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Student chemical society presents symposium

Nov. 13, 1998



The Baylor chapter of the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society will present its 12th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium today on the third floor of the Bill Daniel Student Center.

The presentations, each about 15 minutes long, will run from1 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Presentations centered on organic or biochemistry will be given at the same time as those on inorganic, analytical or physical chemistry.

The symposium is intended to allow undergraduate chemistry students the opportunity to present their research and to expose interested students to the latest chemistry research.

'It's a way to bring undergraduates from Texas and the surrounding states together to see what they've been doing in research,' said Carmen Hernandez, an El Paso senior and vice president and symposium director of Baylor's Student Affiliates of the ACS.

The 18 presenters are coming from across Texas and from as far as Arkansas, Louisiana and Alabama, Hernandez said.

Audience members should feel free to attend the presentations of their choice throughout the afternoon, according to Dr. Kevin Pinney, assistant chemistry professor and faculty co-sponsor of Baylor's Student Affiliates of the ACS.

Hernandez and Pinney said they encourage anyone interested in the natural sciences or in research to attend.

While the undergraduate researchers can receive monetary awards for their presentations, Hernandez and Pinney stressed that the competition aspect of the symposium is secondary to the sharing of research.

Samuel C. Stitt, a College Station junior, said he has been working on his project with Pinney and this will be his first presentation at the undergraduate research symposium. It is titled, 'The Tetralin Framework as a Construction Zone for the Development of a New Type of Antimitotic Agent.'

'I've been working on the project since the beginning of summer,' Stitt said. 'Basically, what we're doing is looking for ways to inhibit tubulin. It is essential for mitosis, which is nuclear division. Essentially, it's a way to help combat cancer.'

Stitt said when he and his group have finished a compound they send it to the National Cancer Institute at Arizona State University. 'There, they use the sample to compare it to other cancer cells and see what kind of activity it has with those cancer cells,' Stitt said.

He added that he is looking forward to giving his presentation and feels prepared for it.

Following the symposium, there will be a 4:45 p.m. tour of the chemistry department and a 6 p.m. banquet for selected guests at Harrington House.

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