Manbeck is now in a PhD program at the University of Rochester, and Nate Musselwhite at the University of California at Berkeley.  The article abstract can be viewed at the journal website.

Peelen Group Presents Three Papers at National Organic Symposium at Princeton, June 2011

Tim Peelen and LVC students Kristopher Randall and Justin Kontra attended the 42nd National Organic Symposium at Princeton University in early June and presented three papers at the annual conference that features the latest research in organic chemistry. The LVC papers are listed below.


  • Peelen, Timothy J.; Boaz*, Nicholas C.; Bowen*, Samantha J. “Organocatalyzed Reactions for the Asymmetric Synthesis of Unnatural, Fmoc-protected Amino Acids.”
  • Randall*, Kristopher W.; Parks*, Brandon W.; Peelen, Timothy J. “Ru(bpy)3Cl2 Photocatalyzed Reductive Cyclization of Enones.”
  • Kontra*, Justin M.; Parks*, Brandon W.; Peelen, Timothy J. “Development of an Undergraduate, Project-Based Laboratory to Introduce Students to Drug Discovery.”

    Professor Emeritus Dahlberg Teaches Chemometrics at John Jay in NYC in June 2011
    On June 7 and 8th Don Dahlberg participated in the presentation of a workshop "Introduction to Chemometrics for Forensic Scientists & Analytical Chemists" at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Co-instructors were Dr. Stephen Morgan from the University of South Carolina and Dr. Nicholas Petraco from John Jay. The Workshop was hosted by the Forensic Science Specialization of the Criminal Justice Doctoral Program at John Jay and the Graduate Center of CUNY. Attendees consisted of faculty and graduate students from John Jay and other CUNY campuses.

    LVC Contingent Presents Research at ACS Meeting in Anaheim in March, 2011
    Andy Marsh and five LVC students presented talks at the 241st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Anaheim, CA in late March. Andy delivered a presentation entitled “Active and Selective Platinum Nanocatalysts for the Aqueous Phase Hydrogenation of Carbonyl Bonds.”  The LVC students and the talks they presented are given below:

    Nate Musselwhite ('11), “Investigation of the Chemoselective Hydrogenation of Cinnamaldehyde Utilizing a Variety of Platinum Based Catalysts," presented in the Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry.
    Mike Schmidt ('11), “Synthesis of Biocompatible Zinc Sulfide Nanocrystals and Their Application to Phototherapeutic Reactions,” Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry.
    Lindsay Carl ('12), “Reactions of Water and Acetonitrile in the Investigation of Amino Acid Synthesis in Space,” Division of Chemical Education.
    Sarah Wagner ('12), “Aqueous-Phase Chemoselective Hydrogenation of Cyclohexenone using Platinum Nanocatalysts,” Division of Chemical Education.
    Kim Hibshman ('11), “Effect of Flavonoid Structure on the Rate of Reduction of the Nitrite Ion.” Division of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Kim spoke in a judged undergraduate research session and won first prize for her 30 minute presentation. Kim also won an ACS travel award to attend the meeting.

    Nate, Mike, Lindsay, and Sarah all worked on their projects with Andy Marsh, and Kim worked jointly with Don Dahlberg and Ken Miller of the Hershey Foods Technical Center. Three of the speakers will graduate in May 2011, and all are headed to graduate programs.  Nate Musselwhite is headed to the University of California at Berkeley, Kim Hibshman to the University of Delaware, and Mike Schmidt to Penn State University.

    Former Students and Owen Moe Publish Electrochemistry Paper in January, 2011
    Andrew Yeagley ('05), AuBrei Weigand-Heller ('07), Derek Hinds ('06), Ashley Kerstetter Gerrish ('04), and Corey Weaver ('07) are co-authors with Professor Owen Moe on the article, Substituent and solvent dependence of the one-electron reduction of 5-substitiuted-N-methylisatins in aprotic solvents, recently published by Elsevier Press: Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, 2011, 651, 228-232.  

    The article reports cyclic voltammetric measurements of the reduction potentials of nine different 5-substituted N-methylisatins in 10 different aprotic organic solvents. Analysis of the data using Hammett Plots and correlations with empirical solvent polarity parameters provides an understanding of how both the substituents and the solvents can affect the ease of electrochemical reduction of the isatin derivatives.  Various types of isatins are precursors in the synthesis of anticancer, tuberculostatic, antiviral, and immunosuppressive drugs.  The LVC paper can be viewed at the journal website.  

    Andy Yeagley earned his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Virginia and is now doing postdoctoral research at North Carolina State University.  AuBrei Weigand-Heller earned an MS in Food Science at Penn State and now works at the FDA. Derek Hinds is completing a Doctoral degree in Pharmacy at the University of Pittsburgh.  Ashley Gerrish earned an MSE at Arizona State University and is completing an APRN degree at the University of Vermont, and Corey Weaver is working as an industrial analytical chemist.

    LVC Students Present Research in Baltimore (October 30, 2010)
    LVC research students participated in the 13th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County on October 30, 2010. Nine LVC undergraduates presented posters as part of the symposium, which highlights research in areas of biochemistry, biology, and chemistry.  The symposium, sponsored the National Institutes of Health, featured an address by University of Michigan energy researcher Theodore Goodson III.  During the morning and afternoon poster sessions, 192 undergraduates presented, representing 47 different colleges and universities from nine different states.  

    Scientists from industry and academia heard the student presentations, quizzed the students on their work, and then awarded a number of first and second place awards to top posters.  LVC students fared well at the 2010 event, winning one first place and two second place awards. The titles of the talks and award winners are listed here.

