Independent College Fund of New Jersey (ICFNJ) 2014-2015 Undergraduate Research Symposium
Members of our group have presented our research at the ICFNJ undergraduate research symposium. Nicole presented her project on integration of chemistry lab instrumentation into the industrial Internet. She has been awarded for the best student presentation.
Nicole: "Integration of Chemistry Laboratory Instrumentation
into the Industrial Internet"
Sammy and Erin: "Assessment of Anti-Cancer Drug Toxicity by
Modeling Selectivity of Organic Ligands Binding to DNA"
Sammy and Erin presented their findings on modeling interactions of ligands to DNA molecules in different conformations and ways to computationally assess the toxicity of potential anti-cancer drugs. Their presentation has been highlighted on NJTV:
Jersey City, New Jersey, March-30-2015
Congratulations to Nicole on Receiving the Schering-Plough Undergraduate Research Scholarship!
Nicole Famularo has been awarded the Schering-Plough Undergraduate Research Scholarship from the Independent College Fund of New Jersey (ICFNJ) for her research project on "Integration of Chemistry Laboratory Instrumentation into the Industrial Internet". The project includes development of hardware and software platforms to enable chemistry instrumentation such as temperature, conductivity, photometric and pH sensors to be integrated into the network for automated real-time data acquisition and analysis.
West Long Branch, New Jersey, January-29-2015
Congratulations to Sammy Saka and Erin Hoag on Receiving a Research Grant from ICFNJ
The Independent College Fund of New Jersey (ICFNJ has provided research funds and stipends to Sammy Sammy Saka and Erin Hoag for their research project on „Assessment of Anti-Cancer Drug Toxicity by Modeling Selectivity of Organic Ligands Binding to DNA.“ The project is starting this fall and commence in March 2015 by the presentation at the 2nd ICFNJ Undergraduate Research Symposium.
West Long Branch, New Jersey, October-03-2014
Kevin Wioland and Sammy Saka presented at the 6th Annual Summer Research Symposium at Monmouth University
Kevin has presented his recent results on "Excited State Decomposition Analysis of Organic Chromophores". Kevin highlighted on his poster UV-Vis absorption spectra of organic chromophores predicted with high accuracy (~7-10%) as compared to experimental values. A proposed new state decomposition analysis makes it also possible to do automatic assignment of electronic excited states of organic molecules in solvents.
Sammy presented our recent results on "Molecular Dynamic Simulations of DNA-Ligand Complexes". This work is the result of good team effort of our recent graduate – Gary Prato and Sammy. This work features molecular dynamics simulations of complex biomolecular systems (e.g. DNA and proteins) and provides a new tool for our group to predict free energy of binding of small drug molecules to DNA.
West Long Branch, New Jersey, August-14-2014
Kristen Flynn participates at the 248th ACS National Meeting & Exposition in San Francisco, CA
Kristen Flynn presents her poster: "Extended Hückel approach for modeling electronic excitations in peridinin-chlorophyll protein complex" at the 248th American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting in San Francisco. She was also invited to participate in the workshop for Undergraduate Chemists organized by the Physical Chemistry Division of the ACS.
Sammy Saka presented at the 13thAnnual MRCURY Conference on Undergraduate Computational Chemistry at Bucknell University
Sammy Saka presented a short talk and a poster: „Thermodynamics of Naphthalene Diimide Derived Ligand Binding to G-Quadruplex“ at the MERCURY conference at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. Molecular Education and Research Consortium in Undergraduate computational chemistRY (MERCURY) gather students from primarily undergraduate institutions.
The conference also featured keynote lectures by Edward Valeev (Virginia Tech), Christine Aikens (Kansas State University),
Geoffrey Hutchison (University of Pittsburgh), Anthony Nicholls (OpenEye Scientific Software),
Georgia McGaughey (Vertex Pharmaceuticals), and Rich Friesner (Columbia University, Schrodinger Inc.).
The lectures covered a wide range of topics on correlation quantum chemistry methods, optical properties of nanoparticles,
design of organic solar cells, and computational drug design.
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, July-26-2014
Chemikazes won SRP Kickball Tournament 2014
The Chemikazes (left to right): Thomas Darlington, Kevin Wioland, Samantha Ebner, Gary Prato, Sana Rashid, Danielle Valdez, Kristen Bosko, and Vivek Patel
West Long Branch, New Jersey, June-21-2014
(left to right) Kristen Flynn, Danielle Valdez, Kevin Wioland and Gary Prato
Summer Research Program (SRP) at Monmouth University
This summer Kevin Wioland, Gary Prato, Kristen Flynn and Danielle Valdez are participating in the SRP with our group. Kevin is working on modeling
UV-Vis spectra of organic molecules in solutions. Gary is completing his manuscript on G-quadruplex binding of naphthalene diimide derived ligands.
