Paul Pronovost
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Merrimack Resident Conducts Summer Research through INBRE

MANCHESTER, N.H. (September 30, 2021) – Before returning to the Hilltop this semester, approximately 30 Saint Anselm College students spent their summer conducting research on and off campus in several areas of study through the New Hampshire IdeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (NH-INBRE).

NH INBRE funds the work of “outstanding biomedical researchers,” students and professionals alike, to promote top-level biomedical research and research training in New Hampshire. Students conducted research for an eight-week period during the summer and continue throughout the course of the academic year. At the end of the summer, student researchers from all over the state of New Hampshire gathered in the White Mountains region to present their research to one another.

Merrimack resident Brendan Parr, a chemistry major in the class of 2022, alongside Prof. Matthew Hurley, Ph.D. of the Department of Chemistry, has been researching molecules, invisible to the human eye, called nanomaterials. “The goal of this research is to attach the molecules with targeting agents, and they can be used as targeted drug delivery systems that will attack cancer cells and leave healthy cells alone,” says Parr. “This research can improve the effectiveness and mitigate the awful side effects of chemotherapy.”

Parr plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and sees this research opportunity as beneficial for obtaining that goal. “Summer research has strengthened me as a student and a scientist. It forces me to draw conclusions from the data I am recording and makes me think more outside of the box than solely in the classroom setting,” says Parr. “I would like to thank Prof. Hurley, my advisor, for opening my eyes to what being a scientist is truly about.”

The experience students gain from their work in the labs, presenting at conferences, and being published in academic journals helps them get into graduate school or find their first job. Several other research projects taking place include work with snakes, octopuses, and various biomedical issues.

About Saint Anselm College:
Founded in 1889, Saint Anselm College is a four-year liberal arts college providing a 21st century education in the Catholic, Benedictine tradition. Located in southern New Hampshire near Boston and the seacoast, Saint Anselm is well known for its strong liberal arts curriculum, the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, a highly successful nursing program, a legacy of community service and a commitment to the arts.


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From left: Prof. Matthew Hurley, Ph.D., Brendan Parr