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Science Students Represent Rhodes at Undergraduate Research Conference

Publication Date: 3/5/2012

back row: Erin Carter, Hallie Weems, Zoe Clark; second row: Rachel Sanders, Ashley Tufton, Diana Bigler; front row: Kelly Allison, Katherine DiGiovanni

Six Rhodes students recently presented their research at the 32nd Undergraduate Research Conference hosted by the Department of Chemistry at The University of Memphis. Senior chemistry major Kelly Allison won an award for best presentation.

There were 48 total oral presentations given by students from colleges and universities in the southeast, including Louisiana State University, Vanderbilt University, University of Arkansas (Fayetteville), University of Tennessee (Knoxville), University of Alabama (Birmingham, Huntsville and Tuscaloosa), University of Mississippi, and University of Southern Mississippi.

Rhodes students who presented research include:

Kelly Allison (Chemistry, 2012)
“MP2 and DFT Calculations of the Interaction Energies Between boronated Aromatic Molecules and Small DNA models: Applications to Cancer Therapy”

Erin Carter (Chemistry, 2012)
“Ligand Binding and Charge Migration in AChBP’s Aromatic Box”

Zoe Clark (Biology, 2012)
"A Model for Methylation of Cytosine: a Potential Marker for Cancer"

Katherine DiGiovanni (Biology, 2012)
“MP2 Calculations of Interaction Energies Between Acetaminophen and Acetaminophen Analogues and Aryl Sulfotransferase”

Rachel Sanders (Chemistry, 2014)
“MP2 and DFT Studies of Potential Non-Competitive Inhibition of HMG-CoA-reductase: Complementing Statin Drugs”

Ashley Tufton (Chemistry, 2013)
“The Effects of DNA Back-Bone Charge and Solvent on Intercalant/DNA Interactions”

Diana Bigler ’15 and Hallie Weems ’15 also attended but did not present research. All of these students work in the research lab of Dr. Mauricio Cafiero, James H. Daughdrill Professor of Natural Sciences.

The research is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Kelly Allison and Katherine DiGiovanni performed some of their work under a Rhodes Fellowship last summer.


Founded in 1848, Rhodes College is a private, coeducational college of liberal arts and sciences. It aspires to graduate students with a lifelong passion for learning, a compassion for others, and the ability to translate academic study and personal concern into effective leadership and action in their communities and the world.

Tags: Faculty, Honors, Research, Science, Students


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Brian Wamhoff, ′96 March 9, 2012

Congratulations to all presenters! Are the presentations from Rhodes students available for viewing?