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Research Groups Awarded $400,000 NSF Grant

Posted Aug. 9, 2013

Brasch and Sampson groups


(from left to right): Zachary Fejedelem, Mary Waddington, Rohan Dassanayake, Yang "Joe" Zhou, Dr. Nicola Brasch and Dr. Paul Sampson.  Not pictured: Nawar Al-Lami.

The Brasch and Sampson groups have been awarded a three-year $400,000 grant from the Chemistry of Life Processes program in the Chemistry Division of the National Science Foundation to synthesize and carry out kinetic and mechanistic studies on novel photoactive HNO donor molecules. HNO (nitrosyl hydride) is attracting increasing attention as a species potentially formed in biological systems by nitric oxide synthases and by the enzyme-catalyzed reduction of nitric oxide (NO). Compounds that decompose to release HNO (HNO donor molecules) offer potential for treating heart failure. Understanding the chemical and biological properties of HNO is hampered by the fact that HNO itself is not stable. In this research, a range of novel organic HNO donor molecules will be developed that rapidly decompose to release HNO upon exposure to laser light, and their reactivity with three important classes of molecules found in biology will be explored.

Congratulations to both research groups!