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LHS students plant SEED at UMass Lowell

By From the Lowell Sun

LOWELL -- This summer, select Lowell High School students Ramya Kumar, Sarann Kong, Emmanuelle Paive and Savin Thor did research at the UMass Lowell Center for Green Chemistry, investigating the phase behavior of binary organic solids.

Under the direction of Professor John Warner, the students participated in Project SEED, a summer research program funded in part by the American Chemical Society. The center is matching the ACS grants through its Seldon Fund, named after Harry Seldon, a character in the Foundation series novels written by Isaac Asimov. The Seldon fund, which relies solely on donations, supports the Center for Green Chemistry's mission to increase public awareness and interest in chemistry.

Warner has served as a mentor for Project SEED students for two years. He hopes to do more than make people feel more than comfortable with Chemistry. Coupled with Project SEED's emphasis on career development and the pursuit of higher education in natural sciences, Warner tells his students: "We need a new generation of chemists with new ideas and ideals to solve society's problems."

In a related development, UMass Lowell recently learned it will receive $100,000 from the President's 2006 Science and Technology Initiatives Fund to establish the Green Chemistry Collaborative for Pharmaceuticals.

The project establishes a collaborative research program with the pharmaceutical industry to develop processes to reduce the harmful environmental impacts resulting from manufacturing. Faculty from the departments of Community Health and Sustainability and Clinical Laboratory and Nutritional Sciences will work on the development of designer formulations of active pharmaceutical ingredients that will cut manufacturing costs and enable more environmentally friendly manufacturing.

Warner will be the principal investigator for the project.