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Four Hamilton students presented their research at the 12th Molecular Educational Research Consortium in Undergraduate Computational chemistRY (MERCURY) conference held July 25-27 at Bucknell University. Clare O’Grady ’14, Savannah Alvarado ’15, Jia Hsien Ho ’15 and Bryon Banman ’16 are among the students working this summer in the laboratory of Assistant Professor of Chemistry Adam Van Wynsberghe.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, MERCURY is a consortium of 17 chemistry professors at 16 primarily undergraduate institutions across the country that share computational resources. In addition, the group hosts an annual conference focusing on theoretical and computational chemistry research conducted by undergraduates. Students present their work in a short oral presentation and in poster format.

O’Grady presented a poster titled “Development of a molecular docking exercise to elucidate principles of biophysical chemistry in the general chemistry lab.” Peter Talpey ’14 was a co-author.

Alvarado’s poster was titled “Close-Range Behavior of Oseltamivir with Viral Neuraminidase” and included Leah Krause ’14 and Alvin Wu ’13 as co-authors.

Ho’s poster, “Investigation of molecular charges and water desolvation on the complex formation of Neuramindase and its inhibitors,” was co-authored by Carmen Montagnon ’13 and Robert Clayton ’15.

Banman’s poster was titled “Observing the Inter- and Intramolecular Events of Sialic Acid Binding to the Active Site of Neuraminidase.” Jeremy Adelman ’13 and Alvin Wu ’13 were co-authors.

In general, the Van Wynsberghe lab studies protein flexibility and dynamics along with ligand binding kinetics using a variety of computational and theoretical techniques. The lab’s goals are to develop and utilize molecular simulation methods to investigate biological and biochemical systems from a physical and chemical perspective.

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