Lan Luong ‘22

Lan Luong

Major: Natural Science
Bio: Lan grew up in Palm Beach, FL before attending Fordham University at Lincoln Center, where she will earn her Bachelor of Science in Natural Science this spring.  Also minoring in Psychology, she loves understanding the underlying “why” behind people’s actions and decisions, and is looking into pursuing an MBA.  Another one of her interests is fashion, where she hopes to be able to work in researching more sustainable textile processing techniques.

Title of Research: Ammonium Tricationic Salts for Disinfection of Surfaces
Research Partners: Peter Cwalina and Lauren Staiger
Mentor: Dr. Marie Thomas, Department of Natural Sciences
Abstract: Antimicrobial agents are designed to kill microorganisms or intercept their growth process. These agents can be grouped by what kind of microorganisms they attack or classified according to their specific functionality or chemical structure. Main classes of antimicrobial agents include disinfectants, antiseptics, and antibiotics. Disinfectants can kill a wide-range of microbes present on non-living surfaces to prevent illness, while antiseptics are used to inhibit infections post-surgery, and antibiotics work to destroy microorganisms from within the body. In short, antimicrobial agents are responsible for hindering many organisms that would otherwise have detrimental effects and impacts on our lives. On a larger scale, this is becoming increasingly important with the current pandemic, and combating the spread of such infectious microbes. This project’s purpose is to be able to synthesize novel antimicrobial agents that will generally have the same effect as the examples mentioned above: to kill an intended microorganism. Along with this main goal, we hoped to be able to characterize the agents, by determining physical properties (such as melting point and thermal stability) through spectroscopy techniques, like NMR and IR, differential scanning calorimetry, and thermogravimetric analysis. After identifying such properties, this information can be used to predict structure-activity relationships and interactions with other agents and/or microbes to assess their antibacterial and antiviral properties. Thus far, we have successfully synthesized several monocationic DABCO salts and halogenated imidazolium salts/ionic liquids and have also attempted the synthesis of our target compound.