Chemistry Grad Student and Alumna Earn NSF Graduate Research Awards

Author: Alec Hipshear


Chemistry graduate student Jennifer Arceo and alumna Jessica Pearson have received National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Program (GRFP) Fellowships. The NSF GRFP was created to enhance the scientific and engineering workforce in the United States. The fellowship provides three years of support for the graduate education of students who have demonstrated the potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research.

Chemistry graduate student Jennifer Arceo (in photo above) works in the laboratory Norman Dovichi. Her research involves the use of an ultra-sensitive capillary electrophoresis laser-induced fluorescence instrumentation for the study of glycosphingolipid metabolism within single cells. Glycosphingolipids are biologically important because of their ubiquitous role in a wide array of cellular functions, particularly in the central nervous system (CNS). Aberrant metabolism of glycolipids has been associated with disease pathologies CNS affecting diseases such as Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff disease. Arceo graduated from California Lutheran University with Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Sciences in 2011.

Jessica Pearson was a chemistry and math double major at Notre Dame. As an undergraduate, she worked in the laboratories of Brandon Ashfield, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, on organic synthesis, and Zachary Schultz, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, working on developing and characterizing a substrate for surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Pearson is a current graduate student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and works with an instrument called SCRIBES (Sensitive, Cooled, Resolved Ion BEam Spectroscopy) that produces high-resolution vibrational spectra of molecular ions in the gas phase under astrophysically relevant conditions.