York’s chemistry wizards


Above: York participants at SOUSCC, from left: Robert Hudgins, Vishya Goel, Neeshma Dave, Min Soo Kim Choi, Sibel Ok, Kristin Wall, Rob McLaren

York’s Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Pure & Applied Science, was well represented by five fourth-year students who made research presentations at the 32nd Annual Southern Ontario Undergraduate Student Chemistry Conference (SOUSCC) at Trent University on Saturday, March 20.

York chemistry Professor Robert McLaren, undergraduate research coordinator, encouraged senior chemistry students to attend the conference. For most of these budding chemistry wizards, attendance at SOUSCC allowed them to give their first formal presentation to the scientific community outside the bounds of the University.

“I’m extremely pleased with the performance of these students,” said McLaren. “They were excellent representatives of the Chemistry Department and York University at large. They will go far.”

York students were distinguished by two awards:

First prize – Theoretical chemistry division

Min Soo Kim Choi for his presentation: “Structural and Energetic studies of non-covalent TAR RNA-Argininamide binding in the gas phase. (Co-author R.H. Hudgins)

Third prize – Physical chemistry division

Vishya Goel for her presentation: “Synthesis and Characterization of Functionalized Si(111) Surfaces”. (Co-authors T.Z. Mengistu, J.H. Horton and S. Morin)

Other presentations by York students included:

  • Sibel Ok – “Enantiomeric Resolution of Cyclobutanones Using Baker’s Yeast as a Catalyst in Aqueous Solvent.(Co-author E. Lee-Ruff)
  • Kristin Wall – “Development and Evaluation of a High Sensitivity Liquid Derivatization Technique to Measure Gas Phase Nitrous Acid Wall.” (Co-authors C. Schiller and G.W. Harris G.W.)
  • Neeshma Dave – “Investigation of oxidation processes in freezing solutions.” (Co-author N. Dave, C. Schiller and G.W. Harris)

The 33rd SOUSCC will be hosted by University of Toronto in 2005. York will host the 34th SOUSCC in 2006.