ChE Grad Students Represent at 2018 AIChE National Conference

At this year's AIChE National Conference in Pittsburgh, we had outstanding graduate student representation.

Representing Dr. Adam Melvin’s group were Sharif Rahman and Mani Vaithiyanathan. Sharif gave a talk on “Microfluidic Co-Culture of Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells and Adipose Stem Cells.” In this study, a microfluidic device was developed to investigate this phenomenon by simultaneously co-culturing both MDA-MB-231 cells and ASCs. This device can be used to assess how chemotherapeutic drugs targeting MDA-MB-231 cells affected cell proliferation, morphology, and protein expression in both cell lines. He also presented a poster on developing a 3D microfluidic device to under cell migration to highly isolate invasive cancer cells and understand cancer crosstalk.

Mani’s talk and poster highlighted the development of experimental and computational tools to address cellular variability in healthcare and environmental issues. Her talk focused on developing a platform to understand regulation of deubiquitinating enzyme in single multiple myeloma cells using a microfluidic device and a novel fluorescent biosensor. Further her poster described a microfluidic device to screen alkaline phosphatase activity in single algae cells to understand allelopathy and harmful algal blooms.

Representing Dr. Jerry Spivey’s group were Swarom Kanitkar and Ashraf Abedin. Swarom presented on the effect of temperature in methane dehydroaromatization over Mo supported on sulfated zirconia catalysts. The work involved use of Mo supported SZ catalysts to convert methane into benzene and hydrogen directly. For this reaction, he investigated the role of temperature, which has a crucial role in the overall activity and product distribution.

Ashraf’s presentation at AIChE included research work on promotional effect of chromium on molybdenum based sulfated zirconia solid acid catalyst for methane aromatization. It discusses about how the acidic effect of the added chromium improves direct methane conversion, as well as benzene selectivity, which is the main reaction product.

Representing Dr. Ye Xu’s group were Saurin Rawal and Xun Cheng. Saurin presented his poster titled "Theoretical investigation of the effects of metal cations on oxygen reduction reaction in non-aqueous metal-air batteries.” He described his work on the influence of interfacial electric field and solvent effects on metal assisted ORR, solution mediated chemical reaction of solvated ions and the effect of metal cations on the final battery discharge product.

Xun presented his poster titled "Interaction of Thiol Ligands with Gold and Effects on Electrocatalytic CO2 Reduction," where he talked about his study on the interaction of various ligands with gold surfaces and the resultant change in geometric and electronic properties of the gold surface. These effects were leveraged to influence electrochemical CO2 reduction and hydrogen evolution reactions caused by the interactions.

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