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Senior Chemistry Major Received Drinko Research Grant

Posted on Monday, October 12, 2009

Westminster College senior chemistry major Kimberly Worst received an Undergraduate Research Grant from Westminster's Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

Worst is a daughter of Paul and Maria Worst of Butler and a graduate of Butler Area High School.

Worst's research, "Optimization of SPME GC-MS Analysis of Osajin and Pomiferin in Osage Oranges," is conducted under the supervision of Dr. Timothy Sherwood, associate professor and chair of Westminster's Department of Chemistry.

According to the abstract, isoflavones are compounds with potential as medicines with the ability to impact cancer cells. Osage oranges possess fragrant natural isoflavones, osajin and pomiferin, that were previously identified using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). A more direct and environmentally-friendly method of extracting and concentrating the compounds from a wide variety of samples is solid phase microextraction (SPME). This study will focus on the optimization of SPME GC-MS analysis of the volatile emissions of Osage oranges and seek to validate the methodology.

The Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning was created to enrich undergraduate education at Westminster through advancing world-class teaching as well as by participating in collaborations that address community and regional needs including strengthening K-12 education. The Undergraduate Research Initiative provides funding for students to conduct research and to present their research at regional and national conferences.

Contact Sherwood at (724) 946-7296 or e-mail for additional information about the project. Visit for additional information about the Drinko Center.