When Joseph first started in the lab in Summer 2017, I tasked him with analyzing the compounds that Hyejin had synthesized. I thought that HPLC was our best bet for getting the answers we wanted since Hyejin had some preliminary data, albeit not perfect, from the GC. Joseph jumped head first into getting the brand new departmental HPLC up and running. He tested a bunch of old columns we had sitting in a cabinet. He used a number of standard compounds. He fought pressure issues. He figured out a lot of things. But… we never saw our compounds separate. We took a step back, we changed directions and started using spectroscopy. In the past year, he has obtained some phenomenal data using this method.
But… we ran into another hiccup for a new set of experiments that we cannot follow using spectroscopy. So Joseph went back to the HPLC– this time with two brand new columns in hand. And finally, yesterday, we saw our two peaks. We have a method (fingers crossed) that will help us answer our final (?) question.
This is a story of perseverance: a story of how undergraduate researchers work hard, learn a lot, and overcome the obstacles.
Great work, Joseph!
p.s. I made him pose for that photo because I was so excited!