Cyclodextrin Complexation: From Fundamental Science to Applied Toxicant Detection

Seminar series
Organic Colloquium
Thu, Feb 25 5:00pm
Cram Conference Room – 3440 Molecular Sciences Bldg
Speaker Professor Mindy Levine
University of Rhode Island
Department of Chemistry

Organic Colloquium

“Cyclodextrin Complexation: From Fundamental Science to Applied Toxicant Detection”

Abstract.  The complex interactions between molecules that are not covalently linked but are in close proximity remain poorly understood. These non-binding interactions are both ubiquitous and essential for life: for example, in biology, they determine how proteins fold into three-dimensional conformations and how DNA is replicated to form new cells; and in the environment, they determine how the residue from oil spills disperses into the ecosystem. Research in our group focuses on investigating these non-binding interactions using highly efficient fluorescence energy transfer as a crucial investigative tool. This energy transfer requires that the donor and acceptor molecules be in close proximity, which we ensure through binding them in the interior of a macrocycle. Applications of this energy transfer in the array-based detection of small molecule carcinogens and in the detection and environmental remediation of oil spills will also be discussed.