Hollins Chemistry Students, Faculty Featured at ACS National Meeting

Academics, Research, Sciences

March 30, 2022

single-paper-background American Chemical Society National Meeting

Three Hollins University students and their professor were among the presenters at this spring’s national meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Megan Brown ’23, Tram Nguyen ’24, Nupur Sehgal ’23, and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Son Nguyen attended ACS Spring 2022, which was held March 19-22 in San Diego.

“Last September, I was invited to be a speaker at the symposium, ‘Next Generation Glycoscientists: Glycoscience Research at Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions” in the Carbohydrate Division (CARB) at ACS,” Dr. Nguyen said. “This symposium was designed to provide faculty with the opportunity to present the work they do with their students.”

Megan Brown ’23 (left) and Nupur Sehgal ’23 with their poster presentation at ACS Spring 2022.

Dr. Nguyen gave an oral presentation on “Stereoselectivity in Glycosylation through Dynamic Kinetic Resolution,” a project done by Uyen Thanh Nguyen ’23 and Tram Nguyen ’24. Meanwhile, Brown and Sehgal delivered a poster presentation on their work, “Synthesis and Evaluation of the Rhodamine- and Biotin- Probes for Detection of Cysteine-Containing Proteins” in the Current Topics in Biological Chemistry section of  the Division of Biological Chemistry. The Hollins representatives also attended other scholars’ presentations, visited ACS exhibitions, and attended an ACS CARB banquet. Their presentation of their work at last October’s Virginia Academy of Science Fall Undergraduate Research Meeting at Hampden-Sydney College is highlighted in the ACS CARB Spring 2022 Newsletter.

“Attending the national meeting was a great opportunity for my students and me to showcase our work at Hollins, learn more about research at other universities, and expand our connections with chemists in the fields of biochemistry and carbohydrate chemistry,” Dr. Nguyen stated. “Most importantly, the students gained information about Ph.D. programs, chemistry-related job opportunities with a bachelor’s degree, and accessing research equipment at Virginia Tech’s Fralin Life Sciences Institute.”

American Chemical Society National Meeting
Hollins’ ACS representatives with Distinguished Research Scientist Muthiah Manoharan (center) of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Nguyen and his students interacted with a number of well-known carbohydrate chemists, including Zhongwu Guo (University of Florida); Steven J. Sucheck and Peter R. Adreana (University of Toledo); Clay Bennett (Tufts University); Kamil Godula (University of California at San Diego); Nicole Snyder (Davidson College); Brady Hall (technical manager at the Fralin Life Sciences Institute); Matt Amicucci (principal scientist at BCD Bioscience); and Muthiah Manoharan (senior vice president of drug innovation, a Scientific Advisory Board member, and a Distinguished Research Scientist at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals).

“They gave us valuable advice that benefited my research and informed my students’ plans for attending a Ph.D. program after Hollins,” Dr. Nguyen said.

The professor also made sure the group took time to explore San Diego and learn about the city’s history and culture. “Balancing study life and personal life is what I also want my students to do, and this was a great chance to practice that habit,” he explained.

Dr. Nguyen concluded, “Overall, this was a successful trip for my students and me. We would like to thank Hollins administrators, especially the Office of the Provost, the chemistry department, the Faculty Development and Student Research Funds Committee, and others in financially and spiritually supporting us. Without their tremendous support, we would not be able to carry out our research work or attend this wonderful ACS meeting.”