August 23, 2017  

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Southern Miss Student to Present Research at Graduate Symposium

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Southern Miss graduate student Souvik Banerjee is conducting research involving amino acids. (University Communications photo by Van Arnold)

Long hours in the laboratory have paid off significantly for University of Southern Mississippi student Souvik Banerjee, who has been selected to present a paper as part of the prestigious American Chemical Society, Division of Organic Chemistry Graduate Research Symposium on July 26-29 in Boulder, Colo.

Banerjee, 30, is a fourth-year graduate student working under the tutelage of Dr. Doug Masterson, associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Southern Miss. Only 50-75 graduate students are chosen for the symposium whose audience includes leaders in academia and industry.

“I am very happy excited about this opportunity to address our research and findings to the nationally famous scientists from academia, industry and government funding agencies,” said Banerjee. “It is my honor to be able to represent the University of Southern Mississippi in such a prestigious symposium.”

Banerjee’s research focuses on the area of organic synthesis. Thus far he has been successful in developing novel chemical and enzymatic methods in the preparation of novel amino acids.

“Amino acids are the building blocks of life and Souvik has contributed significantly in expanding the types of amino acids available for biological studies,” said Masterson.

A native of Karimpur, West Bengal, India, Banerjee began working toward his doctorate after entering graduate school at Southern Miss in 2008. His research could lead to important breakthroughs in the treatment of diseases such as cancer.

“Just about everyone you know has been affected by cancer in some way,” he said. “My hope is to keep studying and testing ways to fight this terrible disease. My goal is to continue as a long-term researcher in the academic arena.”