May 15, 2007
WORCESTER Mass. - Brent Franklin, a member of the Holy Cross Class of 2008 and a defenseman on the varsity men's ice hockey team, has been selected as the 2007-2008 Fenwick Scholar. This is the highest academic honor bestowed on a student at Holy Cross.
Students selected as Fenwick Scholars design a program of independent study and research, with the consultation of one or more faculty members, to be conducted during their fourth year at Holy Cross. At the end of the academic year, the Fenwick Scholar makes a public presentation to showcase the project.
Franklin is a chemistry major with a premedical concentration from Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich. His project is titled "Using Organometallic Chemistry to Develop Imaging Agents." The implementation of compounds for diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy are vital tools that doctors use for diagnosing and treating diseases such as cancer and heart disease. One focus of modern imaging research is to create compounds that precisely target disease sites with cellular resolution.
Along with chemistry professor Richard Herrick, Franklin will work to develop compounds that will act as leads for new compounds that will specifically target diseases. In particular a new area of interest is the study of organometallic compounds (compounds with a metal-carbon bond) as potential imaging agents. Many compounds in this class are often more resistant toward water and biological compounds, an important requirement for these compounds.
The research will focus on the synthesis of new rhenium compounds and explore their viability for nuclear medicine. Franklin and Herrick will collaborate with Christopher J. Ziegler, a chemistry professor at the University of Akron, as well as various medical professionals.
"It is a testament of Brent's abilities that he is able to maintain his athletic schedule while remaining a successful student and productive researcher," said Herrick.
His research will culminate with the writing of a thesis, and the presentation of his research in spring 2008.
Franklin plans on attending medical school to pursue a career in neurosurgery.
The award is named in honor of the late Bishop Benedict J. Fenwick, S.J., the founder of Holy Cross.