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Wittenberg Chemistry Student Wins National Award

January 28, 2011  
 Filed in Headlines, Research

Springfield, Ohio – When senior chemistry major Christa Snyder learned via e-mail that she had won a poster competition for the Young Scientist Award, she found herself not just surprised, but shocked.

“I was in a professor’s office and probably scared him a little bit with my inarticulate excitement,” said Snyder from Lancaster, Ohio.

The national award comes from the Analytical Sciences Digital Library, which annually sponsors the poster competition. Titled “Analyzing Methylated Arginines Using Capillary Electrophoresis and Laser Induced Fluorescence Detection,” Snyder’s poster concerns research on indicators of cardiovascular disease.

“My project was about optimizing a technique to separate compounds, methylarginines, found in blood plasma that can indicate cardiovascular disease.”

The research project was part of a program with the University of Kansas called REU, Research Experience for Undergraduates. Snyder’s graduate mentor, Tom Linz, had received a grant for the project from the American Heart Association.

“The program pairs you with a mentor and then you adopt their research as your summer project, and so I was put on this method development,” Snyder explained. “My family has a history of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems, so the research, while not my idea, was relevant in a way that made me really want to achieve something in the short amount of time that I had.”

The award itself consists of $500 and the Tony B. Award, which pays her travel expenses to the LabAutomation 2011 conference, which will be held in Palm Springs, Calif., Jan. 29- Feb. 2. The conference is in its 15th year and includes multiple industries from drug discovery and development to forensics and security. As a Tony B. Award-winner, Snyder submitted her poster to the conference’s student poster competition as well. She will present her poster both there and at the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry, the world’s largest annual conference for lab science, March 13-18.

Now in her last semester at Wittenberg, Snyder will soon be moving on to bigger and better things.

“I plan on going to graduate school, location unknown, to pursue a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry,” she said.

Her poster can be viewed at the ASDL website at www.asdlib.org as a pdf file.

Written By: Sarah Brode ’11

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