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Young chemist seeks to publicize undergrad research

Junior William Marsiglia plans to draw attention to his peers’ work by starting a science journal for Binghamton University undergraduate researchers. The journal, which Marsiglia hopes to publish annually and online, would also provide undergraduates with an opportunity to do science writing and experience the peer-review process.

“Even if students’ papers aren’t published by a major journal, the research is still worth showing to others and saying, ‘This is what the students do here,’”  he says.

Marsiglia, for example, has worked with Christof Grewer, associate professor of chemistry at Binghamton, on the study of transport proteins in the brain. The work could one day contribute to treatments for stroke and diseases such as ALS. Last spring, Marsiglia received the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, which honors exceptional undergraduate researchers who intend to enter math, science or engineering.

High-level research at an early age is nothing new for Marsiglia. He won first place at the New York State Science and Engineering Fair as a high school student for a project that examined wound healing and regeneration rates in worms. The project later earned him a third-place award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Marsiglia also received a fellowship as a high school student for research at Brookhaven National Laboratory, where he studied how brain receptors are involved in inflammation response.

A double major in biochemistry and music, Marsiglia also plays trombone with the University Orchestra. He plans to pursue a doctorate in organic chemistry and pass on his knowledge of the subject as a university professor.

Pursuing his love of music while continuing his research and taking a variety of science classes is part of what Marsiglia calls a “holistic approach” to education.  “If you are going to do something, you might as well learn everything you can about it,” he says.  “Ten years down the road, I don’t want to say, ‘I wish I had taken that extra class and done the major.’”

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