Jimmy Olsen '16 Receives Student Excellence Award

Jimmy Olsen '16 Receives Student Excellence Award
The junior co-authored a paper that was recently published.
Last summer, Jimmy Olsen '16 was invited to work in the chemistry laboratories of Professor Virgil Percec at the University of Pennsylvania as a "visiting scholar". As a result of his work, Jimmy co-authored a paper that was recently published.

"Air-Stable Nickel Precatalysts for Fast and Quantitative Cross-Coupling of Aryl Sulfamates with Aryl Neopentylglycolboronates at Room Temperature" R.L. Jezorek, N. Zhang, P. Leowanawat, M.H. Bunner, N. Gutsche, A.K.R. Pesti, J.T. Olsen, and V. Percec. Org.Lett. 2014, 16, 6326-6329.

During the weekends and whenever he is not attending classes at La Salle College High School, Jimmy takes the train into the city to work on his current project, which utilizes the novel carbon coupling chemistry developed by the Percec group. Jimmy is employing these procedures in the synthesis of molecules that he designed as a result of his molecular modeling science fair project from last year. The project from last year won a First Place Award at Montgomery County Science Research Competition and a First Place in the Chemistry Division/Bronze Medal overall in the Ben Franklin Science Fair at the Delaware Valley Science Fairs, which earned him an all-expenses paid trip to the Intel International Science Fair in California. These molecules are specifically designed as antimalarial agents.

Jimmy's science fair project this year, "Novel Chemistries in the Synthesis of Next Generation Antimalarials", described the progress and challenges associated with synthesizing his target molecules. In competitions, Jimmy earned a rare perfect score at the regional Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science meet, took top high school prize at the 16th Annual American Chemical Society Young Chemists Poster competition, and placed first in 11th Grade Chemistry at both the Montgomery County Science Research Competition and the Delaware Valley Science Fair. Jimmy also received numerous special awards including 'Best Chemistry' from The Dow Chemical Company, Parenteral Drug Association Award, Yale Science and Engineering Association Award, and a scholarship to the University of the Sciences. This summer, Jimmy plans to complete the synthesis of additional antimalarial compounds. He has initiated a collaboration with the University of Southern Florida where he intends to test the molecules for antimalarial activity against wild-type and drug resistant strains.

On Saturday, April 25, 2015, Jimmy received a Student Excellence Award at the 2015 Da Vinci Science Center Hall of Fame Gala. The Da Vinci Science Center located in Allentown PA, has bestowed its Hall of Fame Awards annually since 1999 to high school students who show a unique passion for science. Jimmy's selection was based upon his love of science, community service, and his recent scientific accomplishments. Dr. Frank Schweighardt, Global Manager of Process Analytical Air Products (retired), and his wife ,Yvonne, sponsored Jimmy for the Student Excellence Award.

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