Chemistry Student Wins Top Prize at Southern Ontario Undergraduate Student Chemistry Conference

Group of students posing in front of projector screen.

Avery Wesener, pictured here second from the left, won her division alongside three other individuals. 

On Saturday, April 6, University of Guelph chemistry student Avery Wesener placed in the top at the 52nd annual Southern Ontario Undergraduate Student Chemistry Conference.

Wesener is a student in the Toxicology program in the Department of Chemistry. She carried out her research in Dr. Mario Monteiro’s lab during the Fall 2023 and Winter 2024 semesters.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to have been apart of this lab for the last 8 months, specifically that I am very appreciative for Dr. Monteiro and my supervisors,” said Wesener.

Hosted by Western University this year, the Southern Ontario Undergraduate Student Chemistry Conference brings together undergraduate students from Ontario universities to present research carried out during their fourth-year research project course.

Wesener participated in the Biological and Medicinal Chemistry division of the conference presentations. Her presentation was entitled "Investigations into the presence of hyaluronic acid from Streptococcus equi grown in liquid media," and was supervised by graduate students Jamie Dawson and Nolan Frame. This project was a collaboration with Dr. Luis Arroyo of the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC).

“This research has very important applications as Jamie Dawson continues to develop a vaccine against Strangles. The purpose of this research was to confirm hyaluronic acid's presence in Strep. equi and to determine the implications this may have for a vaccine against Strangles. I found that hyaluronic acid will need to be considered during the production of the vaccine, specifically that we need to ensure it will not be present”.

150 students presented their research work at the 2024 conference. 
Congratulations on your accomplishment Avery!