Ongoing URAP Projects

Title: New Drugs in the Dirt
URAP Scholars: William Osae
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Cathy Sarisky

The long-term goal of this project is to find novel soil bacteria and to identify and characterize their secondary metabolites for antibiotic properties.  William will use molecular biology, microbiology, genomics, biochemistry, enzymology, and analytical chemistry to search for and characterize novel antibiotics from soil bacteria.

Title: Studying the Supreme Course Justices and Their Law Clerks
URAP Scholar: Rebekah Carey
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Todd Peppers

Rebekah and Dr. Peppers work on a host of different projects, including several projects studying the Supreme Court justices and their law clerks as well as a screenplay on the Supreme Court.  These projects entail reviewing and organizing the personal papers of Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, conducting historical and legal research, and updating a database on Supreme Court law clerks.

Title:  Self-Healing Polymers: Fundamentals of the Diels-Alder Reaction
URAP Scholar:  Nathan Price
Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Gary Hollis

Polymers are giant molecules made up many, many repeating chemical units, and these compounds are used to make most of the materials you use on a daily basis.  The properties of polymers depend on their repeat units and the bonds which hold these repeat units together. This project will explore an area called self-healing polymers.  As these polymers degrade, applying heat can result in a mended polymer matrix.  Nathan and Dr. Hollis will be looking at using a cycloaddition reaction, called the Diels-Alder reaction, to do the chemical mending. Nathan is learning fundamental skills in synthesis, purification, and characterization of organic molecules.