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Biochemistry/Molecular Biology

Research Opportunities

Hamilton's emphasis on discovery-based laboratory work and research means that courses provide practical, hands-on training, with many opportunities to learn outside the classroom:

  • The Merck/American Association for the Advancement of Science program at Hamilton offers summer research stipends each year for projects in biology, chemistry and biochemistry.
  • Additional funds for summer research are offered by the College's Summer Research Program as well as by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Dreyfus Foundation.
  • Exceptional biochemistry students may also arrange to spend a semester at the National Institutes of Health.
  • Independent study projects and the senior project offer further opportunities to do research during the academic year.

Biochemistry students are encouraged to pursue independent research, and they regularly collaborate with faculty members on projects that lead to publication in top research journals and presentations at scholarly conferences.

Elizabeth Larson '16 with Dr. Gregory Jay
Elizabeth Larson '16 Studying With Brown University Professor, Physician

Anyone who has torn their ACL or suffers from osteoarthritis knows just how agonizing the joint pain can be. In the Emergency Medicine Laboratory of Rhode Island Hospital, researchers are working to relieve some of that pain, and keep the damage to the impacted joints minimal. Elizabeth Larson ’16 is spending her summer on the Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University campus assisting Dr. Greogry Jay with his work on Lubricin.  More ...

Zoe Tessler '16 poses in the great room of The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, NY.
Where the (Adirondack) Wild Things Are

Zoe Tessler ’16 is interning this summer at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, N.Y, with support from the Jeffrey Fund in the Sciences, which funds students who intern at organizations that promote wildlife conservation or animal care. The Wild Center, located in the Adirondack Park, is a nonprofit organization that educates visitors on the Adirondacks’ rich biodiversity and natural history often through interactive exhibits.  More ...

David Freeman '16
David Freeman ’16 is Intern at Vermont Cancer Center

Although not all tumors are malignant, those that are often serve as harbingers of cancer. Combatting cancerous tumors can be difficult, especially when the tumor is receiving the nutrients it needs to grow and spread. David Freeman ’16, a biochemistry major, is spending the summer interning at the Vermont Cancer Center (VCC), a collaboration between the University of Vermont and Fletcher Allen Health Care. Freeman's internship is supported by the Joseph F. Anderson Fund, managed by the Career Center  More ...

Rachel Sobel '15, third from right, and other ACS student delegates.
UN Climate Change Convention Students Hosting Videoconference

Rachel Sobel ’15 is among six student delegates sponsored by the American Chemical Society (ACS) who are currently attending the UN Climate Talks in Warsaw, Poland. A videoconference with the student delegates will take place today, Thursday, Nov. 21, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Levitt Center Conference Room (KJ251A).  More ...

Chemistry Students Present at MERCURY Conference

Four Hamilton students presented their research at the 12th Molecular Educational Research Consortium in Undergraduate Computational chemistRY (MERCURY) conference held July 25-27 at Bucknell University.  More ...

Tshering Sherpa ’16 and Elisabeth MacColl ’16 at the FASEB Conference
Students Present at FASEB Conference

Elisabeth MacColl ’16 and Tshering Sherpa ’16, along with Associate Professor of Biology Wei-Jen Chang, presented a talk and poster at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Ciliate Molecular Biology Conference held July 7-13 in Steamboat Springs, Colo.  More ...

Lisbeth DeBramo '15, left, and Rachel Sobel '15.
Lisbeth DaBramo ’15 and Rachel Sobel ’15 Search for BPA

Because Bisphenol A, or BPA, has been identified as a factor in conditions including obesity, ADHD, reproductive complications and behavioral abnormalities, consumers and health officials have been alarmed at the presence of the chemical in food and drink products for years. In a summer research project,  Lisbeth DaBramo ’15 and Rachel Sobel ’15 are measuring BPA levels in bottles and cans to identify how this toxic compound is introduced into our systems.  More ...

Ashleigh Stephan '15 and Jacob Wagner '15
Preserving Proteins with Advanced Sol-Gel Technique

Enzymes and proteins, typically when left unattended or unprotected, can easily lose their structural integrity and fall apart. Sol-Gel is an emerging material that helps encapsulate the enzymes and protect them from the dangers of degradation. The technology can be used in numerous applications, one of them being a new method for slow-release medications. These slow release medicines allow for the introduction of necessary chemicals over a period of time, avoiding any negative side effects from releasing all the medication at once.  More ...

Bryce Timm, Christina Choinski, Professor Robin Kinnel, Sky Aulita, Laura McCormick.
Students Utilize Bacteria Derivation to Battle Cancer

Substantial improvements in cancer detection and treatment have been made over the years, and Hamilton students are concentrating in that research area as well.  Traditional cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy, are relatively invasive and attack cancerous and non-cancerous cells alike.  These techniques may diminish or eliminate the cancer, but not without potentially detrimental side effects that leave the body distressed and fatigued.  New therapies are being developed to specifically target cancerous cells in order to have safer and more efficient treatments.

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Akritee Shrestha, Kim Bogardus, Myriam Cotten, Jeremy Brendle, Leah Cairns, and Lennox Chitsike.
Students Present Posters at 57th Annual Biophysical Society Meeting

Kimberly Bogardus ’14, Leah Cairns ’13, Lennox Chitsike ’13 and Akritee Shrestha ’13 presented posters at the 57th Annual Biophysical Society Meeting that took place Feb. 2-6 in Philadelphia. They presented results obtained in the research laboratory of Associate Professor of Chemistry Myriam Cotten. The presentations were part of sessions on “Membrane Active Peptides and Toxins.”  More ...

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