Research Highlights


Specific Research Areas

Cancer Research (Drs. Beni, Boadi, Vercruysse and Whalen)

  • Studies on the effect of heavy metals and how they modify DNA.
  • The use of Natural and Synthetic Compounds in the Prevention of Oxidation of DNA, Proteins and Lipids
  • Studies to assess the capacity of a variety of compounds, known to contaminate the environment, which interfere with this crucial immune function.
  • Anticancer drug discovery and development by chemical modification
  • Compounds found to interfere with the immune function of the NK cell are further examined for their capacity to alter the biochemical pathways needed by the NK cell to carry out its functions.
  • The potential use of the flavonoids (i.e., kaempferol, quercitin, luteonin, genistein and eridictyol) as antioxidants against prooxidants
  • Polysaccharide-stabilized nanoparticles: synthesis, characterization, applications
  •      - Polysaccharide/cation interactions
  •      - Enzymatic degradation of polysaccharides

Nano materials Science (Dr. Moore)

  • Synthetic inorganic and materials chemistry, and nanoscience.
  • Synthesis of novel inorganic materials at both the macro- and nano-scales.
  • Preparation of ceramic nanocomposite materials using sol-gel chemistry.
  • Preparation of luminescent materials based on the MoO4 2− and WO4 2− complex ions.
  • Syntheses of nanopowders of rare-earth molybdates and various metal tungstates
  • Seperation Via Nano-Material Formation

Nano-Materials with Biomedical Applications (Dr. Vercruysse)

  • Gold nanoparticles are developed for potential applications in the area of drug delivery. 
  • Rhodium and other nanoparticles are developed for potential applications in the area of chemical catalysis. 
  • Uranyl-based nanoparticles are developed for potential applications in the area of nuclear energy and safety issues. 
  • Other nanoparticles are developed for imaging purposes or for their magnetic properties.

Biological and Bio-physical Chemistry (Dr. Phambu)

  • Dr. Phambu’s team investigates the interactions between antimicrobial peptides and membrane constituents, with special emphasis on the role of endogenous/ exogenous metal ions.
  • Spectroscopic techniques are used to discern structural changes in both antimicrobial peptides and phospholipid membranes.

Synthetic Organic Chemistry (Drs. Al-Masum, Beni, Karim, Okoro and Beni)

  • Synthesis of medicinally important compounds and study their medicinal values
  • Synthesis and application of phosphorylated nucleotides as anti-HIV agents:
  • Synthesis and evaluation of modified oligodeoxynucleotides
  • Development of new synthetic methods
  • Synthesis and chemistry of fluorinated cyclic β-diketones as building block for heterocyclic synthesis, topoisomerase II poisons/catalytic inhibitors, anticonvulsant drug synthesis, and enzyme inhibitors for CDK5, Hsp90, Akt, and 4-HPPD.

Environmental Chemistry (Dr. Siddiquee)

  • Study of Environmental Contaminants
  • To Understand Micro Environmental Chemistry
  • Use of EPA Methods
  • Study of Supramolecular host-guest complexation: structure-function relationship
  • Separation via nano material formation
  • Main stream waste separation: metals

Atmospheric Chemistry (Dr. Guha)

  • Dr. Guha’s primary focus is the use of theoretical methods to investigate the structures, spectroscopy, energies, and kinetics of complexes and transition states involved in novel catalytic reactions between free radicals and molecules in the Earth's atmosphere as well as interstellar space.
  • Dr. Guha is interested in analyzing the photochemistry of small molecules in order to understand the reaction mechanisms of upper atmospheric species that have not yet been addressed. 

Polymer Chemistry (Dr. Zheng)

  • Analyzing Polymer Additives by GC-MS and LC-MS
  • In mass spectrometry area, Dr. Zheng’s interests are (A) development and application of GCMS and LCMS methods to measure stable isotopic tracer enrichments in biological samples, and (B) identification of additives in synthetic polymer.

Analytical Chemistry-Development of Sensors (Dr. Wayu)

Dr. Wayu’s research lab is mainly focused on designing fundamental techniques and identifying potential materials for the development of electrochemical sensors for clinically relevant analytes. More specifically the research lab is interested in the application of carbon-based nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, and carbon dots. The research lab mainly applies electrochemical techniques to understand fundamental and particularly important interfacial electrochemical processes at the electrode surfaces. As such, research activities in the Wayu research lab comprises of three areas:

  • Synthesis of nanoparticles,
  • Surface modification of carbon-based nanomaterials to tune the surface properties for applications in electrochemical sensing, and
  • Development of electrochemical sensors.
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Dr. Mohammad Karim
Professor and Head
Department of Chemistry
(615) 963-5321

Boswell Science Complex

Biological Sciences
(615) 963-5681

(615) 963-5321

Mathematical Sciences
(615) 963-5811

College of Life and Physical Sciences
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