An integral part of the PC experience is what happens outside of the classroom. Students are encouraged to build on their learning through internships, research and study abroad opportunities. At PC, all chemistry and biochemistry majors are required to participate in a research experience either here on campus or at an off-campus location. Students in the PC chemistry and biochemistry departments also have the unique opportunity to conduct research at the Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy with their faculty. Last year, over 1/3 of our chemistry or biochemistry senior majors conducted research in collaboration with Pharmacy faculty.
Check out what some of our majors have been researching:
- This past summer, senior chemistry major, Paul McGannon fulfilled his research requirement through the PC Summer Fellows Program. Paul and Dr. Latha Gearheart conducted research investigating the assembly of gold nanoparticles on silica substrates for use as optical probes and catalysts for DNA.
- Josh Carter, a senior biochemistry major, was also a PC Summer Fellow and conducted his research at the PC School of Pharmacy with Dr. Giuseppe Gumina and R. Kris Virga developing novel non-nephrotoxic antitumor antibiotics.
- Billy Joe Mullinax, a biochemistry major, spent his summer working with Dr. Anthony Cammorato at Johns Hopkins Medical School on a grant through the American Physiological Society (APS). He was specifically with Integrative Organismal Systems Physiology (IOSP) working on heart muscles. Billy Joe was just recently accepted at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
- Jada Suber, a chemistry major, also conducted paid, off-campus academic research this summer. Jada conducted her research, for her second summer, at the Medical University of South Carolina. This past spring, Jada also received a Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology travel award to attend their National meeting.
- This past summer, senior chemistry major, Maria Whitaker, received a paid summer research internship with Michelin at their national headquarters in Greenville. Two characteristics they loved about Maria were her communications skills and that she was so well-rounded. Maria credits her PC liberal arts education for preparing her for this amazing opportunity.
When students aren’t conducting research, they’re given the opportunity to take part in our Student Affiliate American Chemical Society (SAACS) group. Last year, our new biochemist, Dr. Evelyn Swain reorganized and catalyzed this student run organization. She suggested the motto, “Be the messenger,” provided the students a few ideas and let the students do the rest. Their goals as civic leaders are to stimulate scientific interest and improve scientific literacy in the community. So far, they have organized trips to the Laurens Upward Bound program providing science activities for children in our community. These kids have made lab coats and explored invisible worlds under microscopes. This year, the group has also organized a lecture series we will be hosting here at PC.