Rhodes Student’s Research Deemed Outstanding at Undergraduate Research Conference

Photo: front row: Ashley Tufton, Diana Bigler, Katie Hatstat; second row: Hallie Weems, Alli Dewar, Sarah Malkowski; back row: Jennifer Rote, Rachel Sanders, Chris Grubb

Rachel Sanders, a junior chemistry major, recently won an Outstanding Presentation prize at The University of Memphis Chemistry Department′s 33rd Undergraduate Research Conference. The conference, drawing students from 24 colleges and universities in seven states, featured 52 student oral presentations.

The following six Rhodes students presented their work at the conference: Ashley Tufton ’13 (chemistry) Rachel Sanders ’14 (chemistry), Sarah Malkowski ’14 (chemistry), Chris Grubb ’14 (chemistry), Diana Bigler ’15 and Hallie Weems ’15. The conference also was attended by Alli Dewar ’14 (chemistry), Jennifer Rote ’15 (chemistry),  Katie Hatstat ’16, and the students′ research advisors—Prof. Larryn Peterson and Prof. Mauricio Cafiero.

Sanders has been working with Cafiero since her freshman year and completed some of her research as a Rhodes Fellow last summer. In addition, she has presented her work at the 11th MERCURY conference at Bucknell University, at the 21st Conference on Current Trends in Computational Chemistry (where she won an Honorable Mention for her poster), and at the 32nd Undergraduate Research Conference at Memphis last year. Sanders is a Rhodes Diplomat and also works as a laboratory teaching assistant in the Chemistry Department and will being working as a laboratory assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital starting this month.

Rhodes Research presented at the U of M include:

“Interactions of Boronated and Non-Boronated Intercalants in Small Nucleic Acid Models” by Ashley Tufton

“An MP2 and DFT Study of the Selectivity of NADP Binding Sites for Novel Ligands” by Rachel Sanders

“Investigating the Active Site of LpxC in Gram-Negative Bacteria: Synthesis of Natural Substrate Analogues” by Chris Grubb and Sarah Malkowski

“MP2 and DFT Analysis of the Ligand Selectivity of Two Sulfotransferase Enzymes” by Diana Bigler and Hallie Weems