REU in the News

May 28, 2019

A sweet tale: the son who reinvented sugar to help diabetic dad

Javier Larragoiti was 18 when his father was diagnosed with diabetes. The teenager had just started a degree in chemical engineering in Mexico City. So he dedicated his studies to a side project: creating an acceptable alternative to help his father and millions of Mexicans like him avoid sugar.

“It’s only when you know someone with this sickness that you realise how common it is and how sugar intake plays a huge role,” he says. “My dad tried to use stevia and sucralose, just hated the taste, and kept cheating on his diet.”

The young chemist started dabbling with xylitol, a sweet-tasting alcohol commonly extracted from birch wood and used in products such as chewing gum.

“It has so many good properties for human health, and the same flavour as sugar, but the problem was that producing it was so expensive,” he says. “So I decided to start working on a cheaper process to make it accessible to everyone.”

Click here for the full article by Senay Boztas.  

June 26, 2018

Aspiring to inspire

Nine-year-old Star Velasquez pulled a slip of paper from a container of water, her eyes lighting up with excitement as the black paper caught a glint of mid-morning sunlight and reflected a rainbow of color.

The experiment showcased the properties of super-thin films—nail polish dropped onto the top of the water spread into a nanometer-thick film that creates iridescent, rainbow colors on the paper.

Velasquez, a second grader at the Gardner Pilot Academy in Boston’s Allston neighborhood, and her peers learned about materials science during an outreach program conducted by students in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). 

Click here for full article by Adam Zewe

March 23, 2018


After eight years at Hartnell College, some personal challenges and a hefty amount of perseverance, Salinas native Louis Romero looks forward to contributing to the advancement of science after graduation. 

It has been a long road, but 29-year-old Romero is proudly ending his tenure at the community college this semester with several unique academic accomplishments: an internship completed with Harvard, an upcoming internship at Yale and a recent first-place finish at a National Science Foundation's Emerging Researchers National Conference.

In February, Romero received first place in the Nanoscience and Physics Poster Presentation at the 2018 ERN Conference in Washington, D.C.

Click here for the full article by Cristian Ponce. 

October 4, 2017


Danielle Baik and Anthony DePinho gained valuable research experience in Massachusetts this summer.

Manhattan College students travel far and wide each summer. Some live and work in their hometowns, and some live and work on campus in Riverdale, while others take advantage of the College’s study away programs.

Danielle Baik and Anthony DePinho, two juniors in the School of Science, each received a summer research grant under the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. The NSF REU program provides students a prestigious research opportunity in their field of choice to work closely with faculty and other researchers at institutions across the country. Both students chose to pursue opportunities to continue research they had done on campus in the state of Massachusetts.

Click here for the full atricle by Pete McHugh.