Junior chemistry major Shannon Dugan is one of eight students in New Jersey to have recently won a Novartis Science Scholarship.
Dugan, of Medford, N.J., won the grant for her research on chemicals that have a wide potential in medical applications. Dugan’s work with fluorinated phthalocyanines, under the mentorship of Dr. Sergiu Gorun, may yield advances in medical science including cancer therapy, according to Dugan.
She said the award came through the Independent College Fund of New Jersey. In order to be eligible, one had to be at least a junior with a 3.5 or higher GPA in a science program at an ICFNJ member school, of which there are 14.
“I had to learn a lot from the graduate students,” Dugan said. “But once I learned the basics they left me alone and all the research was mine.”
According to Dugan, she spent five days a week in McNulty Hall this past summer working both independently and with graduate students.
“I didn’t really know anything when I first started,” she said. “I don’t know the exact amount, but it was around $7,500,” Dugan said.
She added that she “was surprised because the awards are usually broken up into smaller amounts.”
Once her research was completed, the samples that Dugan had created over the summer were sent to various laboratories in Europe. She said ultimately, these will decide how her work will be used, if at all.
Dugan said she hopes that the results of her research will make her known in the scientific community she plans to attend the 2013 American Chemical Society conference in New Orleans.
“Hopefully I’ll get published in a research journal soon,” she said.
Dugan said that she will be certified by the American Chemical Society after she graduates, which she hopes will help her to pursue a career in dermatology.She added she plans to go to medical school following her time at Seton Hall.
Dugan said that she will be taking the Medical College Admission Test this coming April.
ACS certification is not mandatory for chemistry majors at Seton Hall, but Dugan said that to have it will open more doors for her in the future and that she feels the extra work is worth it.
Dugan said her other work at Seton Hall includes assisting Dr. John Sowa in studying the effects of the 2010 BP oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico during the 2010-11 school year.
Dugan added her parents are both Seton Hall alumni and her sister also is pursuing a degree in science.
Joseph Grogan can be reached at email@example.com.