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SURF Draws Top Chemistry Students for Summer Research

This summer, the first round of Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) has created close partnerships between five top chemistry students and their faculty mentors. During the eight-week SURF program, students have completed research projects ranging from crystal X-ray analysis of pharmaceutically significant molecules (under Dr. Jerry Jasinski) to investigations of lichens as bioindicators of environmental change (Dr. Jim Kraly) and research into green alternative solvents for organic reactions (Dr. Denise Junge).

The opportunity for undergraduate students to do original research under the direct mentorship of a faculty member with campus funding is new to Keene State College. The two SURF students under the mentorship of Dr. Jasinski have already published several papers in the peer-reviewed online journal Acta Crystallographica Section E, an almost unheard- of occurrence in undergraduate institutions. His students work as part of an international team that determines the molecular structure of compounds being considered for use in new drugs to fight cancer, diabetes, inflammatory diseases, and other conditions.

Keene State’s Chemistry department is located on the second floor of the David F. Putnam Science Center. For more information about SURF, contact department chair Dr. Richard Blatchly.

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