Flor successfully completed her initial research review (IRR) today, presenting the work she carried out on the analytical pattern-based detection of redox-active materials (e.g. antioxidants) in water. Congratulations Flor!
Our chemical fingerprinting method to discriminate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), persistent pollutants with significant health and environmental consequences, has been accepted for publication in Chemical Science. The method was developed by Nick White and Michael Ihde in our group, using polymers developed by Joshua Tropp and Dr. Jason Azoulay at the School of Polymers at the University of Southern Mississippi. Our method, based on detecting how PAHs affect the fluorescence of fluorene-based conjugated polymers through the inner-filter effect (IFE), was able to discriminate between 16 PAH compounds identified as priority pollutants by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Yifei, and Xiyuan, graduate students in the group, are organizing a student-led symposium at the upcoming Fall ACS meeting in San Diego (August 2019). They are lining up some really interesting speakers, so plan to stop by if you are at the conference!
The National Science Foundation approved our MRI proposal for the acquisition of a cryoprobe-equipped 500 MHZ NMR spectrometer! Dr. Bonizzoni serves as one of the co-PIs on this proposal, together with Profs. Paul Rupar (PI), Elizabeth Papish (coPI), Jason Bara (coPI, Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering), and Lukasz Ciesla (coPI, Dept. of Biology). The new instrument will replace one of our current departmental NMR spectrometers; it will provide significantly higher sensitivity and automated acquisition capabilities, shortening experiment times and easing the bottleneck for NMR characterization for the many groups in our department that are heavy users of NMR spectroscopy. Our group will first use the new instrument to study the non-covalent complexation of small-molecule organic guests to oligomeric and polymeric carbohydrates (e.g. cyclodextrins, starches) through binding titrations in water. We are very excited to acquire this new capability, which is projected to come online in early to mid-2020.
Xiyuan successfully completed her initial research review today, presenting the work she carried out in the last nine months on the ITC calorimetric investigation of the binding of hydrophobic molecules of nutritional interest to polysaccharides in water. Congratulations Xiyuan!
Xiaoli Liang, a PhD student in our group, successfully defended her dissertation today! Xiaoli also recently accepted a position as a postdoctoral researcher in the Gillies research group at the University of Western Ontario. Congratulations Dr. Liang, and best wishes for your future career!
Carbohydrate sensing in water is very challenging. In collaboration with the Kharlampieva group at UAB, Xiaoli Liang in our group was recently able to improve the solubility of boronic acds in water and the affinity of their interaction with carbohydrates, by connecting phenylboronic acid moieties to a hydrophilic poly(methacrylic acid) polymer to generate a water-soluble copolymer that can be used as a supramolecular receptor. Coupled with an indicator displacement assay, this polymer was able to differentiate both monosaccharides and disaccharides in neutral aqueous solution.
This work was recently published in ACS Applied Polymer Materials where it was featured on the cover (left).
Michael Ihde, a fourth-year student in our group, was notified today that he was selected to give an oral presentation on his research at the 2019 Physical Organic Gordon Research Seminar, taking place right before the corresponding GRC on June 22-23. Congratulations Michael!
Flor Lozada Santiago is a first year graduate student in our group. She was previously an REU researcher with us in Summer 2017. Flor was recently recognized with the Outstanding First-Year Graduate Student award from our Department. This award recognizes excellence and dedication in teaching among our first-year graduate students. Congratulations Flor!
Yifei, a graduate student in the group, successfully passed her oral candidacy exam at the end of March, presenting an original proposal on the use of modified mesoporous silica nanoparticles for photo-controlled guest molecule storage and release. Yifei is now a Ph.D. candidate: congratulations!