Chemistry Seminar

This is a past event.

Friday, October 6, 2023, 3 am– 4 am

This is a past event.

Journey to the Dark Side.  Forays into theoretical and organic chemistries.

Dr. Rudy L. Luck

Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry

Abstract:  Details of research into the syntheses, characterization, and applications of molecular fluorescent probes useful for monitoring the concentrations of ions within cells and organelles will be described. This information, such as pH levels and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide concentration is useful since unusual levels are present during illness. For example, mitochondrial defects or dysfunctions are closely related to some cardiovascular and neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. It is very important to precisely and quantitatively detect mitochondrial pH values because they are closely linked to the unique functions and biochemical processes of mitochondria. Ideal fluorescent probes for pH sensing in mitochondria should be able to specifically target mitochondria, possess ratiometric sensing capability with two well-defined visible and near-infrared emissions, and effectively track mitophagy. Additionally, the redox pair nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, comprising the reduced NADH and oxidized NAD+ forms are essential coenzymes involved in numerous reduction-oxidation transformations within eukaryotic cells. Similarly, NADPH, representing the reduced version of the coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate, plays a vital role in various anabolic pathways and antioxidant defense mechanisms. These coenzymes are critical for cellular redox balance and participate in various biological processes, signifying their importance in normal and disease-related biological processes, such as oxidative stress response, energy metabolism, gene repair, and immune function, among others. This seminar will address the theoretical underpinnings of some of the strategies employed in the syntheses and characterization of these probes, most of which emanate from research in Professor Haiying Liu’s laboratory, and then address our recent synthetic efforts in this arena. In that regard, theoretical and experimental data will be compared on the complex BF2 and the freely available NMR program SpinWorks which was used to establish the nature of BF coupling will be described.


Rudy Luck is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Michigan Technological University. He completed his doctoral research at the University of Toronto under Robert H. Morris in 1987 and then worked as a postdoctoral fellow under Frank. A. Cotton. He joined the chemistry department at Michigan Tech in 1997 and served as President of the University Senate from 2009-2012 (elected unopposed each year). Luck was also appointed as a Faculty Fellow, Compliance, Integrity, and Safety for the 2015-2016 academic year. This resulted in the Chemical Hygiene Plan and manual for the university. His research at Michigan Tech has focused on metal oxide monomers and clusters and more recently on theoretical calculations (using the Gaussian program) on the mechanism of action of various molecular probes. Over the years, his research was supported by grants from Michigan Tech, the NSF, and most recently, the NIH. Of note was an NSF-COBASE grant to visit Moscow Lomonosov State University in 1996 to establish collaborative research with Professor Boris A. Popovkin and contract work for the US military (TARDEC 2012) investigating the issue of possible explosive contaminants produced by the use of fake refrigerants in various vehicles stationed overseas and in combat areas.



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