With this award from the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program, Professor Oladapo Bakare from Howard University and colleagues Charles Hosten and Lystranne Maynard will acquire an accurate-mass time-of-flight liquid-chromatograph mass spectrometer (TOF-LC/MS) with electrospray ionization (ESI) capabilities. The award will enhance research training and education at all levels, especially in areas such as (a) development of fluorogenic calixarene-based ionophores for selective optical sensing of hazardous metal ions, (b) use of calixarenes in molecular recognition, (c) probing the in vivo degradation pathway of polyhydroxybutyrate valerate (PHBV) copolymer, (d) catalysis of hydrolysis of organic di- and tri-ester phosphates, (e) synthesis of cross-linkers for the development of hemoglobin based oxygen carriers, (f) probing functions of calreticulin through lysine acetylation, (g) characterization of unimolecular rectifiers, and (h) chemical transformation of natural products for anticancer drug development.
Mass spectrometers (MS) are used to identify the chemical composition of a sample by measuring the mass of the molecular constituents in the sample after they are ionized and detected by the mass spectrometer. This instrument couples a liquid chromatography system with the mass analysis ability of mass spectrometry; the time-of-flight (TOF) mass analyzer has high sensitivity and mass accuracy to assist the analyses and interpretation of the resultant data. Before the sample is introduced into the spectrometer a liquid chromatograph separates any mixture into its molecular components. These components then flow into a mass spectrometer where they are ionized using an electrospay source. The instrumentation will be used not only for research but also in laboratory courses to train significant numbers of students in the use of this important analytical technique. Many of these students are from underrepresented groups since this university is one of the premiere minority-serving-institutions. The instrumentation will also serve students and faculty at neighboring colleges such as the Catholic University of America.