NSCRC 2014

2014 NSCRC

Saturday, April 12th, 2014 - Boston University Department of Chemistry


8:30 am-9:00 am  –  Sign in & Registration (Life Science & Engineering Building)

9:00 am-9:10 am  –  Welcoming Remarks – Emily Lewis NYSCC Chair

9:10 am –  Design of Strain in Shaped Metal Nanocrystals for Fuel Cell Electrocatalysis

9:35 am  –  Dynamics of the SH3 Domains of Tec Family Tyrosine Kinases by HX MS

10 am  –  Controlling Hydrogen Dissociation, Spillover, and Storage Using the Molecular Cork Effect by Matthew Marcinkowski

10:25a m  –  Development of Small Molecule Inhibitors of the Hedgehog Signaling Pathway as Potential Cancer Chemotherapeutics by Upasana Banerjee

10:50 am  –  Electrochemical Characterization of the AdoMet Radical Enzyme BtrN from Bacillus Circulans by Stephanie Maiocco

11:15 am  –  Poster Session I (Even Numbers) and Coffee Break (Metcalf Science Center)

12:15 pm  –  Lunch Break (Life Science & Engineering Building)

12:45 pm –  An Efficient Synthesis of (+)- Discodermolide: Target Inspired Reaction Development by Zhiyong Yu

1:10 pm  –  Bimetallic Nanostructures Comprising Rhodium for Electrochemical Energy Storage by Casey Brodsky

1:35 pm  –  Creating 2D Atomic Alloys in 2D Layered Nanomaterials by Karen Chen

2:00 pm  –  Elucidating Restriction Endonuclease Reaction Mechanisms Via Dwell-Time Distribution Analysis by Petar Todorov

2:25 pm  –  Towards the Bottom-Up Organic Synthesis of Homogenous Armchair Carbon Nanotubes Utilizing the Cycloparaphenylenes by Thomas Sisto

2:50 pm  –  Poster Session II (Odd Numbers) and Coffee Break (Metcalf Science Center)

4:00 pm  –  Keynote Speaker: John Warner, PhD, Warner-Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry (Life Science & Engineering Building)

5:00 pm –  Closing Remarks and Award Ceremony


Strem Chemicals, Vertex, The Conditas Group, NESACS, & Boston University Younger Chemists Committee


Awards will be presented for:                      

  • Best Oral Presentations sponsored by Strem Chemicals

    • $300 Outstanding Oral Presentation Award

    • $200 Excellent Oral Presentation Award

  • Best Poster Presentations by The Conditas Group

    • $250 Outstanding Graduate Student Poster

    • $200 Outstanding Undergraduate Student Poster

  • Special Awards

    • $200 Graduate Women in Science Award

    • Phyllis A. Brauner Book Award


Dr. Mariam Ismail develops processes for 1366 Technologies, a Massachusetts-based solar technology company aiming at delivering solar at the cost of coal. She has 10 years of experience in analytical methods and crystal growth. In 2011, Dr. Ismail received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University, Boston, MA. Throughout her work at the Center for Advanced Microgravity Materials Processing Center (NASA-sponsored Lab, Northeastern University), she developed a novel method for the hydrothermal synthesis of vanadosilicate AM-6 for enhanced visible light photocatalysis. Her work resulted in 10 technical publications, over a dozen national and international conference proceedings, and a book chapter. In 2011, she was the recipient of the American Institute of Chemists award for Outstanding Graduate Student. In 2009, she was selected amongst a large pool of applicants to partake in the YCC/NESACS-JCF/GDCh Exchange to Germany Program. From 2009 to 2011, Dr. Ismail acted as Career Chair and Campus Representative for the Northeast Section of the Younger Chemists Committee. Dr. Ismail is also an adjunct faculty to the Chemistry & Physics Department Simmons College. She holds a B.S. in Chemistry from University of Massachusetts.

Dr. Christopher A. Zoto, Ph. D: As an undergraduate student at Assumption College (Worcester), Christopher Zoto studied chemistry and mathematics and was part of the Outdoors Club and St. Luke’s Medical Society Group. He graduated in May of 2006. He began his graduate studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, where he pursued his Ph. D. degree in chemistry, graduating in July of 2012. Chris’s Ph. D. dissertation work involved the syntheses of a series of conjugated organic compounds called 2-arylidene cyclopentanones and 2,5-diarylidene cyclopentanones. The spectroscopic and photophysical properties of these compounds consisted of examining their electronic absorption and fluorescence spectral properties in solvents of various polarity, ranging from nonpolar to polar, aprotic and protic solvents. Photophysical properties consisted of measuring both their fluorescence quantum yields and lifetimes in various solvents. In addition, theoretical (quantum chemical) calculations were also conducted and correlated to experimental data. Since completion of his Ph. D. degree from WPI, Chris was employed as an adjunct faculty instructor at WPI for experimental physical chemistry II lab in the Fall of 2012 and as an adjunct faculty instructor at Assumption College, where he taught two lab sections of Organic Chemistry I. He is currently employed as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the United States Army Natick Soldier, Research, Development, and Engineering Center in Natick, MA. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, going to church, reading, and listening to music.

Penny Beuning, Ph. D Penny Beuning earned a B.A. in Chemistry from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in the field of RNA-protein interactions and RNA biochemistry. She completed postdoctoral research focused on the protein-protein interactions that regulate cellular responses to DNA damage at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), funded by a fellowship from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. Since 2006, she has been an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Northeastern University in Boston. Her research on DNA damage tolerance is funded by a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation New Faculty Award, a Cottrell Scholar Award and an NSF CAREER Award. Prof. Beuning has been active in efforts to enhance the recruitment and retention of groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences; she is currently the President of the Boston chapter of Graduate Women in Science.

Ruth Tanner, Ph. D. Ruth Tanner earned her BS in chemistry at Purdue University and a Ph. D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati. She is currently a Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. In addition, she is currently a councilor for the Northeastern Section of the ACS, and served as the Chair in 2012. Her research areas include Physical Organic Chemistry and Food Chemistry. She is a founding member of the NESACS/GDCh German Exchange committee and also serves on the New Hampshire and South Eastern Massachusetts Subsection Exploratory Committee.