Cameron University chemistry major Nathalie Moro was awarded third place in the Non-Life Sciences poster competition during the 28th annual OK-LSAMP Research Symposium, presented by the Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation.
Funded by the National Science Foundation, the program is a consortium of Oklahoma colleges and universities working together to develop programs aimed at increasing the number of students from under-represented populations who receive degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.
Moro, a junior from Atlanta, Georgia, prepared her poster presentation based on a summer research project funded through a grant for the National Institute of Health (known as OK-INBRE). She performed her research at Cameron University under the direction of Dr. Ann Nalley. Moro synthesized a group of compounds known as porphyrins that are essential for the function of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that links to porphyrin, binds iron and carries oxygen to the organs and tissues.
She also studied complexes of porphyrins by reacting different metals with the porphyrins. The metalloporphyrins that Moro synthesized are structural analogs of heme; their potential use in the management of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia has been the subject of considerable research for more than three decades. Her research is part of ongoing efforts to help identify ideal metalloporphyrins, which are safe and effective, as possible treatment of excessive neonatal hyperbilirubinemia.
Moro also presented her research in early November at the Southwest Regional American Chemical Society meeting.