Summer-Centered: David Reilley's '16 Experiences Cross-Cultural Chemistry Research
The chemistry major is interning in the lab of Professor William Lubell at the University of Montreal in Quebec, Canada.
This summer David Reilley '16 is just across the northern border, thoroughly enjoying his research internship sponsored by the Koshland Integrated Natural Sciences Center at the University of Montreal in Quebec, Canada. The internship has already become a highlight of his undergraduate studies so far, as it has given him firsthand experience of life as a graduate student research in an international setting.
"My internship this summer feels like the capstone of my studies at Haverford," he explains, "both as a taste of what I can look forward to as a Ph.D. student and through the cultural experiences I am having as a part of an international research group in a foreign country."
Reilley is working with Professor William Lubell of the chemistry department on the mechanism of cyclization of macrolactams. Macrolactams are used as building blocks in peptide mimics, which are molecules that can function as proteins and are typically used in drugs. As part of his lab work, Reilley is working on designing peptide mimics that can help prolong labor in the case of a premature birth.
A chemistry major with a concentration in scientific computing, Reilley credits Assistant Professor of Chemistry Joshua Schrier with steering him towards this internship.
"My previous research with Josh along with my enjoyable experiences in my organic chemistry courses my sophomore year at Haverford have shaped my interests in the field into what they are today," he says.
For Reilley, the most surprising part of the internship has been the cross-cultural exchange of working alongside students from France, Germany, Iran, India, Mali, Morocco, and New Caledonia—his research group is nearly 75 percent international.
Working through the language and cultural barriers has been a rewarding experience, "because of the insight that my peers bring through their different cultural backgrounds," says Reilley. "I have learned more than just chemistry through them, and I have made my own social impact by helping my peers with English for publications and communications."
—Hina Fathima '15
"Summer Centered" is a series exploring our students' Center-funded summer work.