Summer Research Awards
Western New York Local Section
All students participating in the Chemistry Olympiad are eligible to apply for an interdisciplinary
undergraduate research program for the summer after their junior or senior year in high school. The
application forms will be sent to them together with their score in the local section examination.
Two high school students will be chosen for this summer research internship in the laboratory of a
faculty member at Canisius College. These internships will span six weeks, and will pay $8.00/hour for 40
hours per week.
This early research experience will be very beneficial to all students who are considering careers in
sciences. For those who are juniors, it will also be an excellent preparation for the laboratory part of
the Chemistry Olympiad in the following year.
Research is Interdisciplinary and Related to Real-Life
The proposed research is interdisciplinary in nature and is appropriate for students with interest in
chemistry, biology (in vivo
studies), physics (magnetic measurements), and environmental science
The proposed research deals with two exciting applications of a group of the inorganic compounds
called heteropoly complexes. Since 1990 the work in the laboratory of Dr. Kozik discovered two
potentially very important applications of this group of compounds. The first application is in the area
of diagnostic medicine and the other is in the environmental field. Promising preliminary results in both
projects exist and have been published by Dr. Kozik's group in "Inorganic Chemistry," a prestigious
peer-reviewed research journal.
In the first project undergraduate students will investigate new so-called contrast agents for Magnetic
Resonance Imaging (MRI), that are closely related to the contrast agents recently developed in the
laboratory of Dr. Kozik. The final goal of this project is to develop a new class of contrast agents that
could be applied in clinical setting and significantly lower the amount of time needed to obtain good
quality images of human organs during the MRI procedure.
In the second project a related group of compounds will be studied as possible electrocatalysts in the
process of carbon dioxide transformation into methane. The final goal of that project is to develop a new
group of compounds, which by complexing carbon dioxide, would make it more reactive towards the process
of its change into natural gas, therefore, making possible a transformation of an atmospheric pollutant
into a fuel!
High School Students Can Make Significant Contributions
The proposed experiments involve numerous syntheses, classical and spectroscopic characterizations of
newly-prepared contrast agents and catalysts and even some in vivo trials with mice. The syntheses
and in vivo studies can be carried out by students with very limited research experience, while
anyone who took a general chemistry course can be trained with relative ease to operate instruments
required for spectroscopic characterizations. Therefore, even high school students can make significant
contributions. Their work will be supervised by Dr. Kozik and by more senior undergraduates in his
Research awards have been made possible since 2003
thanks to the support of the Honeywell Corporation
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