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Cameron Feriante Wins Honorable Mention from Goldwater and Earns Prestigious Society for Chemical Industry Internship

Cameron Feriante in the lab with his mentor, Dr. Hans Schanz.

Cameron Feriante in the lab with his mentor, Dr. Hans Schanz.

Georgia Southern University chemistry major Cameron Feriante received an Honorable Mention from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and earned a prestigious internship with Milliken this summer.

In his Goldwater application, the 1906 Scholar and University Honors Program student proposed research that has potential implications for the methods used to treat traumatic brain injury. “The research that I am working on with Dr. Hans Schanz focuses on the development of organic radical-containing polymers as a component for the treatment of traumatic brain injuries,” Feriante said.

This work will be developed further into his Honors Thesis research.

“The goal is to synthesize polymers containing TEMPO, an organic nitroxide radical, as a component of a final copolymer, which will have antioxidant properties. The polymer will be bound to cell-free hemoglobin, and their antioxidant properties should allow the complex to deliver oxygen to the injury sites without causing damage to neurons and other cells. The eventual application of this research is the development of a treatment, perhaps a supplement to traditional IV solutions, which can supply oxygen through the bloodstream, reducing cellular death in the event of a traumatic brain injury.”

Feriante has been busy this semester continuing his research and developing his proposal for his Honors Thesis.  He is looking forward to the work he will continue to do in the lab at Georgia Southern and beyond.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by Goldwater for the work I’ve already done,” he said.  “I see it as an honor for what I have the potential to do.  I feel honored that they have recognized that potential, and I view it as more of a challenge and I want to live up to those expectations.”

With one year left at Georgia Southern, Feriante is already beginning to meet those expectations.  This summer he will intern at Milliken & Company in Spartanburg, SC.  This opportunity is supported through the Society for Chemical Industry (SCI) America International Group in partnership with the American Chemical Society.  In addition to receiving placement at Milliken for the internship, SCI will also pay him a stipend, provide relocation and housing support, and provide funding to facilitate travel to a professional meeting where he will discuss results developed during the internship.

“This internship will show me industry side of chemistry,” said Feriante. “They conduct chemistry research focused on consumer materials. I am looking forward to seeing commercial research up close as well as having a change of pace and location.”

Feriante has been grateful for the support he has had while at Georgia Southern.

“I have to recognize the professors and the classes I had.  It is not an exaggeration to say that none of this would have been possible without them,” Feriante said.  “I have to thank Dr. Hans Schanz, my mentor, for the opportunity to work on research with him.  The chemistry facilities here at GS have been instrumental.  And I appreciate all the support I have received from the University Honors Program.”

After his time at Georgia Southern, Feriante plans to attend graduate school for chemistry, but he is open to a variety of opportunities in academic research or in industry.


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