Student completes NSF Research Experience, receives recognition

Penn State Berks Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major Launick Saint-Fort completed a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at the University at Buffalo-SUNY in August 2015. Her research, titled ?The Separation of Photo-luminescent Carbon Dots via Capillary Electrophoresis Coupled to Laser Induced Fluorescence Detection,? was recognized as the best poster presentation.

Saint-Fort?s research focused on capillary electrophoresis, an area with applications for fingerprinting, pharmaceutical work, and protein characterization. She worked under the supervision of Dr. Luis A. Colón, Professor of Chemistry, at University at Buffalo?SUNY.

?Through my NSF-REU experience, I was granted the opportunity to conduct research on a broader scale, which will undoubtedly prepare me for future graduate studies in chemistry,? states Saint-Fort, who is currently a senior at Penn State Berks.

She will continue her research in the 2015-2016 academic year with Dr. James Karlinsey, Associate Professor of Chemistry, at Penn State Berks. Her Schreyer Honors thesis is titled ?The Optimization of Electro-osmotic Flow in Capillary Electrophoresis Utilizing Borate Electrolytes.? An American Chemical Society Scholar, Saint-Fort plans to present her work at both the American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Diego and the PITTCON Conference and Expo in Atlanta in March 2016.

Saint-Fort is a Schreyer Scholar, a member of the Penn State Berks Honors Program, an NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program Scholar, Treasurer and Co-Vice President of the Penn State Biology/Biochemistry Club, a member of the Penn State Berks Honors Club, as well as the recipient of multiple scholarships. Currently, Saint-Fort works as a tutor at the Penn State Berks Learning Center, where she assists students with Chemistry and French.

The NSF is an independent federal agency created by Congress to promote the progress of science; advance the nation?s health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense.