Research Interests

I am an inorganic chemist whose research in metal ion coordination has been in several areas. Early in my career, I structurally characterized organo-actinide and organo-lanthanide compounds and developed a bonding model that successfully predicted these molecular structures. Applying metal coordination chemistry, I was one of the first researchers in the field of bioinorganic chemistry doing research in biological iron transport, particularly siderophore mediated iron transport in microorganisms. My research group was the first to use kinetically inert metal-substituted complexes of siderophores to elucidate the cellular transport mechanisms of iron in microorganisms. Using such complexing agents as prototypes, we designed and synthesized sequestering agents specific for other individual metal ions. We used similar chemical and biochemical properties of Pu(IV) and Fe(III) (which is a basis for the biohazard of plutonium) to prepare ligands that are highly specific for Pu(IV). Related complexes of Gd3+ are promising as new enhancement agents for medical magnetic resonance imaging. Currently I am also using coordination chemistry as the driving force in the rational design and preparation of symmetry-driven supramolecular assemblies.

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Section 14: Chemistry