Research at Morgan

If I had not started doing research, I don't know if I would be as happy as I am now with my career choices or if I would be as comfortable as I am with myself. I accomplished a lot when I started doing research and I am glad I made such an eye-opening decision that steered my life in the right direction."

-Ayanna Culmer-Gibert, Class of 2020

Tiara Hinton - Advisor:  Dr. Santosh Mandal

Featured Research Mentor

Dr. Pumtiwitt McCarthy: Biochemistry - I have had incredible teachers in my life who have been steadfast in their encouragement and support. As a teacher, I aim to serve the same type of role in my students' lives. At an institution that primarily serves underrepresented minorities, I feel that excellent mentorship and guidance is crucial to keeping these populations in the STEM pipeline. I have trained 19 female students (out of 21 total) (4 graduate, 13 undergraduates, 2 high school students) from backgrounds historically underrepresented in STEM. These students have given a total of 21 research presentations and received 17 research awards. Two former undergraduate students are enrolled in PhD. Programs (1 in Biochemistry and 1 in Clinical/Laboratory Science). Another former undergraduate is pursuing a dentistry degree.

RESEARCH PROJECT

Students who join my lab get a "behind the scenes" look at the curious world of vaccine development for bacterial meningitis! They will be introduced to the science behind the cause of this disease. They will have the opportunity to synthesize and analyze molecules (sugars) that will aid in the development of a new vaccine. In another project we are working on, we also are interested in creating new arrangements of these sugars to make molecules to help our environment and remove metal pollution from water. For example, lead in drinking water has been a public health concern particularly in urban areas such as Baltimore and Flint, Michigan. We are using computers and bioinformatics to help us do this. In these projects, students will gain experience with bacterial growth and expression, protein purification techniques, sugar characterization, HPLC analysis, protein visualization, and bioinformatics software.

STUDENT PRESENTATIONS

  • Nyah Johnson, Laleh Sheikhi Moghaddam, Arianna Pankey, Rudy Diaz and Pumtiwitt McCarthy Ph.D. “A One-pot Enzymatic Synthesis of CMP-Sialic Acid Derivatives as Substrates for the Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup W Capsule Polymerase” National Technical Association Virtual Conference, Baltimore, MD, October 19, 2019. Oral presentation. Nyah won 2nd place for her oral presentation in the Biology and Chemistry section.
  • Nyah Johnson, Laleh Sheikhi Moghaddam, Arianna Pankey, Rudy Diaz and Pumtiwitt McCarthy Ph.D. NOBCChE Annual Conference, St. Louis, MO “A One-pot Enzymatic Synthesis of CMP-Sialic Acid Derivatives as Substrates for the Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup W Capsule Polymerase” 11/18/19-11/21/2019 Poster presentation. Nyah was an ACS Bridge Travel Award Winner
  • Nyah Johnson, Laleh Sheikhi Moghaddam, Arianna Pankey, Rudy Diaz and Pumtiwitt McCarthy Ph.D. “A One-pot Enzymatic Synthesis of CMP-Sialic Acid Derivatives as Substrates for the Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup W Capsule Polymerase” UMBC Annual Undergraduate Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences, Baltimore, MD, October 19, 2019. Poster presentation

STUDENT PUBLICATIONS

Sharyan A, Gonzalez C, Ukaegbu O, Powell K, McCarthy PC. Determination of the binding affinities of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup W capsule polymerase with two nucleotide sugar substrates. BMC Res Notes. 2018 11,482 Undergraduate authors in bold

Research Programs - Undergraduate

Extreme Science Internships

(ESI)

LSAMP

Research Programs - High School

Like what you see, but are still in high school?  The Department of Chemistry has 2 high school programs.

Contact: louise.hellwing@morgan.edu

Contact: chemistry.department@morgan.edu