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Chemistry & BiochemistryResearch

Faculty Research Interests


Craig Bayse

CRAIG BAYSE, PROFESSOR

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Dr. Bayse's research interests are in Computational Chemistry: Modeling studies of bioinorganic systems, including thyroid activation and oxidative scavenging.



Trandon Bender

TRANDON BENDER, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Our research interests lie at the intersection of organic synthesis and organometallic chemistry for the development of new catalysts. We seek to prepare catalyst scaffolds that will enable us to understand how covalent and non-covalent interactions can be harnessed to develop more reactive, selective, and modular catalysts. Specifically, our lab will investigate how electrostatics in the form of an oriented electric field can modulate catalyst performance by influencing fundamental steps in organometallic catalysis. In addition, we will probe the ability of catalyst-induced strain to achieve carbon-carbon bond activation with the goal of producing unique molecular scaffolds through non-obvious disconnections. Lastly, we will develop catalysts that contain multiple catalytically active metals in close proximity to perform innovative polymerization reactions where we will prepare polymeric materials that cannot be prepared using mono-metallic polymerization catalysts.



Peter Bernath

PETER BERNATH, PROFESSOR & EMINENT SCHOLAR

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Dr. Bernath's research interests are in high resolution molecular spectroscopy as applied to atmospheric science and molecular astronomy. We record laboratory spectra of molecules at high and low temperatures with a Fourier transform spectrometer.



John Coooper

JOHN COOPER, PROFESSOR & CHAIR



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DAVID COURSON, LECTURER

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Courson's research focuses on understanding host-pathogen interactions between the mammalian gut epithelium and the human gut pathogen Clostridium difficile. C. difficile is the most common hospital acquired infection in the United States and cost the US healthcare system billions of dollars per year. We explore bacterial toxin and non-toxin dependent disruption of the host epithelium through a variety of biochemical and microscopy based techniques. Our long term goal is to understand the mechanism of pathogenesis and derive treatments to disrupt it.



Christopher Freeman

CHRISTOPHER FREEMAN, LECTURER



Lesley Greene

LESLEY GREENE, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Biochemistry; Bioinformatics: The fundamental determinants of protein structure, stability, folding and evolution are investigated as well as genomic adaption.



Pat Hatcher and Elodie Salmon

PATRICK HATCHER, PROFESSOR

RESEARCH INTERESTS

The Hatcher Group's research is in the area of environmental chemistry and geochemistry, emphasizing the origin and chemical transformations of plant-derived biopolymers in natural systems such as soils, peats, marine sediments, and oceanic waters.



aholder-alvin-holder

ALVIN HOLDER, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Bioinorganic Chemistry: Transition metal complexes as inorganic pharmaceuticals.



Kyle Lambert

KYLE LAMBERT, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Synthetic Methods, Natural Product Synthesis; Dr. Lambert's research interests are in the development of novel synthetic methods and the total synthesis of biologically relevant natural products. Our interest lies in the development of robust methodologies, particularly those involving transition metal and nitroxide catalysts, to access the complex architectures found within natural products, as well as, core structural motifs that are of interest to both medicinal and synthetic chemists.



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JAMES LEE, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Bioenergetics: Exploration of the role of protons and water in the mitochiondia are undertaken to address their functional role in proton coupling energy transduction and implications in human health and aging.



Jingdong Mao

JINGDONG MAO, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Dr. Mao joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Old Dominion University in 2006. As both biogeochemist and a solid-state NMR specialist, Dr. Mao's primary research interest is the development and application of advanced solid-state NMR techniques for characterizing two kinds of complex natural organic matter (NOM) samples: (1) environmentally/geochemically-related NOM such as organic matter from soil, water, sediment, and organic wastes, and (2) energy-related organic matter such as kerogen, coal, corn stover and its residues, and biochars. He has developed, modified and applied many advanced solid-state NMR techniques for elucidating NOM structures and proposed a systematic approach to characterizing NOM. Dr. Mao is considered as a pioneer in this area in the world.



Cyanate Researchers

KEN MOPPER, PROFESSOR

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Dr. Mopper's research group at Old Dominion University studies marine and environmental chemistry in Antarctica and elsewhere. We have several areas of interest: Effects of photodegradation on the composition, optical properties and bioavailabilty of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in estuaries; Dissolved organic matter in natural waters: nature and photochemical properties; Impact of photochemistry on carbon cycling in the sea; Photochemical and optical properties of Antarctic waters in response to changing UV-B fluxes; Marine exudates and particle aggregation in sea; Marine polysaccharides; Polysaccharides and trace metal interactions in a polluted reservoir (in Brazil); Development of analytical techniques for trace organic compounds, total and dissolved organic carbon, and photo-chemically formed species in natural waters.