    LVC Students at the 2010 UMBC Undergraduate Research Symposium.  Front (l to r): Lindsey Carl, Patricia Cunfer, Samantha Bowen, Stephanie Velardo.  Rear (l to r): Dr. Tim Peelen, Nate Musselwhite, Kris Randall, Justin Kontra, Sarah Wagner.  Off to the side by himself: M. Schmidt.

    Marsh Group Publishes in Langmuir in Summer, 2010
    Professor Andy Marsh recently published a paper in the American Chemical Society journal Langmuir with co-authors Oliver Lyons ’12, Nate Musselwhite ’11, Lindsay Carl ’12, and Kim Manbeck ’10 of his research group. The paper, “Synthesis, Characterization, and Reaction Studies of a PVP-Capped Platinum Nanocatalyst Immobilized on Silica,” describes the synthesis of a new catalyst that is active in the “green” aqueous route for converting ketones into alcohols. The manuscript was invited as part of the most recent issue, published in honor of the 75th birthday of Marsh’s postdoctoral advisor, Professor Gabor Somorjai (shown on cover at left) of the University of California, Berkeley. The abstract of the paper can be viewed here.

    LVC Students and Faculty Publish Three Papers in Spring, 2010
    In spring 2010, peer-reviewed scientific journals accepted for publication three manuscripts from research groups within the LVC chemistry department.  

    The first paper, co-authored by Carrie Kauffman, Amanda Muza, Michael Porambo, and Professor Andy Marsh has been published in The Chemical Educator.  The paper, which is entitled "Use of a Commercial Silver-Silver Chloride Electrode for the Measurement of Cell Potentials to Determine Mean Ionic Activity Coefficients," describes an enhancement of a classic experiment in the physical chemistry laboratory.  The abstract of the paper can be viewed at: TCE Paper.  Carrie Kauffman ('08) and Mike Porambo ('09) are currently students in a PhD program in physical chemistry, both at the University of Illinois.  Amanda Muza ('08) is a chemist at Lancaster Laboratories, Inc.

    The second paper, entitled "Activation of Fmoc-Protected N,O-Acetals Using Trimethylsilyl Halides: Mechanistic and Synthetic Studies," was written by Nicholas Boaz, Nathaniel Bair, Thanh Le, and Professor Timothy Peelen, and is published in the Organic Letters.  The abstract of this paper can be viewed at: Organic Letters Paper.  Nick Boaz ('10) has entered a PhD program in organic chemistry at Princeton University, Nate Bair ('09) is in a PhD program in organic chemistry at The Johns Hopkins University, and Thanh Le ('10) is entering medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

    The third paper, accepted for publication in the journal Applied Catalysis A and entitled "Factors Affecting Activity and Selectivity during Cyclohexanone Hydrogenation with Colloidal Platinum Nanocatalysts," was written by Kimberly A Manbeck, Nathan E Musselwhite, Lindsay M Carl, Carrie A Kauffman, Oliver D Lyons, Jason K Navin; and Professor Andy Marsh.  The abstract for the paper can be viewed at:  Applied Catalysis A Paper.  Kim Manbeck ('10) has entered a PhD program in physical chemistry at the University of Rochester, Jason Navin ('08) is in a PhD program in physical chemistry at the University of Virginia, and Carrie Kauffman ('08) is at Illinois as stated earlier.  All of the other authors are current undergraduates at LVC.

    Marsh Research Group Presents at March 2010 ACS Meeting in San Francisco

    Professor Andy Marsh and five LVC students presented their work at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in late March.  Kim Manbeck '10 (picture at right) and Nate Musselwhite '11 presented their NSF-supported studies of aqueous phase catalysis by colloidal platinum nanocatalysts at the Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry poster session.  Mike Schmidt '11, also at the same session, presented his research on a Merck/AAAS sponsored project in collaboration with Courtney Lappas from Biology. 

    Ellen Adams '10 and Heather Howard '11 presented their posters during the Recent Advances in Experimental and Observational Astrochemistry poster session sponsored by the Division of Physical Chemistry.  Ellen's poster was on the research she performed at LVC on a project funded by Research Corporation, whereas Heather's poster was on work she undertook as a summer intern at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab.  Heather's poster, "Photolytic Reactions in Ices Relevant to Triton," won a top paper award in the Division of Physical Chemistry.  To help support the trip, the students applied for and received competitive travel awards from ACS Student Affiliates and the Southeastern PA ACS Section. Papers with titles and authors can be viewed at: Talks.

    NSF Awards $144K to LVC to Study Synthesis of Unnatural Amino Acids

    Dr. Timothy Peelen of the LVC chemistry department has been awarded a three-year grant of $144,374 to allow his research group to study new methods for the synthesis of unnatural, Fmoc-protected amino acids. The project, Synthesis of Unnatural Amino Acids using Fmoc-protected N,O-Acetals, is supported by the National Science Foundation as part of their Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) Program. The grant will provide funds for summer salaries of undergraduate chemistry students working on the project here at Lebanon Valley College, as well as funds for new equipment and funds for student and faculty travel to scientific meetings to present their findings.

    The Peelen group from summer 2009 is shown at the left:  (left to right) Adam Shipe, Colleen O’Neill, Dr. Peelen, Brandon Parks, Matt Kartzman, Mark Thomas, Nick Boaz.

    The Peelen lab is exploring the synthesis of unnatural amino acids. Amino acids are the primary components of proteins and peptides, and amino acids containing unnatural sidechains or alternative backbone configurations allow chemists to engineer unnatural, protein-like oligomers with properties not found in their natural counterparts. The synthetic approaches in this project target more efficient routes for making the unnatural amino acid building blocks in an environmentally friendly manner. An abstract of the project is provided:  Grant Proposal Abstract

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