St. Olaf College | News

Student presents research at American Chemical Society meeting

Jorden Johnson ’15 recently presented her research at the American Chemical Society’s national meeting.

St. Olaf College junior Jorden Johnson recently presented her research at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Johnson’s presentation, titled “Novel Synthesis of Lipoic Acid Derivatives for Biosynthetic Pathways” was based on summer research she conducted as part of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. Johnson worked in the organic chemistry lab under the direction of Professor of Chemistry Patrick Dussault and a graduate student mentor.

Johnson and her lab team were interested in lipoic and dihydropoic acids, which may be beneficial in lowering high blood lipid levels, a leading cause for cardiovascular disease. Johnson was responsible for synthesizing two new specific chemical derivatives of lipoic and dihydropoic acids, which required a large amount of time spent researching chemical literatures and exploring procedures and synthesis pathways.

At the end of the summer, Johnson presented her research at REU’s departmental chemistry symposium and was awarded a travel grant. She submitted an abstract of her research to the American Chemical Society conference and was accepted to present a poster at the undergraduate research poster session.

“Having the chance to attend and be a poster presenter was a great experience,” says Johnson. “The meeting allowed me to network with other chemists, attend talks about up and coming research in different divisions of chemistry, and learn about nontraditional careers you can have with a chemistry major.”

This summer Johnson will be conducting research at the Ames Lab Department of Energy Laboratory as part of the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships program.