Anna Falls, a Fall 2013 graduate of Ashland University’s biochemistry program, graduated salutatorian at the December 2014 commencement ceremony. During Anna’s time at Ashland she was involved with undergraduate research as well as the Honors Program. She spent three summers conducting research directed by Dr. Perry Corbin, associate professor of Chemistry. She worked on the chemical synthesis of a class of molecules known as amphiphilic star block copolymers. These polymers have a hydrophilic (water-loving) portion and a hydrophobic (water-hating) portion, and, as such, assemble in water to form aggregates much in the same manner as soap molecules. The new block copolymers have the potential to serve as drug-delivery devices, with a hydrophobic drug fitting into the interior of the micelle and the hydrophilic portion allowing interaction with and transportation in water. This research was supported by the National Science Foundation as well as the College of Arts & Sciences and the Provost’s Office.
In addition to completing the requirements of the Honors Program, Anna was active in the American Chemical Society as well as Ashland’s peer-tutoring program. Anna was a College of Arts & Sciences Scholar and a Choose Ohio First Scholar. Anna hopes to attend medical school to pursue a career as a physician.