NKU chemistry department brings global perspective with foreign exchange

News from NKU...

For immediate release...
Friday - August 3, 2012

- The Northern Kentucky University chemistry department is hosting students from around the globe for a unique summer internship.

The five students - Benoit Courtois and Soizic Laurenceau from Ecole National Superieure d'Ingenieurs, Caen (ENSICAEN) France, Sebastian Manzano and Maria Duenas from Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador, and Tianyuan (Sam) Zhang from Nanjing University in China - arrived at NKU in early June and will stay until August.

The program began last summer when two French students, from ENSICAEN, visited NKU to work with Professor Isabelle Lagadic.

Three of the five had never been to the United States, and they have spent the past two months working in chemistry labs alongside faculty mentors and NKU research students on projects such as the development of simple, inexpensive sensors of containments in the anticoagulant agent heparin; the preparation of delivery systems for poorly water-soluble chemotherapeutic drugs; the investigation of new silver nano structures to hinder bacteria growth; the synthesis of biomolecules active against prostate cancer; the photophysics and photochemistry of environmentally or biologically interesting molecules.

When they weren't in the lab, they were exploring regional attractions. The group attended a Cincinnati Reds game, which they found boring. Zhang said he's much more familiar with volleyball and ping pong, so he had no idea what was happening on the field.

They also enjoyed a tour of the Maker's Mark distillery, but what the group most looks forward to is an end-of-summer pool party with NKU chemistry students and faculty. Each has agreed to prepare a popular dish from their country.

Dr. Lagadic said she hopes to expand the exchange program by welcoming research interns from additional NKU partner universities as well as by sending NKU chemistry students abroad for internships in the coming years.

### NKU ###

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