Students and professors had the pleasure of leaving the hot Texas weather to attend the 253rd national meeting of the American Chemical Society in California. This meeting focused on several topics, including advanced materials, technologies, systems and processes.

“The American Chemical Society Conference is basically a giant get-together of research groups from around the country. It’s a place where we can all share our research with each other while getting to explore an awesome city like San Francisco,” said Meagan Pollock, a senior chemistry major.

Pollock and her lab partner, Christine Peterson, were able to present data collected from research for the past two summers.

“It’s exciting because we were able to make an impact and contribute new information to the research that our lab group has been working on for years,” Pollock said.

Besides presenting, there were other points of interest for Pollock at the conference as well.

“I was also looking forward to seeing what topics are covered during some of the lectures. It’s a really fun trip for my lab group because we have all gotten pretty close over the last couple of years,” Pollock said.

Aamuktha Karla, a first-year neuroscience major, also had the opportunity to present her research at the conference.

“I presented my research from last summer. I looked at cucurbiturils, which are a specific type of molecule, and how it interacts with different peptides and proteins. I had my own project, so it was unique that I could present it,” Karla said.

Todd Whittaker, senior chemistry major, was also supposed to present at the conference, but unfortunately, the timing didn’t work out.

“I’m attending this conference because I was scheduled to give a talk in the Catalysis Division,” Whittaker said. “However, I had to withdraw my presentation due to timing. While this was a shame, I also got the opportunity to attend many lectures to learn and meet some of the top advisors for graduate programs, as well as network potential internship opportunities.”

Despite not presenting, Whittaker enjoyed supporting the other attendees he traveled with while learning about potential opportunities to attend graduate school.

“I’m most excited about learning more about what I want to do in grad school and meet the people conducting the very best of that research all across the country and in fact the world,” Whittaker said.

Pollock also appreciated the opportunity to learn about potential post-grad plans from other participants who share the same passion as her.

“I would say one of the biggest highlights was seeing how many people attended the conference. It’s refreshing to know that there are so many people interested in pursuing chemistry,” Pollock said.