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Faculty-student research team published in The Journal of Chemical Education
A Misericordia University professor and her undergraduate student had their research, “Investigating Hydrogen Bonding in Phenol Using Infrared Spectroscopy and Computational Chemistry,’’ accepted for publication in The Journal of Chemical Education in October.

Anna Fedor, Ph.D., chair and assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and chemistry major Megan Toda of Olyphant, Pa., conducted their research as part of the College of Arts and Sciences-sponsored Natural Sciences Summer Research Fellowship Program. The inaugural program was funded by a $32,000 Misericordia University grant, which paid participating student fellows a $4,000 stipend during the 10-week program, and a Misericordia University Summer Faculty Research Grant.

“There is important scientific research being conducted at Misericordia University. The Natural Sciences Summer Research Program is designed to provide students with the opportunity to work on research here, rather than elsewhere, during the summer,” said Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D., president of Misericordia University. “The students who took part were selected by faculty members who were carrying out summer research projects. In mounting the Summer Fellowship Program, Misericordia has taken another step toward fully embracing its identity as a university.”

The groundbreaking research resulted in the first scientific paper based solely on data produced by natural sciences faculty at Misericordia University being accepted for publication in a scientific journal. It was also posted online at The University recently purchased the PerkinElmer FT-IR (Fourier Transform Infrared) spectroscopy with philanthropic support to enable more accurate and reliable test results.

Dr. Fedor and Toda studied the behavior of simple hydrogen-bonded molecules. The research team’s goal was to gain a better understanding of biological processes. They combined computational chemistry and infrared spectroscopy to study hydrogen-bond formation in phenol, which acts as a model for tyrosine – one of 22 amino acids that are used by cells to synthesize proteins. The journal article was adapted into a laboratory experiment so other students can learn from the research conducted at Misericordia University, and also includes supporting materials so instructors can easily implement the experiment in their classrooms.

For more information about Misericordia University, please log on to or call (570) 674-6400. Founded and Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County’s first four-year college and offers 34 degree programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels in full- and part-time formats. Misericordia University ranks in the top tier of the Best Regional Universities – North category of U.S. News and World Report’s 2015 edition of Best Colleges and was designated a 2015 Best Northeastern College by the Princeton Review.


Misericordia University’s Anna Fedor, Ph.D., chair and assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, right, and chemistry major Megan Toda of Drums, Pa., had their summer research project accepted for publication in The Journal of Chemical Education.