Research

Research Overview

"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." -- Carl Sagan, (Astronomer, Writer, Scientist; 1934-1996).

WHY WE RESEARCH?
Because we are natural born explorers. To explore is to know; to know is to survive. To stop knowing is a threat to our human survival. There is always more to know. We can never know it all. We can never reach the end of knowledge, the end of the universe, the end of the internet! As the American poet Emily Elizabeth Dickinson declared, "This World Is Not Conclusion."
 
Explorer. This is our earliest archetype, our most viral meme, expressed in our genes, and captured in the Middle French root word – recherche – research – ‘to go about seeking.’ Before hunter-gatherer, we were explorers. Before we were civilized, we explored. This is our path to being modern. We explored inward to discover consciousness and soul and language. We explored the heavens for gods and our earth for elements and atoms.
 
This is our legend and legacy. Our first steps out of Africa, our first wanderings in the womb. Before writing, reading and arithmetic, we research. This is what we do. This is who we are. We go about seeking. We are natural born researchers.

 

WHY EARLY RESEARCH?

Because you can. Because passion and curiosity, research and discovery, invention and innovation does not need a PhD. This course is based on the belief that students like yourself who drive cars, use computers, excel at video games, and navigate a host of twenty-first century technologies can also learn to recrystallize solids, rotovap solvents, reflux reactions, separate mixtures, operate modern lab instruments, isolate DNA, stain tissue, grow cells, raise fly colonies, conduct anticancer studies, discover new antibacterials or develop new sensors for toxic materials.

BEST Early Research Program

The BEST Early research program has a dual and simultaneous focus on early human resource development and on development of new synthetic organic methods. This has lead to a synergistic, integrative and innovative blend of teaching, research and public science.

The major scientific theme of our laboratory research program is the design, synthesis and utilization of novel functionally dense small organic molecules. This is coupled with a science workforce development strategy of providing early research participation opportunities for undergraduate and high school students in both curricular and non-curricular settings.

Student Presentations - Posters & powerpoint

The following are selected student research posters and presentations over the last ten years:

Synthesis and Metal Sensing Properties of Azastilbene Sensors.” Brianne Flanagan and Desmond Murray, Michigan High School Math & Science Symposium, April 2016

Novel Synthesis of Formates via Electrophilic Carbonyl Addition and their Insecticidal Properties.” Indigo Doll, Desmond Murray and Denise Smith, Michigan High School Math & Science Symposium, April 2016

Synthesis and Blood Agglutination Properties of Boronic Acid Containing Diesters.” Kori Mecklenburg, Desmond Murray and Denise Smith, Michigan High School Math & Science Symposium, April 2016

Screening of Ylidene Rhodanines as Effective Metal Detectors.” Kaydra Bailey and Desmond Murray, Honors Scholars & Undergraduate Research Poster Symposium, Andrews University, February 2016

Synthesis and Spectroscopic Studies of Chalbenes.” Michelle Imperio and Desmond Murray, Andrews University Honors Scholar and Undergraduate Research Poster Symposium, March 2014

"Synthesis of Aza-Anthocyanidin Plant Colors." Bethany Van Alstine and Desmond Murray, BEST Early Research Symposium, Andrews University Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, April 26, 2014

Synthesis, Spectroscopic and Electrochemical Investigations Into Donor-Acceptor Metal-Sensing Stilbenes.” Erica Evans, Brittany Foster, Ryan T. Hayes, Hyun Kwon, James Magbanua, and Desmond Murray, Michigan Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. Hope College, March 2013

Effect of Pyrimidine Boronic Stilbene on the Growth of S. aureus.” Rozaleth Tenga, Bill Chobotar, Karen Reiner and Desmond Murray, BEST Early Research Symposium, April 2013

Developing a Lithium Version of the MPV Reduction.” Brittany Wojcik, Diana Ruiloba and Desmond Murray, BEST Early Research Symposium, April 2013

Developing Synthetic Methods for Arylidene Pyruvates.Alyson Drew, Obed Galla, and Desmond Murray, Andrews University Undergraduate Honors Seminar, March 2012

Cyclic Voltammetric Study of DCS and Copper(II) Ion Complex.” James Magbanua, Hyun Kwon, and Desmond Murray, Andrews University Undergraduate Honors Seminar, March 2012

Mixed Acylals: New Methodology for Hybrid and ProDrug Synthesis.” Lora Filipova and Desmond Murray, Andrews University Undergraduate Honors Seminar, March 2012

"Synthesis of Hybrid ‘Multi-Warhead’ Acylal Pesticides." Gaetan Tchamba and Desmond Murray, Andrews University Undergraduate Honors Seminar, Berrien Springs, MI, April 15, 2011

