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Poster Award Winners from Centennial Poster Sessions

A distinguished group of Judges from industry, academia, and government laboratories had the task of determining the winners of the PMSE Centennial Best Poster Competition at the Spring ACS Meeting in New Orleans.  Congratulations to our winners, who were also recognized at the POLY/PMSE Awards Reception.


University of Minnesota

Bottlebrush polymer excipients for enhancing solubility of an oral drug

Kaylee Barr is a Chemical Engineering Ph.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota (UMN). She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a biomedical emphasis from the University of Kansas in 2020. At the University of Kansas, she performed research in Prof. Mark Shiflett’s laboratory to explore using mesoporous silica gels to immobilize vaccine proteins as an alternative to cold chain transport.

Kaylee is a fourth-year graduate student in the Reineke and Bates research groups at UMN. She studies the synthesis of bottlebrush polymer for improving the solubility of active pharmaceutical ingredients with poor aqueous solubility for oral drug delivery in amorphous solid dispersion formulations. Her research is funded by Genentech, Inc. and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Outside of the lab, she serves as secretary for UMN’s Poly PMSE chapter, serves as a member of the Joint Safety Team (JST) Education and Resources committee, and enjoys performing science demonstrations for local middle school students in Science for All.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Fabrication of Conductive Polymers for Sensing Applications

Collette Gordon was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and spent most of her childhood in Erie, Pennsylvania. In May of 2022, Collette earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with honors emphasis at USC. During her undergraduate studies, she began researching in the Fieser Lab on the design of rare-earth metal catalysts for the ring-opening copolymerization of epoxides and cyclic anhydrides. As a Center for Sustainable Polymers Summer Research Fellow, Collette researched in the Hillmyer Lab on the crystallization behavior of aliphatic polyester thermoplastic elastomeric star polymers. During the summer of 2022, Collette first joined the Swager Lab working on the development of PAEs for ethylene sensing applications. Subsequently, Collette joined the Swager Lab in the fall of 2022 as an organic graduate student in the Program in Polymers and Soft Matter (PPSM). In the Swager Lab, now as a Ph.D. Candidate, Collette designs and synthesizes functionalized conductive polymers for environmental sensing applications as an MIT Dean of Science Fellow. In the MIT graduate community, Collette serves as the Women in Chemistry+ Treasurer, NOBCChE Collaborative Representative, and MIT Chemistry Organic Seminar Committee member. In her community, Collette teaches 8th graders about materials chemistry and environmental engineering to provide students with an educational and personal platform to solve environmental issues with innovative STEM technologies.

Princeton University

Polymerization with non-solvents and salts influence the structure of hydrogels

Néhémie Guillomaitre is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University in the Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE) department. She is co-advised by Dr. Rodney D. Priestley and Dr. Howard A. Stone, and her doctoral research involves studying ways to enhance the properties of polymeric hydrogels for various applications, including, but not limited to, water purification and production for water-stressed regions, wearable sensors, and atmospheric water harvesting. Néhémie received her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering, with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, from Columbia University in 2020. At Columbia University, Néhémie trained in the research laboratories of Dr. James C. Hone and Dr. Jeffrey W. Kysar, and worked on developing methods of synthesizing and transferring high-quality graphene sheets via chemical vapor deposition techniques.

Néhémie is passionate about improving the world around her not only through her research, but also in her everyday interactions and daily life. She is currently a teacher with the Princeton University Preparatory Program and is an advisor/mentor with Polygence, through which she has collaborated with Queen Elizabeth High School, a girls school in Zimbabwe. She has been a longstanding member on the boards of Princeton’s CBE Graduate Student Council, Princeton’s Black Graduate Caucus, Princeton’s Graduate Women of Color Caucus, and Princeton’s Graduate Women in Science and Engineering. Additionally, Néhémie is a peer mentor with the Graduate Scholars Program and serves as a Diversity Fellow with The Graduate School’s Access, Diversity, and Inclusion team.

