The Sacramento Section of the American Chemical Society gave out two Student Travel Awards at the Western Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society. The awards were voted on by the newly formed Awards Committee.
In the Undergraduate category, David Ricci won for the presentation of his work “Development of an Analytical Method for Quantifying Chemical Tracers Associated with Livestock Activities”. He is a student at Sacramento State University working in the laboratory of Justin P. Miller-Schulze.
David has been developing methodology to analyze surface and groundwater samples for agricultural antibiotics and food additives. Quantification of these antibiotics will enable us to assess the impact of agricultural runoff on water quality in the American and Sacramento Rivers, as well as other water bodies proximal to agricultural activities. The research has the benefit not only of being very important but also of being locally relevant given the lack of high-quality water in the state and the impact of agricultural activities on what little water we have. Quantification of these agricultural antibiotics in environmental water samples is challenging due to the variety of chemical properties of different antibiotic classes and their low levels in the environment.
In the graduate category, Teresa Palazzo won for the presentation of her work “Assigning the Structure of Sibongilene: A Pseudolaric Acid Precursor”. She is a student at UC Davis working in the lab of Dean Tantillo.
The research Teresa is pursuing involves a combination of organic synthesis and the application of computational methods to mechanistic problems related to the reactions she is carrying out in the lab.
Teresa has also taken an active role in serving the broader scientific community. She has been very involved in laboratory safety programs on campus, has spent time abroad running a course on rational drug design for undergraduates in Taiwan, and she has served as a mentor in the COSMOS summer program at UC Davis for high school students interested in STEM fields.