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U of M Student Wins Statewide Award for Presentation on Solar Energy

For release: May 23, 2012
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843

From left are Dr. Barry Bruce, TN-SCORE conference leader, Brittany Burton, and Dr. John Hopkins, TN-SCORE project leader.
From left: Dr. Barry Bruce,
TN-SCORE conference leader, Brittany Burton, and Dr. John Hopkins, TN-SCORE project leader.

Brittany Burton, a doctoral student in chemistry at the University of Memphis, won the award for best graduate student research presentation at a recent statewide conference on solar energy conversion. Burton works with Dr. Yongmei Wang’s research group.

The conference, organized by TN-SCORE (Tennessee Solar Conversion and Storage Using Outreach, Research and Education,) brought together researchers and students from across the state in a collaborative project aimed at developing solar energy-based devices. Other participating universities included Tennessee Tech, the University of Tennessee, and Vanderbilt.

Burton’s computational investigation, “Introduction to Function and Assembly of Photosystem I,” detailed the roles of various proteins in the Photosystem I complex that is found naturally in plants and cyanobacteria. “I also discussed some calculations I've performed regarding their interactions,” said Burton. “We think these calculations can help guide future solar energy research by explaining important aspects of the native function and assembly of this system, which can then be applied to the development of the synthetic systems.”

Burton earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Arkansas State University and her master’s in physical chemistry from the U of M. Her parents are Woody and Blaire Burton of West Memphis. She is engaged to Alex Lott.

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