Students made research presentations and accepted an award as they attended the National American Chemical Society meeting in San Diego during spring break.

The Suffolk University chapter of the American Chemical Society received national recognition through an award for its promotion of chemistry on campus and in the Boston area. A summary of chapter activities was showcased at the largest poster session of the meeting.

The meeting attracted 15,000 scientists and students, and there were more than 12,500 presentations of new and cutting-edge research from top universities and research companies around the globe. Topics ranged from food chemistry to organic synthesis to computational biochemistry.

Four students traveling with chapter adviser Yan Lin, a professor in the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department, took advantage of countless networking opportunities with the 15,000 professionals and students at the conference.

Suffolk student presentations

Several students presented their research in poster and oral sessions, including.

  • Janice Bautista, a junior biochemistry major and president of Suffolk’s American Chemical Society chapter, took part in a poster session with hundreds of other students and experienced scientists. “It was thrilling to talk about the work I have done over the summer, a theoretical approach to examining the mechanism by which guanine, one of the building blocks of DNA, and the arylamine, aniline, may interact. Some arylamines are carcinogenic, or harmful, and aniline represented the model molecule of this work.”
  • Kassandra McCarthy, a senior chemistry major, gave an oral presentation on GC/MS analysis of the nicotine content and minor components in various tobacco products. “For me, having the opportunity to present the work I completed over the past year was invaluable. As someone who hopes to have a future career in inorganic research, this was a great first step into the field,” she said,

The Suffolk students also learned new experiments and demos that they could try to replicate in Boston.

Bautista’s favorite experiment involved isolating specks of iron in cereal using a magnet. Although simple, this experiment shines light on the scientific details in everyday moments.

The highlight of the conference for McCarthy was attending the technical lectures and hearing about the newest breakthroughs at the interface of materials and inorganic chemistry.

For Sydney Thomas, a sophomore biochemistry major who aspires to be a researcher, attending the national meeting was a first.

"The experience of learning classroom techniques and exemplifying them with research or everyday lifestyles was educational and inspiring. ACS San Diego validated the many pathways through which science can be interpreted, experienced and brought to life," she said.