University of New Orleans student Edwin Gomez won the American Chemical Society Undergraduate Poster Award in the Computers in Chemistry Division. The competition was held at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in Denver, Colo. on March 23.
Gomez beat out 39 other competitors from across the country to take first prize and earn $100. His research focuses on the intersection of biology and materials sciences to understand and develop “green” energy sources and devices for human use. Unlike most chemists, Gomez uses high-performance computational methods to address these problems at the atomistic level, according to Dhruva Chakravorty, assistant professor of chemistry.
The effects of this research are important for the design of biofuel cells and diabetes testing kits. In addition, the research has far-reaching implications for understanding the causes of aging-related diseases such as ALS, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
“Edwin hopes that his research will lead to the development of new medical therapies that will benefit millions of people around the world,” Chakravorty said.
Gomez, a New Orleans native, is the first member of his family to graduate from high school. He will also present his research at University of Louisiana System Day at the state capitol on May 28.