Arizona State University

Desalination Pervaporation Performance of Sulfobetaine-Modified Poly(arylene ether sulfone) Copolymer Dense Membranes

Husain Mithaiwala received his bachelor’s degree in Petrochemical Engineering from the University of Pune in 2016, worked as a Process Engineer for 2 years in an agrochemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing company (Hikal Ltd.) in India and later completed his master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Arizona State University (ASU) in 2020. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Chemical Engineering program in Prof. Matthew Green’s research group at ASU. His research focuses on synthesizing functionalized polymers, understanding their structure-property-performance relationship and fabricating them into different types of membranes, including electrospun, symmetric, asymmetric and dense membranes for water purification and direct air capture (DAC) technologies. He also has interest in the plastic recycling domain, where he is looking at ways to deconstruct polyethylene terephthalate plastics to other value-added products.

The Florida State University

Viscoelastic and Mechanical Properties of Poly(δ-pinene) and Derivatives: All-Hydrocarbon Biomass-Based Polymers

Nath-Eddy Moody is a 2nd year graduate student in Dr. Justin Kennemur’s group in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Florida State University. He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry at the University of Central Florida in 2021. Nath-Eddy’s research focuses on biomass derived polymers, their enhancement, and material properties as a supplement to commercially available polymers. Support for his research comes from the Mcknight Doctoral Fellowship program at Florida State. Outside of the lab Nath-Eddy serves as the outreach coordinator for the Chemimoles, the graduate student group representing graduate students in chemistry. and is a member of the local chapter of POLY-PMSE.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Versatile Heterogeneous Porous Organic Polymer Catalyst for Cross-coupling Reactions

Molly is a third-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the advisement of Timothy Swager and Alfredo Alexander-Katz. She received her BS in Chemistry from the University of Delaware in 2021. Her doctoral work focuses on the synthesis of metallopolymers for heterogeneous catalysis and molecular dynamics simulations of porous organic polymers.


Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Progress in the Development of Modular Glycopolymers Tailored to Inhibit Norovirus Infections

Simeon Newman is an undergraduate chemical engineering major at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. At the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, he conducts research on crosslinkable phenolphthalin poly(arylene ether sulphone) polymers for nitrate remediation under the tutelage of Dr. Natalie Arnett. Continually, he has conducted research on modular glycopolymers tailored for norovirus inhibition at Virginia Tech in Dr. Michael Schulz’s Lab.

University of Southern Mississippi

Elucidation of the Effect of Polymer Architecture on Targeting Ligand Presentation in Nucleic Acid Delivery Vehicles

Anthony is from New Orleans and developed an interest in research from the Biomedical program at his high school, The Willow School. Currently, he is a junior undergraduate at the University of Southern Mississippi studying Polymer Science and Engineering working in the Clemons Research Lab. He has been involved in research since Spring of his freshman year and has gained a deep appreciation for research and the role it has played through his undergraduate career. He has received tremendous support from his advisor, Tristan Clemons, and his graduate student mentor, Evan Stacy, and he thanks them as well as the rest of the Clemons Lab for all the opportunities they have given him. Outside of research he is involved in the USM Honors College, Polymer Science Association, and is a member of the Delta Mu Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha. He is extremely honored to have received this award and the confidence that has been placed in his continued research.


University of Puerto Rico

Cardiac Troponin I Detection Using Screen Printer Electrodes Modified with Sulfonated Styrene-Isobutylene-Styrene (SIBS) Block Copolymer

Raquel Feliciano holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez with a major in Materials Science. She is currently completing a post-doctoral degree with the support of the NSF funded Center for the Advancement of Wearable Technology (CAWT). Her work has focused on the development of biosensors for the detection of cardiac biomarkers, such as troponin. One of the objectives of the work is to be able to synthesize ionic polymers that can serve as physicochemical adsorption sites for cardiac biomarkers. In addition, electrochemical techniques are used as a detection method, where the use of conductive polymers may increase the signal.

She has strong polymer chemistry and polymer functionalization background. She also has skills on materials characterization techniques such as: Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR), Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR), Near IR Spectroscopy (NIR), Raman Spectroscopy, Ultraviolet visible (UV-VIS) Spectroscopy, Photoluminescence Spectroscopy (PL), Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Cyclic Voltammetry (CV), Linear Sweep Voltammetry (LSV) and Optical Microscopy.