Nottingham '16 Wins Travel Award to Present Research
July 14, 2015
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University chemistry major Kyle Nottingham ’16 (Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin) will receive an American
Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Organic Chemistry Travel Award to present his research
at the ACS national meeting Aug. 16-20 in Boston.
Nottingham works in the research lab of Ram Mohan, the Wendell and Loretta Hess Professor
“Our group’s focus is on developing environmentally friendly methods in organic synthetis,”
said Nottingham. “We are interested in methods that generate less waste, utilize safer
chemical reagents and are more cost effective.
At the ACS national meeting Nottingham and chemistry major Nick Lazzara (Brookfield,
Illinois) will present a poster on a method for the allylation of cyclic acetals using
the low-toxicity catalyst erbium triflate.
“The current reported methods for this type of reaction have drawbacks, including
the use of corrosive and highly toxic reagents, which can be dangerous and difficult
to handle, in addition to generating hazardous waste,” said Nottingham. “The method
we plan to present at the conference uses mild conditions, generates minimal waste,
and the reaction components are much safer to handle.”
The research experience in Mohan’s lab is serving Nottingham well this summer, as
he and chemistry major Tyler Rauwolf ’17 (Orland Park, Illinois) are interning at
North Chicago-based AbbVie. The global, research-based biopharmaceutical company was
formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. Nottingham works in
analytical research and development with duties that include sample preparation, sample
analysis and data analysis.
Nottingham said his IWU coursework has prepared him well for his internship experience.
“Many of the instruments and general lab techniques I am using this summer I learned
first in the ‘Quantitative Analysis’ course,” said Nottingham. “So I am very thankful
to [Assistant Professor of Chemistry] Manori Perera for the experience.”
He said his research experience with Mohan has also prepared him well. “I am very
comfortable in a laboratory setting because of the many hours I have spent in research,”
he added. “Dr. Mohan also emphasizes practicing presentations in our group, so I have
a good amount of experience presenting my own research and that found in the literature.
This will not only be valuable for the poster session in Boston, but also for a poster
session that AbbVie hosts for the interns to showcase their research for the summer.”
Nottingham said the internship, which he found with Mohan’s assistance, has been very
exciting because it has given him a first-hand look at the pharmaceutical industry.
After graduating from Illinois Wesleyan Nottingham plans to pursue a Ph.D. in organic