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SILVINA PAGOLA, RESEARCH ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Dr. Pagola's research interests are the elucidation of the solvent roles and mechanistic aspects of liquid-assisted grinding reactions; the synthesis and solid-state characterization of charge transfer complexes of tetrathiafulvalene and derivatives, and the use of X-ray laboratory and synchrotron powder diffraction data together with direct-space methods for the structural characterization of organic cocrystals (including pharmaceutical cocrystals) and drug-drug cocrystals and salts. Click here for more information about her research.



Steven Pascal

STEVEN PASCAL, PROFESSOR

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Structural Biology; Virology: Development and Application of Structural Biology approaches to medically relevant systems, such as virus replication machinery, and proteins linked to cancer and Alzheimer's disease.



Jennifer Poutsma

JENNIFER POUTSMA, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Computational Chemistry: Molecular dynamics simulations are performed on proteins to study their folding.



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ERIN PURCELL, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Biochemistry; Signal Transduction: The role of intracellular signaling pathways in bacterial pathogenesis are studied to guide the design of enzyme inhibitors that could serve as novel antibiotics



Bala Ramjee

BALA RAMJEE, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Nanomaterials: A major focus is on the synthesis and functionalization of nanocapsules for drug delivery and in vivo imaging. Another area is functionalization and sensing using inorganic nanoparticles.



Guijun Wang's Research Group

GUIJUN WANG, PROFESSOR

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Drug Synthesis; Chemical Biology: We are interested in the synthesis and properties for compounds of biological activities. These include chiral small molecules that are building blocks for many drugs and certain enzyme inhibitors that are important for cardiovascular systems. Another main area of focus is to synthesis and study soft biomaterials.



Nancy Xu

NANCY XU, PROFESSOR

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Our research program lies at the interface of Chemistry, Biology and Engineering. The central theme of our research is the development and application of cutting-edge bio-and nano-technologies and ultrasensitive analytical instrumentation and methodologies to address fundamental and practical questions in chemical, biochemical and biomedical sciences and engineering. In particular, the primary goal of our research program is to study chemical reactions and cellular pathways in single live cells in real-time with the single-molecule sensitivity and selectivity. We aim to address the most significant and challenging questions in life sciences; to explore living organisms at the single-cell andsingle-molecule resolutions; to unravel mysteries that porhibit us from completely understanding diseases (cancer) from their onsets to their development; and to design new tools for earlier disease diagnosis and effective treatment. Ultimately, this research progam will lead to the discovery of new chemical and biochemical mechanisms, new cellular pathways and functions, and the invention of novel technologies.

The current research projects include:

I. Design, Synthesis and Characterization of Innovative Bionanomaterials and Bionanophotonics

II. Development of Cutting-Edge Technologies and Instrumentation

III. Single Molecular and Single Live Cell Imaging

IV. Single-Cell Genomics, Nanobiotechnology and Optogentics, to unlock neuron-neuron communication, revolutionize early cancer detection, unravel developmental biology (embryonic stem cell differentiation), understanding multidrug resistance, decipher nanotoxicity, design groundbreaking nanomedicines and biocompatible nanomaterials





Chesapeake Bay Program


The Chesapeake Bay Program at Old Dominion University (ODU) collects data to support the objectives of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to restore the environmental health of the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Bay Monitoring Program, initiated in 1985, is a multi-purpose program that includes long-term studies conducted by ODU. The objective is to characterize the present state of the Bay, determine long-term trends, and provide insights into ecological interactions. The program provides information necessary to measure effectiveness of point and non-point source programs in reducing nutrient input to the Bay and determine progress towards achievement of living resources and water quality habitat goals. This program also provides data for calibration/validation/verification of computer simulation models used for developing Chesapeake Bay restoration strategies.

The primary goals of the Virginia Chesapeake Bay Monitoring Program are:

To characterize the environmental health of regional areas of the Lower Chesapeake Bay. To conduct trend analyses on long-term data to relate temporal trends in the living resources to changes in water and/or sediment quality. To warn of environmental degradation by producing an historical data base that will allow annual evaluations of biotic impacts. The Chesapeake Bay Program at ODU provides technical support for the research community in the form of specialized facilities, state-of-the-art equipment and high quality analytical and operational services. The four research laboratories are the Benthic Ecology Laboratory, Phytoplankton Laboratory, and the Water Quality Laboratory. Moreover, we provide new research opportunities for faculty members and students throughout the University, particularly in the areas of mission-oriented and multi-disciplinary environmental research.