Fall 2012, Winter 2013 and Spring 2013 quarters
- Paula Schofield organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, biochemistry
- Fields of Study
Rigorous quantitative and qualitative research is an important component of academic learning in Scientific Inquiry. This independent learning opportunity allows advanced students to delve into real-world research with faculty who are currently engaged in specific projects. Students typically begin by working in apprenticeship with faculty or laboratory staff and gradually take on more independent projects within the context of the specific research program as they gain experience. Students can develop vital skills in research design, data acquisition and interpretation, written and oral communication, collaboration, and critical thinking that are valuable for students pursuing a graduate degree or entering the job market.
Paula Schofield (organic, polymer, materials chemistry) is interested in the interdisciplinary fields of biodegradable plastics and biomedical polymers. Research in the field of biodegradable plastics is becoming increasingly important to replace current petroleum-derived materials, and to reduce the environmental impact of plastic wastes. Modification of starch through copolymerization and use of bacterial polyesters show promise in this endeavor. Specific projects within biomedical polymers involve the synthesis of poly (lactic acid) copolymers that have potential for use in tissue engineering. Students with a background in chemistry and biology will gain experience in the synthesis and characterization of these novel polymer materials. Students will present their work at American Chemical Society (ACS) conferences.
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