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MAR 7: Serge Zemerov – Chemistry Lecture Series

“Synthetic and genetically encoded biosensors and contrast agents for ultrasensitive 129Xe NMR*

Serge Zemerov
Ph.D. Student and TCNJ Alumni
Department of Chemistry
University of Pennsylvania

Date:   Wednesday, March 7th
Time:   11:00 AM
Room:  Chemistry C121


Proton-based magnetic resonance imaging (1H MRI) is a widely used technique for the detection and diagnosis of human disease states. However, it is poorly suited for imaging void spaces, due to its reliance on the proton signal from endogenous water and fat. Additionally, 1H MRI experiments require high sample concentrations and/or long acquisition times due to the low sensitivity inherent in the technique, limiting its use in imaging low-abundance biomarkers. To overcome these issues, hyperpolarized 129Xe NMR and MRI have been investigated as complements to 1H-based techniques. In this talk, I will summarize our laboratory’s efforts to develop 129Xe-based imaging as a complement to traditional 1H MRI. Specifically, I will focus on the synthesis and characterization of the small organic Xe host molecules known as cryptophanes, as well as on our studies of genetically encoded (GE) 129Xe NMR contrast agents. The chemical shift of 129Xe is highly sensitive to its chemical environment due to its large and polarizable electron cloud, which allows for the use of 129Xe NMR to detect the binding of a functionalized cryptophane cage to various biomedically relevant proteins. Additionally, we have recently identified two proteins, TEM-1 β-lactamase and maltose binding protein, as potential GE xenon biosensors, which have the advantages of being expressed directly in the tissue of interest and tailored to bind specific analytes. These synthetic and GE biosensors offer exciting possibilities for advancing ultrasensitive detection of ions, small molecules, and proteins via 129Xe NMR/MRI.

*PI: Dr. Ivan J. Dmochowski


FEB 7: Elizabeth Boon – Chemistry Lecture Series

“Discovery of Two Nitric Oxide-sensing Hemoproteins and Their Role in the Regulation of Bacterial Biofilms” Elizabeth Boon Associate Professor of Chemistry Stony Brook University Date:   Wednesday, February 7th Time:   11:00 AM Room:  Chemistry C121 ABSTRACT Bacteria colonize most surfaces, forming multicellular, antibiotic-resistant, communities known as biofilms. Biofilms cause chronic infections and persistent biofouling of medical implants, marine vessels,… Continue Reading

2017 Student Awards and Poster Session

Celebratory lunch was held on December 6th to recognize the hard work of all our Chemistry majors and especially to acknowledge the outstanding achievement of the following: 2016-17 Top First Year, Celia Federico (’20) Top Sophomore, Morgan Epley (’19) Top Junior, Jacob Riordan (’18) Also recognized for earning the ACS DAC Undergraduate Student Award of… Continue Reading

Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honor Society Fall 2017 Induction

Sixteen chemistry students have recently been inducted to TCNJ’s Sigma Beta Chapter of Gamma Sigma Epsilon. Chemistry faculty joined to celebrate the students’ achievements and witness the ceremony. The induction was lead by the society’s advisor Dr. Michelle Bunagan and the executive board, Justin Steets (President), Jake Riordan (Vice President), Stephen Liang (Secretary), Rebecca Goncalves… Continue Reading

TCNJ Chemistry Homecoming 2017

Alumni, faculty and current chemistry majors celebrated Homecoming in our Chemistry Department tent at tailgating on Oct. 21, 2017.  Everyone caught up with one another, shared a freshly grilled lunch, and enjoyed seeing familiar faces we have missed.  A wonderful afternoon for the many who came! Continue Reading

Nov 15: Dr. Blake Mertz – Chemistry Lecture Series

“Using Simulations to Characterize the Role of Hydration in Activation of a Membrane Protein“ Dr. Blake Mertz West Virginia University Department of Chemistry Date:   Wednesday, November 15th Time:   11:00 AM Room:  Chemistry C121 ABSTRACT Proteorhodopsin (PR) is a membrane protein that functions as a light-driven proton pump, harvesting photons to generate a proton gradient across the inner membrane… Continue Reading

TCNJ Chemistry Students Invited to ACS Symposia

Seniors Rebecca Goncalves and Mattheus De Souza were invited to attend an undergraduate workshop in Physical Chemistry at the Fall 2017 National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington, D.C., and junior Kristen Vogt was invited to attend an undergraduate workshop in Computational Chemistry at the Spring 2018 National Meeting of the American Chemical… Continue Reading

NOV 1: Dr. Lark J. Perez – Chemistry Lecture Series

“Investigations of Chemical Signaling in Bacterial Pathogens“ Dr. Lark J. Perez Rowan University Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Date:   Wednesday, November 1st Time:   11:00 AM Room:  Chemistry C121 ABSTRACT Bacterial and mammalian cells carefully regulate cellular processes using chemical signaling. In mammalian cells, one example of chemical signaling regulation is in the resolution of inflammation triggered by the… Continue Reading