Comprehends the complex chemistry of living organisms. ... Stillman, J. M. The story of Alchemy and Early Modern Chemistry; Dover: New York 1960, p. 160. ...
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Let's Talk Chemistry
Room: Chandler 455
Phone #: (212)854-8587
“Take white lead, one part, and any glass you choose, two parts, fuse together in a crucible and then pour the mixture. To this crystal add the urine of an ass and after forty days you will find emeralds”
Stillman, J. M. The story of Alchemy and Early Modern Chemistry;
Dover: New York 1960, p. 160.
What is Chemistry?
How Does She/He do it?
What is Organic Chemistry?
Largest area of specialization among the various fields of chemistry
Synthetic Organic Chemistry
Physical Organic Chemistry
We are interested in the multistep synthesis of natural products, as well as the development of new
methodology, particularly to address problems of regio- or stereocontrol. At present (1999), we are working on problems suggested by structures such as those of germine, taxol, cardenolides and codeine
Synthetic Organic Chemist:
Professor Gilbert Stork
2-acetylnerifolin (class Cardenolide)
Natural Product with Antitumor Activity
Natural Product with Antitumor Activity
Among our areas of current interest in the anticancer field are epothilone and eleutherobin. While structurally diverse, these two compounds seem to function by a taxol-like mechanism in their ability to inhibit microtubule disassembly.
Several projects are addressed to goal systems with immunochemical implications. Here we are
particularly concerned with the construction of a carbohydrate-based tumor antigen vaccine.
Synthetic Organic Chemist /
Professor Samuel Danishefsky
We deal with structural aspects of bioactive compounds and elucidation of their mode of action.
In most cases this involves investigating the interaction of small molecules with their biopolymeric receptors. The recent dramatic advancement in isolation, purification and
microspectroscopic methods has made it possible for chemists to become involved in such studies on a molecular structural basis
Natural Products Chemist :
Professor Koji Nakanishi
We view the photon as a reagent for initiating photoreactions and as a product of the deactivation of electronically excited molecules.
Our group is developing a novel field termed "supramolecular" photochemistry, or photochemistry beyond the conventional intellectual and scientific constraints implied by the term "molecule". In supramolecular processes non-covalent bonds between molecules play a role analogous to that of covalent bonds between atoms.
Physical Organic Chemist / Photochemist
Professor Nicholas Turro
What is Inorganic Chemistry?
Deals with the properties of elements ranging from metals to non metals
We have a continuing interest in exploring unusual artifacts resulting from X-ray diffraction experiments (e.g. "bond stretch" isomerism)
One of our interests is concerned with compounds with metal-ligand multiple bonds, which are species of considerable current interest in terms of both their bonding and reactivity.
Organometallic Chemist / X-ray Spectroscopist:
Professor Gerard Parkin
In our major effort we are trying to prepare artificial enzymes that can imitate the function of natural enzymes.
A related study involves the synthesis of mimics of antibodies or of biological receptor sites, constructing molecules that will bind to polypeptides with sequence selectivity in water, using mainly hydrophobic interactions. These could
be very useful in modulating the activity of peptide hormones, for instance.
Bio-organic Chemist :
Professor Ronald Breslow
What is Physical Chemistry?
My research is concerned with structural and dynamic processes in condensed phase systems and biomacromolecular systems.
Because the systems studied are often complex many-body systems, it is necessary to utilize the powerful analytical methods of statistical mechanics as well as state-of-the-art methods of computer simulation involving molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo techniques.
Theoretical Chemist: Professor Bruce Berne
My research is materials, surfaces and nanocrystals, especially in relation to optical and electronic properties. This work can include theoretical modeling, experimental chemical physics, and synthetic chemistry. We try to understand the evolution of solid state properties from molecular properties, and to create new materials with nanoscale structure by both kinetic and thermodynamic self-assembly methods.
Professor Louis Brus
Our research program involves the design, synthesis, and detailed physical investigation of novel molecular and nanoparticle materials which display unique self-organized hierarchical structures and specific optical, electronic, and/or magnetic properties. Emphasis is placed on materials with potential applications in light-emitting devices, optical memory devices, molecular level and single particle level switching devices, and chemosensory devices. Our research is necessarily interdisciplinary where students and post-doctoral researchers are exposed to modern aspects of inorganic, physical, and materials chemistry.
Materials Chemist /
Near Field Microscopist
Professor David Adams
Experimental Physical Chemist / Surface Chemist
Professor George Flynn
We investigate molecular
collisions that lead either to chemical reaction or to the exchange of energy between
molecules. In particular, we have developed the infrared diode laser absorption probe
technique to investigate collisions between molecules.
We also study the structure of molecules adsorbed on surfaces by using the Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM).
QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS deals with the detection of elements or compounds (analytes) in different materials.
QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS refers to the measurement of the actual amounts of the analyte present in the material investigated.
We study enzyme mechanisms using NMR. A variety of experiments allow us to probe structural details,dynamics or chemical details such as protonation states.
In photosynthetic reaction centers, light energy is converted to chemical potential energy through long-range electron transfer events. A wealth of crystallographic, mutagenic, and spectroscopic work on these centers still leaves important mechanistic questions unanswered.
Biophysical Chemist / NMR Spectroscopist:
Professor Ann McDermott
Our research interests center on the development of selection
strategies for identifying enzymes from large pools of proteins.
This research is interdisciplinary, bringing together the techniques
of small-molecule synthesis, molecular and cellular biology,
computer modeling, and mechanistic enzymology and structural biology. The need for efficient catalysts is fundamental. Biological catalysts drive cellular processes, and the chemical industry relies on catalysts for the synthesis of compounds ranging from pharmaceuticals to materials.
Molecular Biologist / Organic Chemist:
Professor Virginia Cornish
Periodic Table of the Elements
The KSC-ALS Breadboard Project
When humans establish permanent bases on the Lunar surface or travel to Space for exploration, they need to develop systems to:
Physico-chemical processes can perform the two latter tasks, but only biological processes can perform all three.
to perform these life support tasks in a process termed
A CELSS is a tightly controlled system, using crops to perform life support functions, under the restrictions of minimizing volume, mass, energy, and labor.
A career alternative for chemists, a multidisciplinary arena to prove the role of Chemistry as a "central science".