W&J College Student Wins Society for Applied Spectroscopy Undergraduate Research Award
Chemistry major Aaron Viggiano was seeking bigger opportunities. Weeks later, he was the winner of the 2019 Society for Applied Spectroscopy’s (SAS) undergraduate research award for his work with W&J Professor of Chemistry Robbie Iuliucci, Ph.D.
Encouraged by his academic advisor, Professor of Chemistry Steven Malinak, Ph.D., he connected with Dr. Iuliucci and the two began working together on the 13-week study. Under Dr. Iuliucci’s guidance, Aaron used Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to analyze the crystal structures of erlotinib, a drug used in chemotherapy under the trade name Tarceva. Using the technique of NMR, Aaron proved that only one of the five drug formulations was unique from others available in the market. The chance to do this type of research is one that Aaron is grateful to have.
“I don’t think you get these kinds of research opportunities at larger schools,” he said. “I never thought that in a 13 to 14-week period, I would have a full paper ready to present. You’d be amazed at what you find out that you’re able to do just by approaching a professor and talking to them about their field of research.”