Herty Medalist Undergraduate Research Symposium (HMURS)

The Herty Medalist Undergraduate Research Symposium (HMURS) was initiated in 2006 by the ACS Georgia Section to celebrate undergraduate research in the chemical sciences in the metro Atlanta area. One of the main goals of HMURS is to leverage the impact of the annual Herty Award to the undergraduate student population as well as the promotion of diversity and inclusion within the chemistry community.

History of HMURS and Past HMURS
HMURS 2018 Photographs

Virtual Herty Medalist Undergraduate Research Symposium 2020

Because of COVID-19, the 15th Herty Medalist Undergraduate Research Symposium (HMURS) was held virtually on September 25, 2020.  At the symposium, Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC), School of Science and Technology Interim Dean, Dr. Sonal Dekhane welcomed the attendees and GGC provost Dr. T. J. Arant introduced 2020 Herty Awardee Dr. Susan Richardson (Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of South Carolina).  In her presentation, Dr. Richardson discussed “What’s in My Drinking Water?” and “An Unconventional Path to a Rewarding Environmental Career.” Dr. Ingrid Montes (Dept. of Chemistry, the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras) and Dr. Rigoberto Hernandez (Dept. of Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University) spoke about their research on “Synthesis, characterization and biological activity of ferrocenyl derivatives: Study of the effect of different core moieties and substituents on anticancer and antioxidant activity” and “Nanoparticle models, macroscale impacts”, respectively. The symposium was well attended by more than 200 attendees. A virtual poster presentation section was held and more than 50 undergraduate students from 14 institutions submitted their abstracts for the presentation. At the symposium, the top 6 undergraduate presentations selected by the judging committee were showcased and the best presentation awards were announced. 

  • First Place: Jacob Miller (Georgia Gwinnett College), “Preparation, self-assembly and gelation studies of tyramine based alkanamides and N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)alkanamides  as low molecular mass gelators”
  • Second Place: Arinzechukwu Aniekwe (Georgia Gwinnett College), “Synthesis, characterization, gelation, and DNA binding molecular docking studies of 9-aminoacridine derivatives”
  • Third Place: Ballanah Torbett (Georgia State University), “Achieving production of designed MRI protein contrast agents for SARS-CoV-2 imaging”

HMURS 2019 Was A Great Success

The 14th annual Herty Medalist Undergraduate Research Symposium (HMURS) was held at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) on September 20, 2019. At the symposium GGC President Dr. Jann L. Joseph welcomed the attendees and GGC Provost Dr. T. J. Arant introduced 2019 Herty Medalist Dr. Lisa McElwee-White (Univ. of Florida). In her presentation Dr. McElwee-White discussed “Chemistry for 3-D Printing of Metal Nanostructures with Metal Complexes and Electron Beams.” Dr. Wallace Derricotte (Morehouse College) and Dr. Katy Zimmermann (GGC) spoke about their research on “A Symmetry-Adapted Perturbation Theory Approach to Reaction Force Analysis” and “Environmental Chemistry” respectively. The symposium was attended by nearly 200 (82% increase compared to 2018). After the talks 76 undergraduate students (65% increase compared to 2018) from 19 academic institutions both in-state and out-of-state (58% increase compared to 2018) presented and defended their research during a poster presentation session. The best poster presentation awards were presented to the following students:  

  • First Place: Jen Kong (Georgia State University), “Innovative Gadolinium-Based MRI Contrast Agent with Chemokine Receptor 4 Binding Affinity, hProCA32.CXCR4, for Early Detection of Liver Metastasis”
  • Second Place: Ballanah Torbett (Georgia State University), “Optimization of the expression and purification for protein-based MRI contrast agent”
  • Third Place: Josephine Rudd (Colorado State University), “Investigating Ice Nucleating Particles and Microgels in the Wave Flume Mesocosm”