Professor, The Graduate Center; Professor, Brooklyn College
Our group utilizes both experimental and theoretical methods to research fundamental aspects of organic chemistry and photochemistry. We are eager to accept researchers from various backgrounds, including nanotechnology, biochemistry, and even engineering. Our main focus is controlling and amplifying the production of reactive oxygen species. Our current projects involve organic oxidation mechanisms, visible-light photosensitization, secondary photosensitization, latent reactions following photooxidation, and photochemical-device development. One research area involves the use of fiber optics combined with sensitizer drugs for the production and precise delivery of singlet oxygen to eradicate cancer cells. This technique is referred to as “point-source” photodynamic therapy (i.e., PSPDT), delivers oxygen and red diode laser light through a device tip directed at the tumor site. This device helps avoid damage to healthy cells by focusing the sensitizer drugs and laser light within the tumor site. We also study the interfacial behavior of reactive oxygen species, including radicals at nanoparticle interfaces, and also the delivery of alkoxy radicals and singlet oxygen both as individual or tandem disinfectants. As mentioned above, secondary reactions are of interest to us. For example, the deconvolution of competitive light and dark processes is us offering insight into a priming mechanisms, including singlet oxygen priming as distinct from photodynamic priming. We are also using density functional theory and ab initio calculations which guide and deepen our understanding of experiments. Our work is currently funded by the National Science Foundation.
Focus Area 2, Focus Area 3