The Office of Student Research is proud to feature Adonel Grubb in this week’s “Scholar Story”.

Adonel Grubb ‘22 is doubling majoring in Biology and Chemistry at Longwood University. Adonel is currently evaluating gallate ester derivatives as a safer alternative to parabens when used as antimicrobial agents in consumer products. Parabens have met significant consumer pressure to have them removed from our products. This stems from evidence that they exhibit a weak ability to promote breast cancer, but questionable enough that the FDA has not banned them yet. Dr. Andrew Yeagley’s lab has shown that gallate esters can serve as an alternative to these parabens that lack such cancer-causing properties. A major aspect of her project in Dr. Yeagley’s lab includes synthesizing pure gallate ester derivatives that are not commercially available and then evaluating them for antimicrobial efficacy. Adonel has been involved in organic chemistry research since 2019 and she is going to continue her research this summer in the PRISM research program.

She decided to become involved in independent research because “it was more explorational and offered more flexibility in project design than a traditional course project would. I also was able to dedicate more time to this project because it did not have the time limitations of a course project.”

Adonel says “partaking in this research has had a profound impact on me, as I am a hands-on learner. Research has helped me to better appreciate why we are learning many of these topics and skills in our lecture courses. I have also learned many new research techniques that are not taught in traditional undergraduate laboratory courses.”

The most important lesson she learned while doing research was “interpreting and implementing methodology listed in the literature, as well as scaling the amounts of reagents used to fit the specifications of my project’s design. Lab work in a course doesn't quite help deliver how important these skills are until you are performing such reactions in a research setting.”

After graduation, Adonel plans to pursue a graduate degree in Biochemistry.

Congratulations to Adonel on her successful research!


If you would like to have your research featured in a “Scholar Story”, or if you would like to learn more about getting involved in research at Longwood University, please visit Longwood’s Office of Student Research website

or contact Amorette Barber, Director of the Office of Student Research ( or