Yelin Jung '20, who is majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, is one of only 12 students nationwide to receive a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) from the American Chemical Society's Division of Organic Chemistry.
'Working in the organic chemistry lab, I am able to apply my skills to make a compound that could be used therapeutically and see the importance and application of research," says Yelin. "I also apply critical thinking to find out what really happened in my reaction, which doesn’t always go the way I expect it. The skills and the experience I gain during the research will prepare me to work in pharmaceutical labs, which I’m hoping to do in the future."
Malachowski's lab's research interests stretch across the field of organic chemistry from traditional areas—such as synthetic reaction development and natural product synthesis—to bioorganic chemistry, including enzyme inhibitor design, synthesis and testing. In all these fields, primary laboratory activities involve organic synthesis or constructing molecules. There are currently two active projects in the group:
- Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase inhibitor design and synthesis (IDO project)
- Complex phenanthridinone and carbazole analog synthesis with the Birch-Heck sequence
The ultimate goal of both projects is to develop new therapeutics for the treatment of a variety of ailments, most notably cancer and infectious diseases.
This summer, there are five undergraduate students and one graduate student working in the Malachowski lab. In addition to Yelin's SURF fellowship, there are two undergraduate students whose positions are funded through a National Institutes of Health grant and two students who receive funding as part of Bryn Mawr's Summer Science Research program.
All science majors are encouraged to conduct mentored research projects during the summer and/or academic year, and each year more than 50 percent of all science majors take advantage of the opportunity.
Through the Summer Science Research program, students receive stipends for summer research and academic credit for research performed in the junior and senior years. Each summer the College provides 35 to 40 students with 10-week research stipends to conduct independent research under the guidance of Bryn Mawr faculty members in the sciences and mathematics. The Summer Science Research program is enriched by professional development workshops and a poster session at which students present their research to the College community.