This past summer, IROP grant recipient Garrett Thompson ’17 (biochemistry) was named winner of the Analytical Methods Poster Prize at the Electrochem 2016 Conference. Working with Prof. Trevor Davies, Garrett conducted research at the University of Chester, England, on the electrochemical detection of DNA methylation related to cancer. In layman’s terms, his research focused on developing a fast and accurate test for the detection of breast and other cancers. “Garrett was in competition with graduate students and post-docs, so this was quite an achievement,” says Garrett’s UNH mentor, Jeffrey Halpern, Asst. Professor of Chemical Engineering. Davies agreed—“… a significant achievement for Garrett, Chester, and UNH.” Garrett’s IROP grant was supported solely by donors Dana Hamel, Frank and Patricia Noonan, and Samuel and Sarah Paul, and administered by the the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research (HCUR).
Garrett also managed to find time away from the lab to pursue his passion for the outdoors. “I was able to involve myself with groups of people who enriched my experience. My coworkers and mentor often had post-work outings where we would grab food or go out to the pub. My boss and I also hiked in the Lakes District, and I joined the Chester Walking Club and the Chester Staff Association on occasional hikes. The only problem with hiking in England is it’s probably going to be raining. And my hiking gear wasn’t exactly waterproof…”
Back at UNH, Garrett presented his research on September 30th at the annual HCUR International Undergraduate Research Symposium. Following up on his summer’s work, he is currently collaborating on a paper with professors Halpern, Davies and Mark McCauley of the University of Chester. Garrett’s research and future publication has linked the lab and specialty of his UNH mentor, Prof. Jeffrey Halpern in Chemical Engineering, with those of his foreign mentor, helping to forge a relationship between UNH’s College of Engineering and Physical Science and the University of Chester.