Fourteen undergraduate students participated in the 2019 SURF program. They worked in nine different research laboratories in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Over a period of three summer months, they learned how to conduct research and got a good idea about the ongoing scientific research and expectations of UWM graduate students. At the end of the program, most of the students presented their work in form of a poster and summarized their work in a written report. Many of these results will be part of future publications. The best poster was presented by Madeline Rettmann.
Award ceremony (Dr. Arnold and Madeline Rettmann)
As a group, we visited MilliporeSigma in Sheboygan Wisconsin. The company just merged with Merck KGaA a global German company with headquarter in Darmstadt and one of the largest producers of chemicals in the world. At the Sheboygan facility, many valuable chemicals are produced that include Stains & Dyes and Flavor and Fragrances. Director Dr. Rob Thomas gave a great presentation, which was followed by visiting several facilities at the Sheboygan site. Our group is very thankful for this opportunity.
Group visit at MilliporeSigma (Merck KGaA) in Sheboygan
The best poster was presented by Madeline Rettmann, who worked in the Laboratory of Prof. Silvaggi. The title of her poster was: Exploring a putative biosynthetic cluster from Streptomyces griseofuscus.
The second best poster was presented by Lexie Lanphere, who worked in the group of Prof. Altstadt. The title of her presented poster was: Development of novel approaches to determine designer amphetamines in confiscated forensic samples.
My experience as an undergraduate researcher has been extremely positive. I have gained valuable knowledge and hands on experience with a variety of safety practices, lab procedures, and instrument operations. I have enhanced my analytical skills by developing my own, individual project, as well as by collaborating with other group members on shared projects. My research has increased my desire to work in a forensic crime lab, and after graduation I plan to work in an analytical lab.
The third best poster was presented by Dante Serrano, who work in the laboratory of Prof. Silvaggi. The title of his presented poster was: Towards a mass spectrometry based arginine oxidase activity assay.
During the 2019 summer program I was able to learn a lot about how to carry out research, and what it truly consists of. The SURF program enabled me to learn time management through various projects. I also learned how to switch between multiple projects at once to optimize lab time, and was able to personally design an experimental method from start to finish. The full scope of my learning was realized when I was able to write a report in publication format. I believe that not only designing my own experiments and methods, but also writing a journal style entry has prepared me more for a research oriented career than any other lab coursework at UW-Milwaukee.
Dylan Hoffman worked in the laboratory of Prof. Arnold. The title of his presented poster was: Evaluation of Genotoxicity of Clinical Asthma Drug Candidate MIDD0301.
I learned through my research how to optimize a procedure to get good results, as well as proper techniques for cell staining and microscopy. I found this quite interesting because I was working on the project almost completely by myself. This was really rewarding when good results finally happened. With this experience I would like to focus on drug development research and continue my career path as a research scientist for a name brand pharmaceutical company like Pfizer.
Alexander Kehoe worked in the laboratory of Prof. Arnold. The title of his presented poster was: Preclinical Screening of Drug Candidates using a Rotarod Assay.
My work in the Arnold Group is centered around running a rotarod assay to test the motor coordination of Swiss Webster mice at various time points after oral administration of novel drug candidate compounds. The majority of the compounds tested are synthesized by the Cook Group and are oral drugs intended to treat either asthma or neuropathic pain. The purpose of the assay is to identify motor impairment brought on by ingestion of a certain dose of a compound.
Andrew Beszhak worked in the group of Prof. Schwabacher. The title of his presented poster was: Synthesis of Hydroxyarginine and Precursor
Eric Edwards worked in the group of Prof. Woehl. The title of his presented poster was: Chemically Binding Fluorescent Compounds to Glass Slides.
Alysan Stauffacher worked in the group of Prof. Frick. The title of her presented poster was: Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-capped RNA is a Substrate for Lactate Dehydrogenase.
The opportunity to work with Dr. Frick and my mentor, Atreyei Ray, for the past two and a half years has provided me with extensive exposure to research in the field of biochemistry. I have gained valuable skills and knowledge from the support and assistance my lab has given me that will direct me closer to my future career goals. Each day I was in the lab, a variety of different experiments were completed that widen my scope of laboratory techniques. There have been days that nothing would go “right,” but these were to the best learning experiences for me as I had the chance to help trouble shoot what could be occurring. I am extremely grateful for the research team I have had the experience working with.
Nicholas Martinez work in the laboratory of Neurocycle Therapeutics in collaboration with Prof. Arnold. The title of his presented poster was: The Effect on Bodyweight and on the Behavior a Maximum Tolerated Single Dose (MTD) of Test Article 01 (TA01) by Oral Gavage in the Sprague Dawley Rat.