American Chemical Society, North Carolina Local Section
AWARD YEAR: 2021
AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, NORTH CAROLINA LOCAL SECTION
DIRECTOR: ANIBAL LOPES, PH.D.
PROJECT TITLE: SEED- ADDITION OF SUPPLEMENTAL FALL AND SPRING PROGRAMS TO RESEARCH "A NEW THERAPY FOR SICKLE CELL DISEASE"
The American Chemical Society (ACS) Project SEED program gives economically disadvantaged high school students a unique opportunity to spend ten weeks in the summer working with scientists to conduct hands-on research. Since 1968, the national Project SEED has allowed 11,200 high school students to participate at research laboratories across the U.S.
The NC section of ACS proposes to supplement the Summer Program with an eight-hour per month, eight-month internship in Analytical Chemistry at Avazyme, Inc, its partner in Durham, NC. The Program Director for this SSEP grant, Anibal Lopes, is a member of the Executive and Project SEED Committees of NC-ACS. Avazyme plans to mentor nine students over the three-year period of this SSEP grant. Project SEED mentors provide $1600 - $1900 of support per student per year of the Summer Program, which is matched by the NC-ACS section. Dr. Lopes is employed at Avazyme and is also the President of Probono GMP, a non-profit company, which will help provide financial support for the students for the nine students.
The focus of the program will be “A New Therapy for Sickle Cell Disease”. Voxelotor is the first hemoglobin oxygen-affinity modulator, approved by the FDA in November 2019. Probono GMP will purchase gram quantities of voxelotor (for research use only). Students will write the Product Specifications. Analytical Method Development will follow to quantify the product purity and elucidate the structure of impurities. A suitable Reference Standard will be purchased.
Students will learn the Avazyme Quality Management System, including Standard Operating Procedures. They will perform Analytical Method Validation and get experience with state-of-the-art instrumentation, such as GC/MS, LC/MS, HPLC/UV, GC/FID, ICP/MS, and DSC. They will use Microsoft Excel to prepare a calibration curve and determine the Linearity, Limit of Quantitation, Precision, and Accuracy. Students will help prepare GLP Study Protocols for Stability and Degradation Studies, and learn Instrument Troubleshooting and Preventative Maintenance.
The goal is for each student to submit a Poster at our annual NC-ACS Meeting, and at the SERMACS 2023 regional meeting to be held in Durham, NC in 2023. Dr. Lopes is the Chairman of the Project SEED Symposium.