With this award from the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program, Professor Rongson Pongdee from University of the South and colleagues Robert Bachman, Deon Miles and John Shibata will acquire a 400 MHz NMR spectrometer. The award will enhance research training and education at all levels, especially in areas such as (a) glycodiversification of angucycline antibiotics, (b) study of condensed phase platinum(II) complexes containing bipyridine ligands modified with Guerbet alcohols, (c) surface characterization of water-soluble, monolayer-protected quantum dots, and (d) studies of motion dynamics of peptides.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is one of the most powerful tools available to chemists for the elucidation of the structure of molecules. It is used to identify unknown substances, to characterize specific arrangements of atoms within molecules, and to study the dynamics of interactions between molecules in solution. Access to state-of-the-art NMR spectrometers is essential to chemists who are carrying out frontier research. The results from these NMR studies will have an impact in synthetic organic/inorganic chemistry, materials chemistry and biochemistry. This instrument will be an integral part of teaching as well as research.

Project Report

The acquisition of a new NMR spectrometer has enabled the Department of Chemistry at Sewanee: The University of the South to allow its faculty and students to be engaged in basic science research in various disciplines within Chemistry. More specifically, the new instrument has allowed for research into the design and development of structurally new antibacterial and anticancer agents for biological evaluation, the examination of metal complexes for incorporation into the design and preparation of new synthetic polymers, and the molecular modeling of proteins to better understand their function in biological systems. The primary users of the new NMR instrument have been able to make significant progress toward developing new methods to produce potential medicinal agents as well as liquid crystalline materials for materials applications. The knowledge obtained from our work will not only help to accelerate our own research programs but also those of other researchers in both academics and industry that may require similar methods but either have not, or are unable, to pursue the basic science issues that we are pursuing. Additionally, the research conducted in the Department of Chemistry has been presented at various regional and national meetings of the American Chemical Society and has allowed our students exposure to the larger workings of the chemistry community at large.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Chemistry (CHE)
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Carlos A. Murillo
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University of the South
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