Faculty Research

Synthetic Organic and Organometallic Chemistry; Catalysis

Andrew Duncan, Associate Professor

Development of chiral organic catalysts derived from 2-amino sugars: simple compounds for tricky tasks

Ring-closing metathesis reactions of allenes: developing new methods for making synthetically challenging large-ring molecules


Analytical and Environmental Chemistry

David Griffith, Assistant Professor

Estrogens in wastewater treatment plants and the coastal ocean


Inorganic, Bioinorganic, and Organometallic Chemistry

Karen Holman, Professor

Ligand exchange reactions of Ru(II) and Ru(III) anti-cancer drugs using infrared spectroelectrochemistry

X-ray spectroscopic determination of electron distribution in Ru-Cl bonds in ruthenium-based anti-cancer drugs and their derivatives

Kinetics of short-lived intermediates generated by laser flash photolysis of metal nitrosyl and carbonyl complexes (in collaboration with Prof. Williamson)

Binding and cleavage studies of metal complexes with tRNA (in collaboration with Prof. Kirk)


Organic Chemistry

Tony Hoobler, Visiting Assistant Professor

The effect of steric, through-bond and through-space chlorine-chlorine interactions on the conformational stability of molecules and stereochemical outcomes of reactions

The factors that influence the formation, structure and fate of the oxaphosphetane intermediate in the Wittig reaction

The role of chlorine-substituted dienophiles and dienes on the stereochemistry of the Diels-Alder adduct

The application of Spartan, a molecular mechanical and quantum chemical calculations program, to the theoretical study of reactions under kinetic and thermodynamic control

Stephen Heller, Visiting Assistant Professor

Development of new methodoloties for the synthesis of pharmaceutically relevant heterocycles

Design and study of novel chemoselective acylating reagents

Total synthesis of bioactive natural productions


Bioorganic Chemistry

Sarah Kirk, Professor and Department Chair

Design and synthesis of novel tetracaine derivatives as potential ion channel blockers

Defining essential elements within novel molecules that dictate binding affinity and specificity

Investigation of binding between novel molecules and nucleic acid via fluorescence spectroscopy

Binding and cleavage studies of ruthenium anti-cancer drugs with tRNA


Biochemistry

Todd Silverstein, Professor

How do toxic heavy metal ions inhibit enzymes?  (Let me count the ways…)

Enzyme activity in non-aqueous deep eutectic solvents

Photochemistry of sunscreens: Do sunscreen components really protect against photo-induced free radical production? 

Degradation of organic pollutants: Using UV light and sonication to degrade PCBs, dioxins, antibiotics, and other pollutants

Alison Fisher, Associate Professor

Biosynthesis of isoprene (2-methyl-1,3-butadiene) in Campylopus introflexus (heath star moss)

Enhancement of biofuel production in the microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii


Physical Chemistry

Chuck Williamson, Professor

Characterization of liquid-liquid coexistence curves by laser light scattering

Assessment of solvent shell structure and microscopic interactions in liquid-liquid mixtures using Raman spectroscopy

Nanosecond time-resolved investigations of fluorescence up-conversion from mixtures of ruthenium compounds and organic molecules

Development of NMR spectroscopy techniques for studying liquid-liquid behavior

Raman spectroelectrochemical investigations of Ru(II) and Ru(III) anti-cancer compounds, (in collaboration with Professor Holman)