Gannon Students Present at National Research Conference

Posted: June 23, 2017

Four chemistry and biochemistry students from Gannon University presented their research at the 31st National Conference on Undergraduate Research at the University of Memphis.

Rebecca L. Hetz, a sophomore biochemistry major, presented The role of secondary structure in sonolytic deactivation of enzymes. Senior chemistry major Kathryn L. Kapp presented Effects of ultrasound on the digestive enzyme pepsin A. Alyssa Melvin, a senior chemistry major, presented Determination of microcystin-LR in municipal water using HPLC-UV/Vis and junior biochemistry major Ariel Pratt presented Thermostability analysis of broad-spectrum antibiotics cephalexin and ciprofloxacin via liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.

The conference brought together more than 4,000 students and their faculty mentors for the opportunity to present their scholarly research in a professional setting and interact with their peers. Graduate school and corporate recruiters were also in attendance at the three-day event.

The students were accompanied by their undergraduate research mentors, Matthew S. Heerboth, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry and Keith Michael Krise, Ph.D. and Christine A. Saber, Ph.D., both assistant professors of chemistry.

"Presenting original research as an undergraduate at a national conference is quite an accomplishment. As a department, we were proud of the hard work and dedication our students exhibited in the laboratory and at the conference. Affording undergraduate students opportunities to share their work at national conferences helps them to further develop as scholars, inspires them to continue engaging in scholarly work, and allows them to interact with and receive feedback from a diverse body of peers," Krise said of the experience.

The National Conference on Undergraduate Research was established in 1987 to promote undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity in all fields of study. The annual conference creates a rich environment for the celebration and promotion of undergraduate student achievement, provides models of exemplary research and scholarship and helps to improve the state of undergraduate education.

Gannon University offers undergraduate programs in chemistry and biochemistry that culminate in the Bachelor of Science degree. Students pursue a nationally recognized undergraduate curriculum that may be customized with a focus in one of several related fields. Biochemistry and chemistry majors at Gannon University enjoy challenging core courses, interactive laboratory experiences and exciting opportunities to conduct original scientific research with a faculty mentor. The department offers small class sizes, individual attention and frequent contact with faculty members.