Research Grant Projects (2008-2009)
Research team members Luis Rodriguez, Adrienne Conklin, Dr. Kenneth Yamaguchi, Ann Lezama and Adolfo Pertuz
Synthesis of a Fluorophore-bridging Polyphenyl Ligand
The coupling of a fluorophore-bridge unit with a polyphenyl ligand represent an important class of compounds useful in photolithographic, solar cell, and light-emitting diode (LED) applications. The synthesis of this bridge unit is currently under investigation and will be optimized, spectroscopically characterized and it’s luminescent and electrochemical properties examined. The luminescent and electrochemical properties of these compounds attached to an appropriate ligand may also serve as effective on-off switches of these molecular devices.
Synthesis of a Series of Fluorophoric 4-(2-Substituted Rhodamine) trans-Stilbene
Compounds A series of substituted aminophenols and bromobenzaldehyde are used to synthesize rhodamine-based fluorophores. These rhodamines fluorophores will then be attached to a series of bridges, including both ethynyl groups as well as trans-stilbenes and finally to varying ligands. These elongated fluorescing compounds will then be studied and characterized based on their light absorbing/emitting properties.
Synthesis and Studies of the Liquid-crystalline Quaterrylenebis (dicarboximide)
The design and synthesis of long wavelength absorbing and emitting compounds is an important area of research. These compounds have potential applications in optical recording, laser printers, infrared photography among others. Liquid crystalline perylenebis(dicarboximide) have received much attention because of their unique properties resulting from the combination of their photophysical and semiconducting properties. After several failed attempts to form products using simple ring opening reactions on our compounds, microwave reaction yielded promising results. Encouraging results were obtained by HPLC and LCMS analysis. We are currently attempting to couple this long wavelength absorber to metal-chelating ligands.
Schering-Plough - NJCU Summer Research Scholars 2008
This passed summer I was chosen to become part of the Schering-Plough –NJCU Cooperative Scholars program. This program was a ten-week internship program where I worked as a student research chemist at the Schering-Plough Research Institute (SPRI) in Kenilworth, NJ. During this internship, I was taught how to successively synthesize and purify organic compounds for biological screening. I learned so much at Schering-Plough: new and cutting-edge chemical reactions, chromatography (prep TLC plates & flash chromatography), extraction procedures, recrystalization, NMR, and LC-MS. I can’t say enough about my mentor (Dr. Jianhua Chao), she was in one word, great. I learned so much from her and the research team and was so motivated to succeed, that I ended up synthesizing over a dozen compounds for biological screening and presented my work at an in-house SPRI poster session. Working at SPRI was really working on cutting-edge research with a world-class team of experts. It was such a pleasure to work there, that it really was like playing. Before I started my Internship at Schering-Plough, I realize that my expectations and organic chemistry background were so we say, much to be desired. When I first started at SPRI, I worked a little slow and meticulous because I knew that I represent NJCU and that I had to leave a lasting impression. This opportunity was a life changing experience and gave me the tools and the knowledge to become a great chemist and pursue a career in Organic Chemistry. I am currently working in the Department of Chemistry as Research Associate under Dr. Kenneth Yamaguchi. I want to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Yamaguchi (Chairman of Chemistry NJCU), Dr. Jianhua Chao (SPRI), and Dr. Alan Cooper (SPRI) for giving me this extraordinary opportunity. I was trained by a tremendous group of individuals; the rest is up to me
The summer internship at the Schering-Plough Corporation (SPC) was the best and most rewarding experience of my life. At first, I could not believe I was accepted to such program, but knew that it was going to be a life-changer. From the first day on it was challenging and I was very nervous the first day. There I was an undergraduate student from NJCU at a billion dollar company filled with crack-line chemists and equipment. I felt a little intimidated but all of that changed when I met Dr. Zhu, my mentor. He was the perfect mentor, guiding me step by step and provided me with all the necessary tools and support to achieve my goals. It was great to see how somebody so smart and talented, also had a very kind and noble human side. The best part was, after interacting with other SPC scientists, I realized that they were all great people who were willing to help and assist me in any way. I learned so much at SPC, perfecting my lab skills and became more comfortable with instrumentation. I also gained valuable experience at how to study and perform a scientific investigation and apply solid scientific evidence to solve important contemporary issues. The summer-long research experience culminated in a poster presentation and what an experience it was. This alone, I learned so much about how to organize and present a crisp and detailed presentation. Most importantly, during my internship at SPC, I realize that there are people who dedicate their entire lives in the pursuit of cures and the noble cause of improving the human disposition. I can honestly say that the only bad thing about my internship, is that it had to finish.
Cloning and Expression of PhzE
Jennifer Della Vecchia and Dr. Ze He (2009)
Chorismate-utilizing enzymes are attractive targets for treating bacterial or fungal infection. PhzE is a hypothetic chorismate-utilizing enzyme whose proposed activity is to convert chorismate to aminodeoxychorismate. Biochemical study of PhzE will elucidate its physiological role and mechanistic study will provide insight for inhibitor design. The cloning and expression of PhzE from Pseudomonas aeruginosa is studied in this project.
The Biginelli Solid-Phase Synthesis of Dihydropyrimidinones
Maria Sacta and Dr. Kenneth Yamaguchi (2007)
Pyrimidinones and related heterocyclic compounds are an important class of pharmacologically active compounds with a wide range of therapeutic properties (antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral). A series of dihydropyrimidinones were synthesized using microwave energy by a three-component Biginelli condensation reaction of an aldehyde, b-keto ester, and urea. The products were then characterized.
Microwave-Assisted Solid-Phase Synthesis of Phthalimides
Aldo Rancier and Dr. Kenneth Yamaguchi (2006)
Organic reactions on solid supports have become a useful method to synthesis a variety of target compounds. A series of substituted phthalimides were obtained via a microwave-assisted cyclization cleavage reaction. Amide coupling of a series of amines to a variety of resin-attached substituted phthalic acids resulted in the desired products. Then, product characterization was performed.
Synthesis of 3-Substituted Coumarins by the Knoevenagel Condensation Reaction
Mariam Israiel and Dr. Kenneth Yamaguchi (2008)
The preparation of heterocyclic compounds under solvent-free conditions offers several key advantages and represents an important class of compounds with elevated biological activity and industrial importance. The microwave-assisted synthesis of a series of 3-Substituted Coumarins via the condensation of a series of 2-hydroxyaldehydes and dimethylmalonate on silica gel was explored.
Analysis of Soil and Water Sample In and Around Sites in Hudson County
Kavit Patel and Kenneth Yamaguchi (2007)
An extensive study of environmental contaminants was initiated at selected locations in Hudson County, New Jersey and other environmentally sensitive sites. Concentration levels of heavy metal contaminants such as lead and chromium and other cations and anions were investigated in soil, river, and lake water samples. Contaminant levels in these samples were assessed by atomic absorption and ion chromatography.
Other student research topics (2008) are as follows:
Please see research descriptions in Events and Updates Sections.