Faculty Research

Dr. Saliya DeSilva
Supramolecular systems that utilize photoinduced electron transfer (PET) as a means of translating a molecular recognition event into an optical signal.
Designing new molecules that allow the manipulation of several PET processes with multiple cation binding events.
Dr. James Dyer
Plant enzymology and molecular biology with a focus on the role of thiolases and cryptochromes.
Techniques include:
biochemical characterization
Collaborations with other groups involve work on elucidating structure and function relationships with these proteins.
Dr. Henk Eshuis
Computational chemistry to understand the relationship between molecular structure of catalysts and their catalytic activity with emphasis on the role played by weak, non-covalent interactions.
The research focuses on alkane metathesis and development of new quantum chemistry methods to get more accurate and efficient ways to describe molecules.
Dr. Yvonne Gindt
The mechanism by which DNA repair enzymes recognize damaged DNA bases with emphasis on DNA photolyase, which recognizes and repairs UV-damaged DNA bases.
DNA repair at extreme temperatures.
Her laboratory uses biophysical chemistry techniques including:
Isothermal titration calorimetry
Fluorescence spectroscopy
Dr. Nina Goodey
Areas that fall under the umbrella of understanding the structure and function of enzymes:
      The role of allosteric residues in drug bindingUse of phylogenetics to predict ligand-target interactions to repurpose drugsUnderstanding the biochemistry of heavy metal contaminated soil.
Dr. Shifeng Hou
Chemical methods to functionalize graphene oxide to develop novel electrode materials to design bio-sensors to detect dopamine and to support platinum nanoparticles substrates for fuel cell applications.
Applications of graphene oxide are also developed for heavy metal removal from the environment.
Dr. Brian Humphrey
Synthesis and characterization of electron transfer molecules (organic, inorganic, organometallic or polymeric).
Such molecules have application in:
Cyclic electron transfer processes.
Dr. Jack Isidor
Organic synthesis of heterocyclic compounds modified by attachment to ionic liquids.
Applications include:
Fluorescent sensors
Kinase inhibitors
Antitumor agents.
Research involves synthesis, separations, and analysis.
Dr. Marc Kasner
Computational study of the steric and electronic contributions to structure and energy of α- and β-D-Glucopyanose.
Attempting to evaluate the degree to which electronic interactions and steric factors contribute to the stability of the structures and the conformational energy.
Dr. Dave Konas
Organic and bioorganic chemistry.
Primarily focused on the synthesis of compounds that are designed to be used as enzyme inhibitors and other kinds of biological tools and probes.
Dr. Dave Rotella
Medicinal chemistry and drug discovery research.
Utiliztion of synthetic organic chemistry to prepare new molecules for biological testing as enzyme inhibitors, antiviral, neuroprotective and anticancer agents.
Collaborate to study these molecules and use this information to prepare more potent, drug like compounds.
Dr. Johannes Schelvis
Laser based techniques such as Raman spectroscopy and time-resolved absorption spectroscopy to study enzymatic reactions, enzyme-substrate and protein-DNA interactions, and the transfer of electrons and protons in proteins.
The DNA repair enzyme DNA photolyase and its interaction with UV-damaged DNA are of current interest.
Dr. John Siekierka
Biochemistry of protein kinases.
Major interest: development of inhibitors of parasitic protein kinases as probes for studying the role of these enzymes in protecting parasites from immune-mediated rejection by the host and as potential therapeutic agents.
Alrernative interst: role of protein kinases in tumorigenesis.
Dr. David Talaga
Amyloid formation mechanisms.
Amyloid is an aggregated form of protein that accumulates in Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Type II Diabetes, Spongiform Encephalopathies and others.
Approaches include:
Single molecule fluorescence lifetime
Solid state nanopores
Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
Interfacial effects on proteins
Novel methods of global data analysis
Theory in support thereof
Dr. Mark Whitener
Preparation and crystallographic study of coordination compounds with ligands that contain hydrogen bonding groups and reparation.
Characterization of quasiracemates containing transition metal complexes.