In Collaboration with Alumni and Professors, Dasha Safarian ’21 Publishes Peer-Reviewed Chemistry Research With Implications for Cancer Treatment

Rhodes chemistry major Dasha Safarian ’21 has had a manuscript based on her undergraduate research published in peer-reviewed scientific journal Computational and Theoretical Chemistry.
The article is titled “DFT Study of Ligand Binding in the β1 Adrenergic Receptor” and is based on her work with her Rhodes chemistry professors Dr. Larryn Peterson and Dr. Mauricio Cafiero. The paper is also co-authored by Megan Simons, who graduated in 2019 from Rhodes with degrees in mathematics and chemistry, and Rebecca Evans, who also graduated 2019 with a degree in chemistry. The research describes possible treatments for prostate cancer.

Safarian has presented this work at the American Chemical Society National Conference for the past two years, and she won an award for her presentation at the Arkansas INBRE conference this past Fall. Simons presented parts of this work at the ACS National Conference in 2019 as well as at several other conferences.
“I came into the group with minimal knowledge of computational chemistry, but this work led me to pursue a molecular engineering Ph.D. program with groups researching and developing computational methods,” says Safarian. “Dr. Cafiero was a great mentor who gave me a lot of independence, which helped me learn many essential skills for the field and gain the most out of research.”

Safarian will attend graduate school for chemical engineering at the University of Chicago. Simons is pursuing a Ph.D. at Southern Methodist University, and Evans is pursuing a Ph.D. at Princeton University.