MNT-EC Student Wins Award at SACNAS

Cal Poly student and Pasadena City College alum, Tan Nguyen, recently garnered the Best Poster Presentation Award in the General Chemistry Category at the 2023  Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) National Diversity in STEM Conference held in Portland, Oregon. 

MNT-CURN Chemistry Pasadena City College Alum Tan Nguyen Wins SACNAS Award with Research on Gold Nanoparticles

As a MNT-EC student, Nguyen’s award-winning presentation delved into the intricate world of gold conjugate nanoparticles, showcasing the innovative strides being made in the field.

View some photos of the conference day below. At the end of this post, you will find the full PDF poster (and a link to download it) and the text abstract. 


Tan Nguyễn Chemistry

Tan Nguyen wins the best chemistry poster award at SACNAS

Understanding Electronic Properties of Gold Nanoparticles and Antibody-Conjugated Gold Nanoparticles For Use in Photothermal Cancer Medicine Abstract:

“Gold (Au) nanoparticles have been known as excellent nanomaterial candidates in multiple biomedical applications and cancer treatments including drug delivery, biomedical imaging and photothermal therapy due to their unique properties and non-cytotoxic effects on human bodies. Streptavidin is a protein isolated from the bacterium Streptomyces Avidinii that can covalently bind to the surface of Au nanoparticles to facilitate the delivery of Au nanoparticles to cancer cells for treatment. However, the electronic properties of the Streptavidin-conjugated Au nanoparticles on a molecular level are not well understood. In this study, we examine how the conjugation with Streptavidin antibody alters the electron energy profile of the Au nanoparticles through electron excitation in order to shed light on the molecular and chemical characteristics of Streptavidin-conjugated Au nanoparticles. We synthesized Au nanoparticles at Yin lab at UC Riverside and measured the absorbance values of Au nanoparticles and Streptavidin-conjugated Au nanoparticles from 400 to 650nm. We then conducted the Ultrafast Femtosecond Laser technique to capture the electron kinetics of Au and Streptavidin-conjugated Au nanoparticles after 1,2,3,4, and 5 picosecond of excitation. We found that there was a little discrepancy between the peaks of Au and Streptavidin-conjugated Au nanoparticles in terms of absorbance, and electrons in the Streptavidin-conjugated Au nanoparticles were excited and returned to the ground state faster than the non-conjugated Au nanoparticles. These results suggested that the conjugation with Streptavidin proteins affects the electronic properties of Au nanoparticles, which can allow scientists to further optimize these conjugated molecules to support photothermal medicine for cancer treatments.”


The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) awarded over one hundred graduate and undergraduate students from historically excluded communities for their research and presentation skills at their premier event, the National Diversity in STEM Conference held in Portland from October 26 through October 28, 2023. Student research presentations help equip young researchers with the skills and mentoring they need to be successful on their STEM journey. This experience helps them refine presentation skills, receive one-on-one mentoring and feedback on research, and connect with a supportive community of peers, mentors, and role models. 

You can read about all of the presentations and posters in the SACNAS Abstract Book