30 Aug

Undergraduate Research

Posted by

Undergraduates benefit greatly from early involvement in meaningful research. 

Meaningful, in this context, is that the outcome of the research is unknown beforehand and that the result will influence scientific understanding of the problem. The student must realize from the beginning of the project that not only is the answer unknown, but that obtaining the answer as well as determining the validity of the answer is his or her responsibility. Undergraduate research is the one of the best ways for chemistry to become relevant to the student. Because of that, it is important to design research programs with the experience level of undergraduates in mind. There are plenty of interesting, unsolved problems that undergraduates can take primary role in solving. Participation in undergraduate research gives the student independence and confidence vital to success.

I have supervised 16 undergraduate students in independent research projects (Chemistry 199, 499) two Master’s students (Graduate Assistant) since arriving at Montclair. I supervised dozens of undergraduates in my research lab during my years at Rutgers. Undergraduates at MSU have successfully prepared quartz substrates that have been modified to have the same hydrophobicity as Teflon (PTFE). They have successfully prepared α-synuclein from clones in E. coli.  Using deep-UV circular dichroism they have also successfully used these substrates to measure the secondary structural changes occurring in α-synuclein when it associates with the hydrophobic surface.

Login to post comments