Chemistry Faculty Awarded Two Grants to Support Undergraduate Research
Professors Megan Ferguson and Frantz Folmer-Andersen have each been awarded research grants! The funding will be used to purchase equipment and supplies and to support undergraduates working over the summer. Congratulations!
Dr. Ferguson’s grant is for $29,000 from the Research Foundation. The grant will be used to explore the structure and function of biosurfactants produced by Pseudomonas putida, a bacterium that is known for its ability to remediate oil spill pollutants. Dr. Ferguson and her students will characterize how P. putida's biosurfactant production is affected in the presence of these pollutants in an effort to better understand and optimize bioremediation tactics.
Dr. Folmer-Andersen’s grants is for $50,000 from Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society. The grant will support student research toward the development of synthetic metal complexes that selectively bind chiral molecules in preference to their enantiomers (or mirror image isomers). This type of behavior is exhibited by many complex biomacromolecules, such as the enzyme isocitrate dehydrogenase shown below, which, depending on the presence of a MgII ion, selectively binds one enantiomer of isocitrate (IC) from a racemic mixture.