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10-18-2013

Kelly L. Wormwood Receives First David A. Walsh Fellowship

Kelly L. Wormwood  of Lowville, N.Y., a senior majoring in chemistry and biomolecular science at Clarkson University, has received the David A. Walsh ‘67 Fellowship.

Walsh FellowshipThe fellowship, established earlier this year through a donation from Walsh, a resident of Spotsylvania, Va., provided funds for Wormwood’s travel and research supplies during the summer.

Wormwood has presented her work at three different scientific conferences: the American Society for Mass Spectrometry Meeting (ASMS) in Minneapolis, Minn., the 2013 Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome (SLOS) Family and Medical Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa., and the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) conference at Clarkson University.

Wormwood's faculty advisor, Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biomolecular Science Costel C. Darie, was also a beneficiary of the fellowship. Walsh’s generosity will provide $10,000 fellowships to be awarded in each of the next three years to an undergraduate student majoring in chemistry and biomolecular science and his or her advisor.  

At the ASMS meeting, Wormwood was one only 28 undergraduate students who participated of approximately 7,000 scientists in attendance, and her work was presented as one of 3,000 posters. At the SLOS meeting, Kelly was the only undergraduate student to present a poster out of 70 posters, and at the SURE conference, she won first prize in the biochemistry section.

 Wormwood has worked in Darie’s Biochemistry & Proteomics Group since summer 2011, following her freshman year. Her research has focused on identifying biomarkers in saliva and serum that could indicate autism and other developmental disorders, such as 2013 Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome.

 While at Clarkson, David Walsh studied chemical engineering for two years before transferring into the chemistry program for his final two years and graduating as a member of the Class of 1967. Walsh subsequently attended graduate school at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), where he received a master of science degree in organic chemistry. 

 After two years in the U.S. Army at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, D.C., he returned to UNH in Durham where in 1973 he earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry. He then conducted postdoctoral work in medicinal chemistry at the University of Kansas. Most of his professional career was spent in the pharmaceutical industry. He is the author or co-author of more than 60 publications and 30 U.S. patents, and two drugs synthesized in his labs have been successfully commercialized.

 As a research chemist, Walsh recognizes the tremendous educational and intellectual benefits of undergraduate students experiencing collaborative, hands-on research in the laboratory. In making this gift, he desired to further expand and enhance research opportunities available to Clarkson students within the Chemistry & Biomolecular Science Department.

 Wormwood will graduate in December and plans to attend graduate school to study biomolecular science and chemistry. She aspires to eventually become a research professor.

 She has a long history of presenting her work at poster presentations and in publications. She presented or was co-author of 11 posters for which she garnered two first-place awards and an honorable mention. She is also co-author of six publications or manuscripts (four published and two under review). As a Walsh fellow, she also trained and supervised an area high school student.

 Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

A photograph for media use is available at  http://clarkson.edu/news/photos/walshfellowship.jpg

 Photo caption: Kelly L. Wormwood of Lowville, N.Y., a senior majoring in chemistry and biomolecular science at Clarkson University, has received the David A. Walsh ‘67 Fellowship. She is pictured with Walsh (left) and her faculty advisor, Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biomolecular Science Costel C. Darie, who was also a beneficiary of the fellowship.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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