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Four Chemistry Majors Awarded Grants for Biomedical Research

December 17, 2013

Michael Morse
Communication and Marketing
(603) 641-7240

Benjamin Berube '15, biochemistry majorFour chemistry majors have been awarded The New Hampshire Idea Networking of Biomedical Research Excellence (NH-INBRE) grant for biomedical research. Through the grant each student focuses his or her efforts on a unique area of biology with the help of a faculty advisor who oversees their work. The following are the four students and their respected areas of research:

Tim Cooke is a senior chemistry major studying the synthesis of tetraethynyladamantane, which is a molecule with potential application as a polymer. A synthesis has already been proposed for this molecule, but it involves nine steps and only has an 11% yield. With the grant, Cooke hopes to develop a process of synthesizing tetraethynyladamantane that produces more yield in less steps. He has been conducting his research since summer 2013 where he worked through NH-INBRE in a program at Dartmouth College called the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Currently he works closely with Saint Anselm College chemistry professor Dr. Carolyn Weinreb whose research focuses on organic synthesis and methodology, molecular recognition, and the design and implementation of new undergraduate laboratory experiments.

Steven Coyne, a senior biochemistry major, uses equipment at Dartmouth, the University of New Hampshire, and Saint Anselm College to search for genes that cause cells to double the number of chromosomes they carry. Since the summer following his sophomore year, Coyne has worked with Dr. Daniel Broek, whose research has focused on understanding the mechanisms of tumor development. Coyne is personally responsible for reproducing clean pieces of DNA containing the mutations they have identified and inserting them into plasmids in order to investigate how the mutation affects the cells.

Biochemistry major Brendan Reilly is currently studying the bacterial pathogens in the genus Bordetella, a group of bacteria that causes Whooping Cough (pertussis) in humans, Kennel Cough in dogs, and Atrophic Rhinitis in pigs. Since the beginning of this semester Reilly has worked closely with biology professor Dr. Elizabeth Greguske whose research focus is in microbiology.

Benjamin Berube is a junior biochemistry major working with Professor Dan Broek. He says his research has significantly influenced his educational experience. "Not only have I had experience performing concepts taught in a classroom setting, but I have expanded my knowledge base in an incredibly positive way. Research has had a definitive impact on the way in which I handle my studies and adapt to new material and challenges."

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