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Summer Internship: Rania Hammami '22

August 10, 2021

Name: Rania Hammami
Class Year: 2022
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular biology
Hometown: Tunis, Tunisia

Internship Organization: Bryn Mawr College, Organic Methodology
Job Title: Lab Research Intern
Location: Bryn Mawr, Pa

What’s happening at your internship? 

I will be continuing the work that I have been doing during the academic year to experiment with different compounds and different solvents to optimize our Deoxyfluorination project, where we turn OH containing compounds to fluorine containing compounds.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I enjoyed taking classes with Dr. Melvin in the organic chemistry field and working under his supervision has cemented my interest in pursuing this internship. Furthermore, I am interested in the applications of organic chemistry in the pharmaceutical field, where the synthetic techniques that we learn are valuable making new drugs. I am hoping to work after college in a pharmaceutical company to gain more experience and help narrow down my interests for graduate school.


Can you talk about the skills you are learning and why they are important to you?

Doing research with Bryn Mawr faculty members is always rewarding. All the professors are very friendly, and I enjoy talking to them about football and various aspects of life. Stepping outside the classroom and using all the knowledge I learned in the past three years is challenging but it helped me gain a lot more experience. It is giving me a great insight on what research looks like and whether it is something I am interested in doing . This research opportunity has given me the independence to carry out my own investigation, analyze my own data, troubleshoot my reactions and find what went wrong and use previous literature to see if such findings occurred. One problem I am foreseeing is not being able to identify what is going wrong with one of my reactions. One issue we are always trying to mitigate is the decomposition of product, a competing process to the desired pathway. Furthermore, the deoxyfluorination of carboxylic acids and phenols are particularly challenging. Due to lower reactivity and higher rate of decomposition, this project will need a lot of patience and a lot of vigilance to get impressive results. One thing I am worried about is having great yields, where the final product is pure, can be isolated easily and without complications. That’s why this summer I am looking forward to perfecting my techniques, becoming more efficient and being able to figure out the next step to do, and hence, become more independent. I would like to develop these skills well enough to be able to be competitive in the job market for future research lab assistants. After graduation, I plan on taking some time off to work in a lab setting and these skills will come in handy for such jobs. Looking back at these past two months, I have walked out with knowledge and skills under that will come in very handy for writing my thesis.

Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology