LANSING, Mich – Adrian College Senior, Logan Plath, was recognized among the elite at The Midwestern Symposium on Undergraduate Research in Chemistry held at Michigan State University.
The symposium is designed to showcase current research in chemistry from undergraduates throughout the Midwest. The intent is to offer an alternative to standard oral presentations containing posters presented by undergraduates that utilize PowerPoint and other software programs. The two-day symposium began with an introduction on Friday evening and a tour of MSU’s research facilities. The event was followed by the undergraduate presentations.
“The poster session that I was a part of lasted about an hour and a half and was located in a central atrium of the chemistry building,” said Plath via email. “People mingled through the posters and would stop at some, inquiring about the research performed.”
He went on to note that a dinner and conversation was offered after the session to allow for an introduction to M.S.U. graduate students and faculty.
The second day offered a few lectures from faculty and grad students followed by a graduate student poster session. At the conclusion of which, an awards ceremony was held where Plath received the “Best Student Poster Award” for the Analytical Division.
Plath was given a certificate of the award, $100 in prize monies, a coffee mug, and a commemorative ‘Sparty’ bobble head for his achievement.
“My Poster was titled ‘The Combined Use of Mass Spectrometry and X-ray Crystallography for the Determination and Primary Sequence and Structure of Lion Hemoglobin’,” noted Plath. “I completed this research [last] summer at the University of Toledo and Argonne National Laboratory as part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).”
Plath went on to explain that REUs are competitive internships available to undergraduate students. The program is specifically geared toward students with advanced interest in the area of the sciences. These are paid research opportunities.
His in-depth research involved isolating and analyzing the oxygen carrying protein found in red blood cells, hemoglobin, from a Lion. He utilized mass spectrometry and X-ray crystallography to accurately sequence and characterize the protein as part of ongoing efforts for studying hemoglobin across a wide variety of species. The intent, he noted, is to understand the diversity of red blood cell lifespans across various taxonomy.
For more information about Plath’s poster, or additional insight into the symposium, please visit www2.chemistry.msu.edu/msur/.