Panel 6

Chemical Analysis for Health and Sustainability

James Estipona & Zachory Fritz (Biology)                     
Are Generics from Across the Border Safe?
Mentor: Dr. Joseph Nguyen

Budesonide is a synthetic glucocorticoid used to treat inflammation associated with asthma, Irritable Bowl Syndrome, and Crohn’s disease.  In the US an oral formulation, Entocort EC, targets inflammation in the ileum and ascending colon. In an effort to find a low cost alternative, many patients are purchasing cheaper alternatives to Entocort EC across the border. One such generic is Budez CR sold by Canadian Online Pharmacies but manufactured in India. Since the generic is sold online, Budez Cr is produced and sold without any regulations set by the US FDA or Health Canada, the Canadian equivalent. Without regulations, it is uncertain whether Budez CR is of similar quality as Entocort EC. It was initially important to isolate and analyze the active ingredient, budensonide, Budez CR using FTIR and NMR spectroscopies. The presentation will discuss how budesonide was found in both Entocort EC and Budez CR. However, further discussions on the extraction procedure will reveal how vastly different the unknown, inactive components of Budez CR are compared to Entocort EC, which could greatly affect the drug’s efficacy.

Molly First (Biology)                          
Towards the Characterization of Essential Herpesvirus Interactions
Mentor: Dr. Joseph Nguyen

Antiviral drugs are a class of medication used specifically for treating viral infections. Unfortunately, the range and scope of antivirals are limited. Thus, it is important to study the interactions of certain viral proteins so we can better understand how to inhibit the development effectively. Nuclear egress is a very attractive target for potential antiviral drugs because it is a conserved process in all herpesviruses and utilizes viral proteins that do not resemble any cellular proteins. There are two viral-specific proteins, UL31 and UL34, essential for nuclear egress in Herpes Simplex 1 virus (HSV-1). Two separate interactions, which involve specific conserved regions (CR), between the two HSV-1 proteins cause colocalization of the viral capsid to the inner nuclear membrane. The presentation will discuss the efforts made towards cloning and expressing the isolated regions and the interaction studies.

Nicole Morrow (Biology)        
Synthesis of Palladium-NACNAC Complexes for Use in Heterogeneous catalysis
Mentor: Dr. Kristopher Keuseman

Carbon-carbon bond formation is of great importance in synthetic chemistry. This reaction facilitates the construction of larger, more elaborate molecular structures for use in pharmaceuticals, polymers, agrochemicals, and in applications such as conducting polymers, molecular wires, and liquid crystals. The Suzuki coupling and Sonogashira reactions are two processes used to form new C-C bonds that typically use a homogeneous solution-phase palladium catalyst. Homogeneous catalysts are efficient; however, they are often unrecoverable or recovery requires elaborate processing. Development of a heterogeneous catalyst would be a more green technique, because recovery and reuse may be more feasible. Currently, we are working on creating novel homogeneous catalysts based on palladium-NACNAC complexes. Once the catalyst has proven to be successful for the coupling reactions, we intend to attach the catalyst complexes to solid glass micro-bead supports.

Samuel Renning (Computer Science)         
Encryption in a Parallel Programming Environment
Mentor: Dr. Elizabeth Kleiman

We live in a world where computers are getting ever faster. With these faster computers, our world is becoming more connected. With more access to more information, the need to protect that information arises. This project uses a student-made cluster of computers to encrypt files. The cluster implements a library of software that allows the four computers to communicate and operate as a single unit and make the encryption faster.