Area Student Discovers New Ways to Synthesize Organic Molecules
Ripon College Assistant Professor of Chemistry Patrick Willoughby has worked with chemistry students since 2013, facilitating their research creating organic molecules. These molecules can be used as building blocks for a broad number of things, including pharmaceuticals or agricultural materials. Students are offered a paid summer position on campus to assist Willoughby in discovering and recording new ways to synthesize organic molecules. The research offers students the ability to conduct research on campus while being funded by grants.
The general goal for each student is to learn how to synthesize a molecule in different environments, using various methods. This summer, Willoughby worked with Amber Haugen '19 of St. Cloud, Minnesota, who is studying off-campus in Amsterdam during the fall semester; and Rylie Morris '19 of Dousman, Wisconsin. Morris, on his second year of working with Willoughby, studied new ways to develop a new class of catalysts used in organic synthesis to separate chiral molecules. These catalysts were once difficult to create, but Morris was able to revise and improve the procedure.