Department of Chemistry
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The Redinbo Group

The Redinbo Group

The Redinbo Laboratory uses the tools of structural, molecular and chemical biology to examine a range of dynamic cellular processes central to human health. Current projects include the discovery of new antimicrobials targeted to drug-resistant bacteria, the design of novel proteins engineered to detect and eliminate toxic chemicals, and the development of small-molecule to cell-based methods to improve anticancer chemotherapeutics. In addition, we continue to focus on determining the crystal structures of macromolecular complexes, including those involving human nuclear receptors central to transcriptional regulation, bacterial proteins involved in DNA manipulation and human cell contact, and enzymes central to key cellular processes.

 

The DeSimone Group

The DeSimone Group

Applying lithographic fabrication techniques from the computer industry, the DeSimone Group focuses on creating nanoscale particles using the PRINT©, Particle Replication in Non-wetting Templates, technology. Developed in DeSimone's lab, PRINT© enables precise control over particle features such as size, shape, chemical composition, deformability, and surface functionality. Multidisciplinary in nature, the DeSimone Group's research shows significant promise for novel applications in both life and materials science, ranging from improved vaccines to new medicines and targeted drug delivery approaches, to particulate surfactants and colloids for emerging technologies in robotics and displays.

  

Congratulations to our 2015 recipients of NSF GRFP Fellowships!

The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, GRFP, is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science and engineering. The award provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering. This year, the program received over 16,000 applications, and selected 2,000 recipients. Carolina Chemistry have eleven awardees, more than any previous year, representing 40% of UNC's total recipients.

NSF Awardees 2015

From left to right:
Shannon McCullough – Cahoon Group, Desiree Matias-Lopez – Meek Group, Anginelle Alabanza – Forbes Group, Tyler Farnsworth – Warren Group, Rufai Ibrahim – Ashby Group, Tyler Motley – G. Meyer Group, Dillon Yost – Kanai Group, Wesley Swords – G. Meyer Group, David Hill – Cahoon Group, Adam Woomer – Warren Group, Alexandra Sullivan – Miller Group


Goldwater Scholar

We are very proud to announce that Kaitlyn Tsai has been selected as a Barry Goldwater Scholar. The Barry Goldwater Scholarship Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue research careers in these fields.

Kaitlyn Tsai

Kaitlyn Tsai is from Apex, North Carolina where she went to Apex High School. She feels that she came to the Department of Chemistry at Carolina, almost by accident since she came in with a lot of AP credit. Later, she has come to believe that choosing chemistry was one of the best decisions she could have made for her undergraduate studies. She claims that "between the amazing faculty and extensive opportunities for research," she has "become more inspired to pursue chemistry research." Her initial choice was to start as Chemistry B.S. major, but after taking genetics, she became more interested in the biological applications of chemistry and switched to the biochemistry track. Kaitlyn is currently conducting research in Dr. Marcey Waters' Bioorganic Chemistry lab, where she is part of a team investigating protein binding involved in histone methylation for epigenetic regulation. Dysregulation of histone methylation has been associated with certain types of cancers, and the eventual development of inhibitors molecules to correct for epigenetic malfunction is the end goal of this research. After graduation, Kaitlyn intends to enroll in a Ph.D. program in Chemistry, and hopes to continue epigenetic research. She would also like to stay in academia since it would give her the opportunity to teach and mentor. -Congratulations to the very prestigious award, Kaitlyn!

 

Layer-by-Layer Chromophore–Catalyst

As described in Chemical Science, members of the Dempsey Group, in collaboration with the Meyer Group, used a layer-by-layer procedure to prepare chromophore–catalyst assemblies consisting of phosphonate-derivatized porphyrin chromophores and a phosphonate-derivatized ruthenium water oxidation catalyst on the surfaces of tin oxide and titanium dioxide mesoporous, nanoparticle films. In the procedure, initial surface binding of the phosphonate-derivatized porphyrin is followed in sequence by reaction with a zirconium salt and then with the phosphonate-derivatized water oxidation catalyst.

Research Image

Fluorescence from both the free base and zinc porphyrin derivatives on tin oxide is quenched; substantial emission quenching of the zinc porphyrin occurs on titanium dioxide. Transient absorption difference spectra provide direct evidence for appearance of the porphyrin radical cation on tin oxide via excited-state electron injection. For the chromophore–catalyst assembly on tin oxide, transient absorption difference spectra demonstrate rapid intra-assembly electron transfer oxidation of the catalyst following excitation and injection by the porphyrin chromophore.

 

Hybrid Thermal Assembly Technique

Over the past decade, thermoplastics have been used as alternative substrates to glass and Si for microfluidic devices because of the diverse and robust fabrication protocols available for thermoplastics that can generate high production rates of the desired structures at low cost and with high replication fidelity, the extensive array of physiochemical properties they possess, and the simple surface activation strategies that can be employed to tune their surface chemistry appropriate for the intended application. While the advantages of polymer microfluidics are currently being realized, the evolution of thermoplastic-based nanofluidic devices is fraught with challenges. One challenge is assembly of the device, which consists of sealing a cover plate to the patterned fluidic substrate.

Research Image

Typically, channel collapse or substrate dissolution occurs during assembly, making the device inoperable resulting in low process yield rates. Now, in an article published in Lab on a Chip as a "Hot Article," researchers in the Soper Group report a low temperature hybrid assembly approach for the generation of functional thermoplastic nanofluidic devices with high process yield rates, >90%, and with a short total assembly time of only sixteen minutes. The functionality of the assembled devices was demonstrated by studying the stretching and translocation dynamics of dsDNA in the enclosed thermoplastic nanofluidic channels.

 

3D Game Changer

Additive manufacturing processes such as 3D printing use time-consuming, stepwise layer-by-layer approaches to object fabrication. As published in Science, and becoming that issue's cover story, researchers in the DeSimone Group demonstrate the continuous generation of monolithic polymeric parts up to tens of centimeters in size with feature resolution below 100 micrometers.

Science Cover

Continuous liquid interface production is achieved with an oxygen-permeable window below the ultraviolet image projection plane, which creates a "dead zone," or persistent liquid interface, where photopolymerization is inhibited between the window and the polymerizing part. By delineating critical control parameters the researchers show that complex solid parts can be drawn out of the resin at rates of hundreds of millimeters per hour. These print speeds allow parts to be produced in minutes instead of hours, and have become "game changing" properties of this technology.

 

Pierce Scholarship to Adrienne

Adrienne Snyder

One of thousands applicants, Adrienne Snyder, a graduate student in the Brustad Group, was selected as one of six national winner of a Thermo Scientific Pierce Scholarship. She was selected based on her essay about Engineered Transaminases. Congratulations, Adrienne!

 

Two Awards for Hogan

First, Professor Brian Hogan was recognized with a University Diversity Award, then, just a few days later selected as the 2015 recipient of the Carolina Chiron Award. The former recognizes significant contribution to the enhancement, support and/or furtherance of diversity on our campus and in the community.

Brian Hogan

The recipient of the Carolina Chiron Award is selected by a committee of undergraduate students, representing a wide range of student groups, considering a large pool of nominations, Professor Hogan was selected for his commitment to students both inside and outside the classroom. They believe that he exemplifies what the Chiron Award stands for: excellence in teaching and going above and beyond to help students succeed. Congratulations, Professor Hogan!