"Bifunctional Stilbene Linkers for Nanoparticles." Valeria Moseley and Desmond Murray, Andrews University Undergraduate Honors Seminar, Berrien Springs, MI, July 28, 2011

"The Effects of Valproate Prodrugs on the Inositol Biosynthetic Pathway in Saccharomyces Yeast Cells." Lisa Thompson, Marlene Murray-Nsuela and Desmond Murray, Andrews University Undergraduate Honors Seminar, Berrien Springs, MI, April 15, 2011

"Reactivity and Chemistry of Novel Bifunctional alpha-Azido Acylals." Gretchen Bell and Desmond Murray, Second Annual Andrews University Research Celebration, Howard Performing Arts Center, March 9, 2010

"Synthesis of Valproate Prodrugs and Their Effect on the Inositol Levels of Yeast Cells." Nigel Gillespie, Kendra Anderson, Marlene Murray-Nseula and Desmond Murray, Second Annual Andrews University Research Celebration, Howard Performing Arts Center, March 9, 2010

"Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles and Their Interaction with Malachite Green."Jongho Yoon, Getahun Merga and Desmond Murray, Second Annual Andrews University Research Celebration, Howard Performing Arts Center, March 9, 2010

"Development of Novel alpha-Substituted Carbamate Insecticides." Jon Van Ornam, David Mbungu and Desmond Murray, First Annual Andrews University Research Celebration, Howard Performing Arts Center, March 9, 2010

"An Investigation of the Toxicity of a Putative Carbamate-based Insecticide." Wei Li, David Mbungu and Desmond Murray, First Annual Andrews University Research Celebration, Howard Performing Arts Center, March 9, 2009

Advances in Dual Colorimetric and Electrochemical Sensors for Organophosphorus Pesticides.” Chandrima De, Desmond Murray, and Sherine Obare, 235 th ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, 2008

Colorimetric Detection of Organophosphorus-based Pesticides.”  Tajay Haywood, Chandrima De, Desmond Murray, and Sherine Obare, American Chemical Society Seed Program, Western Michigan University, 2007

"Synthesis of Donor Acceptor Cyanostilbenes."  Kenneth Fletcher, David Carbonell, Ruth Jiyani, Robert Wilson, and Desmond Murray, Undergraduate Research Poster Session, Division of Chemical Education, 233rd American Chemical Society National Meeting, Chicago, IL, March 26, 2007

"Development of Novel Multicationic Triarylmethane Chromophores."  Ruth Ramlalsingh and Desmond Murray, Undergraduate Research Poster Session, Division of Chemical Education, 233rd American Chemical Society National Meeting, Chicago, IL, March 26, 2007

"Electrophilic Carbonyl Additions: Synthesis of alpha-Haloacylals."  Allison Agnetta, Jihye Ha, Tenesha Patrick, Kimberly Robinson, Carrie Roosenberg, and Desmond Murray, Undergraduate Research Poster Session, Division of Chemical Education, 233rd American Chemical Society National Meeting, Chicago, IL, March 26, 2007

"Reaction of alpha-Haloacylals with Metal Thiocyanates."  Carrie A. Roosenberg, Allison Agnetta, and Desmond Murray, Undergraduate Research Poster Session, Division of Chemical Education, 233rd American Chemical Society National Meeting, Chicago, IL, March 26, 2007

"Synthesis and Bioactivity of Sulfonamide Chalcones."  Kamille Hutchinson, Linda Lange, Andrija Matak,Yvette Modad, Esther Wu, and Desmond Murray, Division of Medicinal Chemistry, 233rd American Chemical Society National Meeting, Chicago, IL, March 25, 2007

"Lewis Acid Catalyzed Electrophilic Carbonyl Additions: Synthesis of alpha-Haloacylals."  Allison Agnetta and Desmond Murray, National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) Midwest Regional Meeting, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, October 2006

"A New and Improved One-Step Synthesis of Donor Acceptor Cyanostilbenes." Kenneth Fletcher and Desmond Murray, National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) Midwest Regional Meeting, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, October 2006

"Type A Sulfonamide Chalcones: Investigations Into Flavonoid Based Sulfa Drugs."  Yvette Modad and Desmond Murray, Andrews University Undergraduate Honors Seminar, Berrien Springs, MI, 2006

"Synthesis of Azachalcone Polymer Sensors for Chemical Warfare Agents." Euntaik Ha and Desmond Murray, Andrews University Undergraduate Honors Seminar, Berrien Springs, MI, 2006

"Molecular Sensing Mechanism of Deeply Colored Chalcones."  Karen Dah and Desmond Murray, Andrews University Undergraduate Honors Seminar, Berrien Springs, MI, 2005