Danielle Valdez who joined our group this summer together with Kristen Flynn are working on modeling energy transfer in photosynthetic proteins.
West Long Branch, New Jersey, June-21-2014
Nicole Famularo and Kristen Flynn taking Summer Research Internships at NIST and UCLA
Our group members Nicole Famularo and Kristen Flynn have been accepted to external summer research internships.
Nicole Famularo is participating in the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURF) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She is working in the Materials Measurement Lab with Dr. Paul Salipante on measurement of pH dependence on colloid surface interactions in a charged depletion system.
Kristen Flynn is participating in the Amgen Scholars Program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She is working in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry with Professor Miguel Garcia-Garibay on Photochemistry abstraction of hydrogen atoms from Wagner ketones.
West Long Branch, New Jersey, June-21-2014
Nicole Famularo, Gary Prato, and Kristen Flynn are recipients of 2014 Awards in Physical and Organic Chemistry
Nicole Famularo has been selected as the recipient of the 2014 Award in Physical Chemistry. Gary Prato has received an American Chemical society (ACS) Award in Organic Chemistry and Kristen Flynn has received a POLYED Organic Chemistry Award. POLYED is a consortium of chemical education coordinated by the ACS divisions of Polymeric Materials and Polymer Chemistry.
West Long Branch, New-Jersey, April-23-2014
Samantha Silvent named 2014 Student Employee of the Year in Tutoring, Writing Services, and Supplemental Instruction.
Congratulations, Samantha! Tutoring and peer mentoring services at Monmouth University significantly contribute to the strengths of our school. Supplementary instructors help their student colleagues to adjust to the university and keep up with their classes.
Samantha's truly outstanding service as a mentor and supplementary instructor in chemistry courses has been recognized with the 2014 Student Employee of the Year in Tutoring and Writing Services, Supplemental Instruction award.
(left to right) Gary Prato, Assistant Dean John Tiedemann,
Sammy Saka, Dean Michael Palladino and Samantha Silvent
at the award ceremony
Congratulations to Sammy Saka, Gary Prato and Samantha Silvent for winning the Dean's Award of Excellence in Undergraduate Research at the 13th Annual Student Research Conference at Monmouth University!
The poster presentation by Sammy Saka, Gary Prato and Samantha Silvent on "Computational Examination of G-Quadruplex Thermodynamic Stabilization through Ligand Binding" has been awarded the Dean's Award of Excellence in Undergraduate Research at the 13th Annual Student Research Conference at Monmouth University.
In their work Sammy, Gary and Samantha investigated the binding of potential anti-cancer drugs to DNA G-Quadruplex using our computational methodology that employs a combination of classical thermodynamics and quantum chemical methods (e.g. Fragment Molecular Orbital) to predict interactions between DNA and small organic drug molecules.
West Long Branch, New-Jersey, April-16-2014
Spring Conference Season: 25th Annual Saint Joseph's University Sigma Xi Student Research Symposium
(left to right) Omkaran, Philip, Nicole, Kristen, Kevin, Samantha, Sammy, and Gary
Nicole Famularo has presented her research on designing and building environmentally friendly dye-sensitized solar cells containing non-toxic light harvesting organic and biological molecules (e.g. chlorophyllins).
Kristen Flynn, Erik Braunstein, and Philip Donahue have presented their work on building new theoretical models of electronic excitations in peridinin-chlorophyll protein complex. They apply hard-core quantum chemistry and take advantage of the computational performance of graphics-processing units (GPU) to understand the high efficiency of energy transfer in the photosynthetic process. Kristen has participated for the first time at a research conference.
Omkaran Menon has presented his findings on application of Natural Bond Orbital (NBO) analysis to study eight-coordinate rhenium complexes.
Kevin has presented his research on modeling organic molecules in organic solvents of various polarities. His work helps to better understand mechanisms of electronic excitations in the solution which contributes to the development of novel LCD displays and molecular sensors.
Sammy Saka, Samantha Silvent and Gary Prato have presented their new thermodynamic model of DNA-ligand binding. They use Fragment Molecular Orbital (FMO) and molecular docking techniques to assess the binding energies of potential anti-cancer drugs.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April-12-2014
Congratulations to Gary for winning 2nd place in the poster competition at the 22nd Conference on Current Trends in Computational Chemistry.
The Conference on Current Trends in Computational Chemisry (CCTCC) is an international professional meeting held in Jackson, Mississippi. The conference gathers researchers working in the field of computational and quantum chemistry. Gary Prato won 2nd place for his poster: "Rational Anti-Cancer Drug Design: Binding of N-Methyl-Piperazine Functionalized Naphthalene Diimides to DNA G-Quadruplex".
