Early in October, students Mikel Bui (’13) and Sam Son (’15) attended the American Chemistry Society’s (ACS) New England Regional Meeting (NERM) in Rochester, NY to present research they conducted at ENC on specific caffeine complexes. After working on this research over the summer, Dr. Williams sent their abstract to NERM to give Bui and Son the opportunity to present the research, and receive feedback from manufacturers and ACS reviewers.
The project began while Bui was working on his senior research project; the compound yielded, in a complex of caffeine and an organic molecule, was an unexpected and unexplained green color. No publications exist to explain this phenomenon, so Dr. Williams encouraged Bui to continue the research past the scope of his senior research project.
Son, who was already doing summer research at ENC with Dr. Williams, assisted Bui’s further investigation of the green compound’s properties. The completed research is currently under review for publication, and even further research is being conducted by student Michael McCarthy (’15).
Bui is a Bio-Chem, Pre-med major, looking forward to graduate school, and eventually attaining a PhD. He looks forward to continuing research in the lab, and encourages other with similar aspirations: “If you like discovering new things, and being active with your brain, becoming a researcher is the best thing. Each day you figure out new things, solving problems and puzzles.”
Son, also majoring in Bio-Chem, Pre-med, is looking forward to medical school after finishing his undergrad. He says, “[Research] is an eye opener. There is more to science than just what you learn in class, [and] so much in the world that there isn’t an answer to.”