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Since 2001, they have published 44 papers with 19 undergraduate students

Joseph Sherma, Larkin Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, and Bernard Fried, Kreider Professor Emeritus of Biology, are celebrating 20 years of completing research with Lafayette students with the publication of “Twenty Years of Collaborative Research in Invertebrate Biology and Analytical Chemistry at Lafayette College” in the journal Chromatography.

The article is an updated description of the interdisciplinary research program that Sherma and Fried began with Lafayette students in the mid-1980s and which was described in a previous article which appeared in the journal in 2001.

Between 2001 and 2007, Sherma and Fried published 44 peer reviewed papers with 19 different undergraduate students.

These students include Marquis Scholar Karen Murray ’08 (Kingstowne, Va.), who is majoring in neuroscience and biochemistry, Daniel Massa ’08 (Carlisle, Pa.), who is majoring in biochemistry, Benjamin Arthur ’07, Danielle Martin ’06, Sharon Bandstra ’06, Meredith White ’06, Jamie Jarusiewicz ’06, Ryan Evans ’05, Joyce Ong ’04, Jessica Schneck ’04, Elizabeth Ponder ’04, Stacey Wagner ’03, Janna Pachuski ’02, Joseph Schariter ’02, Yonghyun Kim ’02, Seth Kaufer ’02, Joseph Schariter ’02, Patrick Eidam ’01, and Erin Muller ’00.

Most of the studies used quantitative thin layer chromatography to examine various analytes in medically important snails, leeches, parasitic flatworms, and mouse feces and urine.

In the abstract of their article, Sherma and Fried write, “Involving undergraduate students in research can provide extraordinary benefits for their education and professional development and is the ultimate mechanism in the problem based learning approach that is becoming increasingly used to teach chemistry and other science courses.”

The research program supported by Sherma and Fried was made possible by the EXCEL Scholars program, in which students conduct research with faculty while earning a stipend. Over the past eight years, grants from the Dreyfus Foundation have also supported their work.

The experiences from the research collaboration continue to benefit students after graduation, such as Ponder, a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the department of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University, who was recently awarded the Biochemical Journal Young Investigator Award.

“The research experience is usually the defining undergraduate endeavor of these students and the resultant publications allow them to compete successfully for entrance into highly prestigious graduate programs,” write Sherma and Fried.

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • EXCEL/Undergraduate Research
  • Beth Ponder ’04 Receives Research Award from International Organization
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