West Long Branch, New Jersey, November-20-2013
Congratulations to Omkaran Menon on receiving The Award for The Best Oral Presentation at the 13th Southern School on Computational Chemistry and Material Science
Omi has presented results of his research project entitled: "Nature of interactions in hydrogen-bonding dimers of acetic acid.
A study of low-frequency and high-frequency modes." at the 13th Southern School on Computational Chemistry and Material Science organized by Jackson State University in Jackson, MS. He has been awarded the first place for the best oral presentation in the undergraduate students' category.
West Long Branch, New Jersey, August-11-2013
Congratulations to Samantha and Gary on receiving a research grant from ICFNJ
The Independent College Fund of New Jersey (ICFNJ) has provided research funds and stipends to Samantha Silvent and Gary Prato for their research project on modeling DNA binding of potential anticancer drugs.
The project is starting this summer and commence in March 2014 by the research paper presentation at the 1st ICFNJ Undergraduate Research Symposium.
West Long Branch, New Jersey, July-09-2013
Gary Prato, Samantha Silvent, and Scott Nicholson
Summer Research Program at Monmouth
This summer Monmouth students Samantha Silvent and Gary Prato and Scott Nicholson from Tufts University will work in our lab.
Samantha and Gary will continue their project on modeling DNA binding of naphthalene diimide derivatives. Scott will work on modeling energy transfer in fluorescent dyes and chlorophyll derivatives.
West Long Branch, New Jersey, June-01-2013
Congratulations to our group members: Erik Braunstein, Omkaran Menon, and Kevin Wioland who have received external summer internships:
Erik will participate in the program organized by the Center for Exploitation of Nanostructures in Sensors and Energy Systems (CENSES) which is hosted at The City College of New York (CCNY). He will be working with Dr. Ilona Kretzshmar on a project called: " Utilization of Materials Templating for the Development of Batteries with Improved Capacity". Here's the link if you want more info http://www.crestcenses.org/
Omi will participate in the NSF sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program in Environmental Nanoscience at Jackson State University in Jackson, MS
Kevin has been awarded the summer internship with The Department of Homeland Security at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD. He will be involved in the project on “Trace Explosives and Narcotics Detections” for Homeland Security and Forensics.
West Long Branch, New Jersey, June-01-2013
Samantha Silvent and Gary Prato
Congratulations to Samantha Silvent and Gary Prato for winning
the Dean's Award of Excellence in Undergraduate Research!
Samantha Silvent and Gary Prato were recently honored at The 12thAnnual Student Research Conference at Monmouth University on April 17 for their research poster presenation entitled: „Molecular Modeling of DNA Binding Potential Anti-Cancer Drug: Napthaline Diimide“
The award acknowledges students’ research and scholarly accomplishments. Congratulations again to Samantha and Gary for winning the Dean's Award of Excellence
in Undergraduate Research! Samantha has also received the Physical Chemistry Award
West Long Branch, New Jersey, April-22-2013
Monmouth University: Go Hawks!
Monmouth University: Go Hawks!I am very glad to join Monmouth University as a faculty member. It is a very exciting time now: starting new courses, setting up research and teaching labs, and meeting with coleagues. A hearty welcome to all students, faculty members, administrators, and staff. I am looking forward to a great semester with you!
West Long Branch, New Jersey, Sep-5-2012
Ecologically Driven Chemical DesignEcological design is a popular approach in architecture and industrial design where the relationships between the object (consumer product, building etc.) and its natural environment are emphasized. The Mediated Matter research group at MIT led by Professor Oxman employs the theory of material-based design computation in their projects. According to this theory the design is dictated by structural performance of the product. For instance, in the Stalasso project the mineralization processes is mimicked to produce stronger and aesthetically attractive construction materials. The computer modeling is used to create structure of the object (material) and render its draft. Then the object is manufactured from metal, plastic, and wood or their composites using computerized milling machine.
Neri Oxman's Stalasso project
In chemistry ecological design influenced researches leading to development of sustainable or green chemistry. The introduction to green chemistry is given in a book „Green Chemistry „Theory and Practice“ by Paul T. Anastas and John C. Warner. This approach requires the design of chemical processes which minimizes the usage and production of hazardous substances. For example, LS9 Inc. a recipient of The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award in 2010 created industrial microorganisms to convert fermentable sugars selectively to highly pure diesel fuel providing direct biomass-to-fuel conversion.
As a next step in development of environmentally friendly technologies would be to engineer chemical processes that mimic natural biological pathways to form a product with given functions. Certainly, this is a tough task which may require a lot of time to find the optimal way to make the product. The usage of computer simulations can accelerate the process providing virtual environment to model the chemical pathways, conditions, and properties of materials leading to the desired product.
West Lafayette, Indiana, Dec-2-2011