York’s chemistry whiz kids win awards

Students from York’s Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science & Engineering, won four awards at the 35th Southern Ontario Undergraduate Student Chemistry Conference at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology on March 17.

Above: York’s chemistry team at the 35th Southern Ontario Undergraduate Student Chemistry Conference

York chemistry Professor Robert McLaren encouraged the students to attend the conference. "The students picked up an impressive number of presentation awards," said McLaren. "Congratulations and thanks to all the students who attended."

Fourteen York chemistry students made their way to Oshawa for the conference, which offered an opportunity for many to give their first formal research presentation to the scientific community outside the boundaries of the University.

"Their presentations were about original chemical research that they carried out in the laboratory under the direction of a chemistry professor over a period of seven months – a real blood, sweat and tears experience – and for many, one of the best experiences they receive in their undergraduate career," said McLaren.

The York students won these awards:

First prize – Inorganic chemistry

Doan Tran (supervisor – Professor Dennis Stynes) for "Studies of Chiral Ligand Derivatives of Fe(II) Borylated Dimethylglyoxime".

First prize – Biochemistry and bio-organic chemistry

Miguel Neves (supervisor – Professor Philip Johnson) for his presentation "Investigation into the Interaction Between a DNA Aptamer and Cocaine".

Second prize – Analytical, environmental and forensic chemistry

Elize Ceschia (supervisor – Professor Donald Hastie) for her presentation "Analysis of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) using an Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer".

Third prize – Inorganic chemistry

Sylvia Baglione (supervisor – Professor Michael Organ) for "A well-defined Pd-NHC catalyst for use in Suzuki coupling reactions".

Other presentations by York students included:

  • Dilip Bakthavatsalam – "Analysis of SO2 Variations at York University".
  • Vania Guillerme – "Synthesis and Characterization of (4-amino-1,2-phenylenediimino) bis(bipyridine) ruthenium(II) di(hexafluorophosphate".
  • Michael Tsimerman – "Pd-NHC Applications to the Sonogashira coupling reaction".
  • Julia Krainova – "Ru(II) Complexes of N-sulfonylated 1,2-o-Benzoquinonediimine Ligands".
  • Joanna Vatavu – "The Coordination Chemistry of 4-(4-Aminophenyl)- and 4-(4-Cyanophenyl)-2,6-di(2-pyrazinyl)pyridine with Ruthenium(II)".
  • Wylie W. N. O – "The Coordination Chemistry of 4-(4Hydroxyphenyl)-2,6-Di(2-Pyrazinyl)pyridine with Ruthenium(II) and Palladium(II)".
  • Ka Hou Hoi – "Synthesis of pinacol arylboronates via cross-coupling reaction catalyzed by PEPPSI catalyst".
  • Kousha Rahmati – "Albumin adsorption onto poly(ethylene glycol) grafted monolayers".
  • Matthew Bancerz – "Observation of Thiophene-substituted Fluorenyl Carbocations by Laser Flash Photolysis".
  • Shervin Sarmad – " Evaluation of Chemical Ionization of organic compounds by Reagent O2+ in a Quadrupole Ion Trap/Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer".

The 36th SOUSCC will be hosted by Queen’s University in 2008.