Pegg, Trafford win at Gulf Coast Research Symposium

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

ENS students honored for research presentations

Biological science senior Caitlin Pegg and chemical engineering junior Mitchell Trafford recently received Outstanding Presentation awards at the Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium at Rice University. The prestigious event provides a venue for students to present information on some of the region’s most compelling collegiate research.

Caitlin Pegg and Mitchell TraffordPegg is a Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge (TURC) and Chemistry Summer Undergraduate Research Program (CSURP) scholar whose studies revealed a simple method for preparing nanofibers that could be used in the treatment of chronic wounds and burns. Her research paper “Facile preparation of ammonium alginate-derived nanofibers carrying diverse therapeutic cargo” was published in the journal Chemical Communications this fall. Pegg’s research included contributions from fellow TURC scholar and chemistry/music education senior Greg Jones and chemistry graduate student Thushara Athauda.

Trafford also studied as a TURC and CSURP scholar. His presentation at Rice University discussed a palladium catalyst he developed that is useful in the environmentally benign synthesis of organic compounds. Trafford discovered a method to immobilize the palladium metal catalyst so it can be recovered. He demonstrated the utility of his catalyst in the synthesis of the pharmaceutical compound felbinac.

"Not only do these awards serve as external validation of our research achievement but also as recognition of all the time and effort that we have dedicated to our lab work," Trafford said.

His research also will be published within the next few months.

Gail Ellis