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Disarming Drug-resistant Bacteria, Making ‘Old’ Chemistry Green, Among Undergraduate Research Topics

Science and technology have enhanced virtually every facet of our lives, and advances in knowledge of science and technology are increasingly being made by research teams that involve undergraduate students. Each summer, contributions made by undergraduate researchers are celebrated at Duquesne University at the Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium.

The largest event of its kind in the region, this year’s symposium will draw more than 90 undergraduates from area colleges and universities, many of them minorities or from institutions without access to state-of-the-art labs, who present their work through oral and poster presentations after completing a 10-week, intensive summer research program.

The Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium, which is being held on Friday, July 31, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Duquesne University, is hosted by the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences.

This year’s symposium will include presentations on research of an enzyme that may disarm drug-resistant bacteria and help prevent thousands of deaths due to antibiotic-resistant infections as well as an investigation that revamps “old” chemistry and makes it more versatile in use and greener in terms of less waste and less metal involved.

In addition, Dr. Karl Haider, an innovation manager at Bayer MaterialScience LLC, will present Megatrends and Materials—Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century as the keynote address at 10:10 a.m. in the Pappert Lecture Hall of the Bayer Learning Center. During his remarks, he will address trends such as an aging, larger, and more urban population, globalization, climate change, declining oil supply relative to demand, and advances in medicine that will extend human longevity and improve the quality of life.

“The implications of these trends on our society are staggering and manifold,” said Haider. “We believe these megatrends will lead to an increased need for new polymer technologies tailored to applications such as construction, transportation, energy conversion and storage, along with non-petroleum feedstocks for polymers.”

Haider’s address will be followed by a plenary session from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a poster session from 2 to 4 p.m. on the Mellon Hall Patio.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.