Patrick Corrigan's Story
Corrigan is conducting research in chemistry at Penn State, focused on determining structure function relationships of a class of proteins known as radical SAM enzymes using X-ray crystallography as well as other techniques. “Specifically, we are interested in how this class of enzymes recognizes RNA to carry out its chemistry,” said Corrigan. “These questions are relevant to the fields of biotechnology, epigenetics and fundamental biochemistry.” Eventually, Corrigan hopes to direct such research as a college professor.
“The more I talk to chemists in the field, the more I hear about how important it is to work with a business sense. The cost of a process definitely plays into whether or not it can be produced. And also, if your science isn’t funded, you can’t do your research.”
Corrigan’s research at Monmouth involved polymerization of biorenewable monomers. “We were interested in discovering new poly lactams and polyolefins,” said Corrigan, who was also one of Monmouth’s first students to work on electroplating. “The hope was to discover new materials that could have interesting properties for materials chemistry applications.”
All of Monmouth’s chemistry faculty helped him along the way, including out of the classroom aspects such as developing business contacts and fine tuning his application to Penn State.
Tying it all together
“I would definitely say that I’ve become a much better student,” said Corrigan, of his Monmouth education. “A lot of that was due to Monmouth’s nurturing environment. I’m also a better leader, and I work with people better. I’ve grown up so much since I first set foot on campus at Monmouth.”