For release: May 23, 2012
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843
From left: Dr. Barry Bruce,
TN-SCORE conference leader, Brittany Burton, and Dr. John Hopkins, TN-SCORE project
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
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.