Academics in Action


Poet Chemists. Pedro Perez `13, Miles Kubota '13, and Alex Mitchell `13 take a break between classes and lab time to smile for the camera and talk about research projects.

Chemistry Students Enthusiastic for Professional Research Opportunities 

from The Rock, Fall 2013

THE IMPORTANCE OF AN UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH EXPERIENCE for chemistry and biochemistry majors at Whittier College is best illustrated by the following quote from Miles Kubota ’13.

"Research was an integral part of my education because it helped me improve my lab skills and find out what my future had for me. Lab skills are learned in lab, but are truly developed in research. Research also helped guide me into what I would like to do in graduate school."

Miles has done research in the synthesis and characterization of unique diimine ligands and their palladium(II) complexes with his faculty mentor since sophomore year. This past April his research accomplishments, along of those of alumnus Daniel Covarrubias ’11, were featured in a paper that was published in the Journal of Coordination Chemistry, a peer-reviewed chemistry journal.

Meanwhile, fellow chemistry majors Alex Mitchell ’13 and Pedro Perez ’13 presented their work on posters at the spring 2013 national meeting of the American Chemical Society that was held in New Orleans Louisiana. This conference is regularly attended by thousands of chemists form all over the country.

Mitchell has been exploring the synthesis and photophysics of family of novel luminescent heterocyclic compounds with his faculty mentors since the spring of 2012.

For his part, Perez, working with professor Devin Iimoto, has been investigating the ability of a family of linear triazenes to inhibit two cyctochrome P-450 enzymes, both of which have been implicated in certain types of cancer.

Far from being the exception, with the support from grants and fellowships, this type of high-level hands-on research with faculty has become the standard at Whittier College.