Two Hamilton faculty members and three students presented their research at the Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from Oct. 18 to 22.
Associate Professor of Chemistry Max Majireck, Christie Lam ’25, and Chrissy Crespo ’25 presented a poster titled “Bench-stable 2-halopyridinium ketene hemiaminals – new reagents for simple synthesis of bioactive 2-aminopyridines.” Their presentation described a new method for synthesizing 2-aminopyridines, a versatile class of bioactive compounds found within many drugs.
Crespo said it was exciting to share her own piece of Professor Majireck’s larger research project. “It was motivating and inspiring to see students, professors, and researchers of all degrees getting excited about the atomic-level workings of the universe,” said Crespo, who added that she appreciated her professor “for offering me such a wonderful opportunity to present my research so early on in my undergraduate career.”
Also presenting at the ACS meeting were Assistant Professor of Chemistry Wes Kramer and Frank Valoy ’23, who gave an oral presentation titled “Development of ROMP polymers to support and enhance electrocatalytic CO2 reduction by cobalt phthalocyanine.”
The presentation described the team’s efforts toward developing a catalyst-embedded polymer that could chemically reduce carbon dioxide into other products, an industrially important process with environmental benefits. Beyond industry, the project also has implications for recycling CO2 produced by burning fossil fuels, which makes it relevant for climate change mitigation strategies, Kramer said.
“It’s rare for an undergraduate student to be alongside their professor to present the progress made in their research,” said Valoy, a chemistry major with a minor in theatre, whose talk was based on research he conducted at Hamilton in the summer of 2021. He advises other students who are given the chance to present research “to take advantage of the opportunity and do it. Opportunities like this are a chance to get out of your comfort zone and try something not only exciting, but new.”
Through independent projects, the Senior Program, research with faculty members, and summer internships, Hamilton provides an increasing number of opportunities for students to engage in significant — often publishable — research at the undergraduate level.