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Progress Update

Hello all who are reading this. This is William checking in to give an update on my progress, as I know I have not written a blog in a while now. As a part of my project I have to go through a series of organic synthesis steps in order to yield the final product that I will be using to analyze the brain via autoradiography. There is one reaction in the middle of the synthesis known as the Palladium-catalyzed Suzuki cross-coupling reaction. While reading background information on this reaction I learned that it won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2010. Needless to say it is a very important reaction and a very key step in my overall synthesis. For the past two weeks I've had some trouble getting the reaction to work, as it is pretty tricky to set up. After trying the reaction 3 times and not being able to figure out why it wasn't working it was quite discouraging. My mentor Emily had to be in her other lab to complete further studies on her work in preparation for her dissertation committee meeting for graduate school, so I didn't have her around to ask direct questions and had to seek help elsewhere. Although, we did communicate often via phone and email and I'm thankful that she tried to help me as best as she could under her circumstances. That meant a lot. I consulted others in the lab for help, including Ramesh who has done this reaction before. I learned a lot and gained new understanding on this reaction and ways to ensure that the reaction works to completion. On the 5th try I finally reached product conversion! It wasn't much, but it gave me the motivation I needed to carry forward and improve my product yield. On the next try I acheived a better product yield and this was extremely exciting for me. I am now at the final step of my synthesis which looks even trickier than the Suzuki reaction. However, I am ready to take on the task and learn from this experience. After this step I will be able to radiolabel my compound and it will be ready for autoradiography analysis on rat brain samples. Hopefully all will go well. Don't you just love science?

-William Taylor 

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