Allegheny College Student Awarded American Chemical Society Travel Grant

Michelle Perry
Michelle Perry

MEADVILLE, Pa. – Feb. 1, 2011 – The American Chemical Society’s Women Chemists Committee has awarded a grant to Allegheny College student Michelle Perry to support her travel to the society’s annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif., in March.

Perry, a junior chemistry major and French minor from Pittsburgh, was one of only 10 students in the nation this year to receive the grant, which is sponsored by Eli Lilly & Co.  She will present a poster at the conference titled “Microwave syntheses and spectral characterization of coumarin-based Li+ fluoroionophores.”

Perry’s research focuses on building probes that show how lithium ion salts – which are used to treat bipolar disorder – function in cells. Understanding how those salts work could aid researchers in developing new medications that have milder side effects than current treatments for bipolar disorder.

“Collaborating with Michelle on this project has been an extremely rewarding experience,” said Diane Nutbrown, visiting assistant professor of chemistry at Allegheny. “The travel grant by the American Chemical Society reflects the diligence, creativity and enthusiasm that she brings to the laboratory every day. It’s an honor that Michelle truly deserves.”

After studying during the fall in Angers, France, Perry returned to Allegheny this semester. She serves as president of the Newman Catholic Campus Ministry student organization and has participated in Alternative Spring Break service-learning trips to Memphis, Tenn., and Philadelphia.

A graduate of Seton-La Salle High School, Perry is the daughter of Allegheny alumni Dan and Karen Perry of Pittsburgh.

The 32nd oldest college in the nation, Allegheny College will celebrate its bicentennial in 2015. Allegheny is among only 16 percent of liberal arts colleges nationally that require independent research and/or original creative work of all graduates.

The national liberal arts college where 2,100 students with unusual combinations of interests, skills and talents excel.