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Audrey Cameron Academic Excellence Awards in Chemistry and Chemical Biology - 2020

The Dr. Audrey Cameron Academic Excellence and Discovery Fund has been established to fund student research experiences in which students will have the chance to work on innovative projects in chemistry and chemical biology.
All domestic and international undergraduate students are encouraged to apply to the McMaster Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology for an Audrey Cameron Academic Excellence Award (ACAEA).
Students receiving ACAE awards work full time for 16 weeks during the summer in one of the department’s research laboratories. Students are provided with invaluable research experience and unique learning opportunities in Chemistry and Chemical Biology.  
All students in Level II, Level III or Level IV Honours Chemistry or Honours Chemical Biology programs, with a GPA of 9.5 or higher, are eligible to apply.
Students must discuss their application and research projects with a potential supervisor before submission to the Department. For more information please contact Linda Spruce in the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology Office, ABB 156, by phone at ext. 23490, or by email at sprucel@mcmaster.ca.  
Awarded students will receive the following total wages over 16 weeks (35 hrs/wk):

     $7840 – students completing level II
     $8000 – students completing level III
     $8200 – students completing level IV
 

A complete application consists of an up to date copy of the applicant’s transcript and this form, signed by the potential supervisor.
Please send this application and copy of your transcript to Linda Spruce in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology Office (ABB 156) no later than 4:30 p.m. on Monday February 24, 2020. 

                                                                                                                                 

Applicant Name                                                          Applicant Student ID#   
 


Applicant Email

 
Potential Supervisor Name                                         Potential Supervisor Signature    

Making light work



A collaboration between McMaster and Harvard researchers has generated a new platform in which light beams communicate with one another through solid matter, establishing the foundation to explore a new form of computing.

Their work is described in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Kalaichelvi Saravanamuttu, an associate professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at McMaster, explains that the technology brings together a form of hyrdrogel developed by the Harvard team with light manipulation and measurement techniques performed in her lab, which specializes in the chemistry of materials that respond to light.

The translucent material, which resembles raspberry Jell-O in appearance, incorporates light-responsive molecules whose structure changes in the presence of light, giving the gel special properties both to contain light beams and to transmit information between them.

Typically, beams of light broaden as they travel, but the gel is able to contain filaments of laser light along their pathway through the material, as though the light were being channeled through a pipe.

When multiple laser beams, each about half the diameter of a human hair, are shone through the same material, the researchers have established that they affect one another’s intensity, even without their optical fields overlapping at all – a fact that proves the gel is “intelligent.”

The interaction between those filaments of light can be stopped, started, managed and read, producing a predictable, high-speed output: a form of information that could be developed into a circuit-free form of computing, Saravanamuttu explains.

“Though they are separated, the beams still see each other and change as a result,” she says. “We can imagine, in the long term, designing computing operations using this intelligent responsiveness.”

While the broader concept of computing with light is a separate and developing field unto itself, this new technology introduces a promising platform, says Derek Morim, a graduate student in Saravanamuttu’s lab who is co-first author on the paper.

“Not only can we design photoresponsive materials that reversibly switch their optical, chemical and physical properties in the presence of light, but we can use those changes to create channels of light, or self-trapped beams, that can guide and manipulate light,” he says. “Further study may allow us to design even more complex materials to manipulate both light and material in specific ways.”

Amos Meeks, a graduate student at Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, said the technology helps to advance the idea of all-optical computing, or computations done solely with beams of light.

“Most computation right now uses hard materials such as metal wires, semiconductors and photodiodes, to couple electronics to light,” says Meeks, who is also co-first author of the research. “The idea behind all optical computing is to remove those rigid components and control light with light. Imagine, for example, an entirely soft, circuitry-free robot driven by light from the sun.”

Derek Morim, co-first author on the new paper.

BY WADE HEMSWORTH
FEBRUARY 3, 2020

No more tough pills to swallow


Taking medicine can be a tough pill to swallow – literally.

For people who have difficulty swallowing – including children, older adults, or those with severe nausea – taking pills can be a high-stress, sometimes impossible method of drug delivery. And while liquid medication can sometimes be a substitute, dosing can be less precise with liquids than with pills.

Plus, any medication that has to go through the digestive system can lose significant amounts of its active ingredients, and can cause unwanted effects on the liver and other organs.

Now, two McMaster researchers in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology have paired up with Rapid Dose Therapeutics, a drug delivery technology company, to develop a different way to administer medication: a thin film that dissolves in the mouth, bypassing the digestive system and delivering drugs quickly into the bloodstream.

Rapid Dose makes QuickStrip, a product similar to dissolvable mouthwash strips, but delivering much more than just fresh breath. QuickStrip is currently available as a variety of supplements, including vitamin B12, caffeine and melatonin.

With this new partnership, the researchers hope to expand the types of drugs that can be delivered via QuickStrip.

“I am delighted by the opportunity to partner with RDT on this important project, which aims to significantly expand the drug repertoire deliverable using QuickStrip technology,” says principal investigator Alex Adronov. “It is a challenging endeavour, however, one that promises to expand our options for pharmaceutical delivery.”

The project, which will be led by Adronov and co-investigator Harald Stover, has received an NSERC Collaborative Research and Development grant worth $540,000 over three years.

Image by Flickr Creative Commons
BY SARA LAUX
JANUARY 27, 2020

NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards for 2020 in Chemistry and Chemical Biology

All interested and highly qualified undergraduate students are encouraged to apply to the McMaster Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology for an NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA).  

Students receiving NSERC USRAs work full time for 16 weeks during the summer in one of the department’s research laboratories. USRAs provide students with invaluable research experience and unique learning opportunities in Chemistry and Chemical Biology.  

Students from McMaster or other universities are eligible, with preference given to students in Level II or Level III Honours Chemistry or Honours Chemical Biology programs.  

Students must discuss their application and research projects with a potential supervisor before submission to the Department. Part one of the NSERC USRA Form 202 is completed on-line by the student, while part two is completed by the successful applicant’s research supervisor when requested. For more information please contact Linda Spruce in the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology Office, ABB 156, by phone at ext. 23490, or by email at sprucel@mcmaster.ca.  

Students with NSERC USRA awards will receive the following total stipends over 16 weeks (35 hrs/wk):

     $7840 – students completing level II
     $8100 – students completing level III
     $8500 – students completing level IV

Information about the NSERC USRA program and appropriate forms are available on the NSERC website: http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Students-Etudiants/UG-PC/USRA-BRPC_eng.asp

Your application should include:
·         a copy of the completed Form 202 Part I
·         an up to date copy of your transcript (an official transcript is not necessary at this stage)
·         this form, signed by the potential supervisor.

Please send your application to Linda Spruce in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology Office (ABB 156) no later than 4:30 p.m. on Monday, February 24, 2020. Note that students applying for USRA will be considered for the Audrey Cameron scholarships should they be unsuccessful in the NSERC competition.


Applicant Name:                                                        Applicant Student ID#:  



Potential Supervisor Name:                                      Potential Supervisor Signature:
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