Congratulations to Laura McCann, who received one of the prestigious Goldwater Scholarships.
These scholarships were awarded from an estimated pool of over 5,000 college sophomores and juniors, attending 443 academic institutions across the country. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the preeminent undergraduate award of its type in these fields.
Laura joined our program about three years ago as part of the EUREKA! Program. The intent of the scholarship is to provide support for students and place them in a lab during the summer, so they are exposed to graduate-level research, and Laura got really excited about the possibility to apply a simple dye (that selectively binds to proteins) to understand the driving forces and consequences of the interaction of proteins with cellulose; a rather simple problem that has tremendous consequences for the rational development and implementation of paper-based microfluidic devices. Results of that project have been published in Analyst 142 (2017) 3899 – 3905.
Laura also participated in our program US-Brazil – International Research Experience for Students: Analytical Applications of Nanomaterials and Microfluidic Devices, funded by the National Science Foundation. As part of this experience, Laura traveled to Sao Paulo and performed research leading to the selective oxidation of cellulose and the insertion of a controlled density of functional groups. These chemical groups would enable anchoring reagents in specific parts of the device and tackle the development of color gradients, one of the most significant problems with these devices. Although this semester Laura is in Seville studying Spanish, she will soon be heading to San Jose, CA to participate in the 2019 Nuclear Chemistry Summer School. Laura also recently received the Warwick Chemical Foundation Award in Chemistry.
Without a question, Laura is a true inspiration for other students and we can’t be any happier.