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Next generation science: Corleone Delaveris of Boston College

Chemistry major awarded prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Boston College

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IMAGE: Boston College senior chemistry major Corleone S. Delaveris has been named a recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The grant will support his graduate study at Stanford... view more

Credit: Lee Pellegrini, Boston College

CHESTNUT HILL, MA (May 6, 2015) - Boston College senior Corleone S. Delaveris has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to pursue his doctorate in chemistry at Stanford University.

Delaveris, of Grandview Heights, Ohio, plans to study chemical biology at Stanford, with the goal of developing new ways to understand, diagnose and treat disease.

"I am absolutely honored," said Delaveris. "I wasn't expecting it. It's humbling to be recognized in this kind of group."

The NSF awarded the so-called "pre-doc" fellowships to 2,000 men and women from among 16,500 applicants in 2015. The award provides three years of financial support within a five-year period, covering an annual stipend of up to $34,000 and tuition costs of up to $12,000 for graduate study that leads to a research-based master's or doctoral degree in science or engineering, according to the NSF.

Delaveris has focused on organic chemistry as an undergraduate, working as a researcher in the lab of Professor of Chemistry Marc Snapper, where he has been involved in a project to develop a new catalyst in order to confirm theoretical models developed by Visiting Assistant Professor Fredrik Haeffner, a computational chemist.

At Stanford, Delaveris will study chemical biology, which is not an insignificant change.

"For the last two years, I have been working in organic chemistry, so going into chemical biology is a substantial change," said Delaveris. "To receive the fellowship is a wonderful vote of confidence. It makes me a lot more comfortable with the idea of moving away from what I've been doing for a couple of years."

Delaveris plans to focus on new approaches to combating illness and disease.

"What interests me is the chemistry of health and disease," said Delaveris. "I'm interested in the broader area of how disease works, what are the mechanisms behind disease and how can we develop better diagnostics, better treatments for disease and improve human health in general."

Delaveris said his interest in chemistry was fueled during his high school years, when he took general chemistry and conducted research at Ohio State University.

Outside of class, Delaveris founded an undergraduate student chapter of the American Chemical Society and served as the senior science editor for the research journal Elements. Among his undergraduate honors, he has received the Chemistry Department's Excellence in Chemistry Award, the Brian Lawrence Grey Prize and the CRC Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award.

Delaveris will not be on unfamiliar turf at Stanford, having spent a summer at the U.S. Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, working in x-ray absorption spectroscopy, or XAS.

Delaveris called his years at BC "an absolutely phenomenal experience that I would not trade for anything in the world... Between the people I've met in class, in student clubs and in the dorms, and the things I've learned academically and personally, I feel like I've grown as a person in many different ways."

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