Students Take Top Research Honors at Alabama Academy of Science

Samford students Rebekah Brooks, Hannah Chappell, Jason Goebel and Christina Rickman won top research honors at the 90th annual meeting of the Alabama Academy of Science on the university’s campus March 20-22. All four take part in Samford's Clark Scholars Program in Computational Biology.

Brooks won first place in the undergraduate chemistry category for “Synthesis and Computational Investigation of 2nd-Generation Beta-Secretase Inhibitors,” a poster describing her research with Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry professor Andy Lampkins and department chair Morgan Ponder.

Goebel and Rickman won second place in the same category with a related project, “Exploring the Utility of Novel Amino Acid-Derived Chirons; Toward the Synthesis of (-) Galantinic Acid and “Smart” Therapeutics,” also completed with Lampkins.

Chappell won first place presented in the Industry Environmental and Earth Science division for her talk on "Bioremediation technology using fungi to remove trace level pharmaceuticals (17a-ethinylestradiol) from wastewater.” Chapell, mentored by Chemistry and Biochemistry professor Denise Gregory, will present the work again at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans in April.

Approximately 300 faculty, undergraduate and graduate students took part in the AAS meeting this year. Biological and Environmental Sciences professor Larry Davenport delivered the keynote address at the conference banquet, and many other Samford faculty presented their research at AAS 2013, including:

Biological and Environmental Sciences
Kristin Bakkegard
Betsy Dobbins
Malia Fincher (Kaitlyn Schaaf, student)
David Frings
Grant Gentry
Mike Howell
Ron Hunsinger
Dave Johnson
George Keller
Jenny Layton

Chemistry and Biochemistry
Denise Gregory
Andy Lampkins
Morgan Ponder

Philosophy
Dennis Sansom

Sociology
Theresa Davidson

Journalism and Mass Communication
Lee Farquhar

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ABOUT SAMFORD UNIVERSITY -- Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 3rd among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,509 students from 45 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.