Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chemistry Professor Receives Grant for Student Research

Dr. Perry Corbin, associate professor of chemistry, has received a $146,000 National Science Foundation research grant from the Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry Program. Funds will be used to support collaborative research with Ashland University students during the summer, including student stipends for summer research. Studies will continue throughout the school year. A dynamic light scattering instrument will also be purchased to characterize the nanoparticles that Corbin and his research students will prepare. This instrument will, likewise, be used in various laboratory courses throughout the chemistry curriculum.

The work to be carried out by Corbin and his students builds upon previous research that was funded by a start-up grant from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund. Specifically, Corbin and his students are interested in the chemical synthesis of calixarene- and resorcinarene-core star homopolymers and related star-block copolymers, with a current interest in the development of star block copolymers that assemble into micelle (soap-like) aggregates in water. These and related polymers and aggregates have potential for use in a variety of applications, including their use as nanoscale drug-delivery devices. Dr. Corbin notes: “Research experiences are very critical to a science student’s education. These experiences give students a chance to build upon what they learn in the classroom.”

Students currently working on the project this semester include Zachary Il’Giovine (biochemistry), Heather Bensinger (toxicology), and Tiffany Weaver (chemistry). Graduating senior Katherine Moga (chemistry education, chemistry) also continues to work on the project this semester and will be presenting results of her work in March at the Spring 2010 National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco, California.

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