Faculty / Staff

Department of Chemistry Faculty and Staff listing

Department Chair

Desamero, Ruel
Associate Professor
P:718-262-2657
O: AC-3F01F

My research is centered on investigating the structural and dynamical aspects of protein-small molecule interactions using techniques such as vibrational spectroscopy and T-jump relaxation. One aspect of the work is to understand enzyme-substrate interactions which have long been recognized as representing an extreme expression of structural complementarities in biological chemistry. Basic research geared towards understanding the inner workings of an enzyme system is important if cures for the diseases caused by a malfunctioning or deficient enzyme are to be found. Our group is investigating the hydride transfer mechanism involved in the enzyme dihydropteridine reductase. DHPR is important in the normal cycling of tetrahydrobiopterin, an essential cofactor in the synthesis of serotonin and cathecholamine precursors. Regulation of DHPR became of interest with the discovery of atypical phenylketonuria, a neurological disorder associated with a defect in tetrahydrobiopterin recycling.


Full-Time Faculty

Chakravarti, Deb
Professor
P:718-262-2661
O: AC-3F01
I worked on the human complement proteins involved in host defense at the University of Oxford (with Prof. Rodney Porter, Nobel Laureate) and at The Scripps Research Institute. Later I worked on vaccines as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Subsequently at Wyeth Vaccines (Pfizer), I was involved in the R&D of vaccines against several infectious diseases including application of genomics and proteomics and high throughput identification of bacterial surface proteins as vaccine candidates. I was actively involved in the "well characterization" of some of the most successful conjugate vaccines, such as HibTITER, Meningitec and the blockbuster product Prevnar. Currently my research is focused on the characterization of biomarkers and knowledge discovery using bioinformatics and systems biology approaches, such as organ specific differential proteome profiling (2D gels and LC-MS/MS) to delineate the molecular basis of aging in mouse models.

Chang, Emmanuel
Associate Professor
P:718-262-3778
O: AC-3F01G

Research in the lab of Emmanuel Chang centers around biological applications of mass spectrometry. Our major interest is in analysis and methods development for protein phosphorylation and other post-translational modifications. Applications include phosphorylation in cell cycle; ADP-ribosyltaion; mass spectrometry-based biosensors, and kinase inhibitors and enzyme kinetics. We also collaborate with other CUNY and external scientists who would like to harness the power of mass spectrometry to study there own interesting biological systems.

We supplement our experimental work with computational methods including bioinformatic protein sequence analysis and molecular modeling.

Dr. Chang's teaching interests include analytical chemistry, biochemistry, writing and data presentation, literature analysis, and innovations in introductory chemistry.


Desamero, Ruel
Associate Professor
P:718-262-2657
O: AC-3F01F

My research is centered on investigating the structural and dynamical aspects of protein-small molecule interactions using techniques such as vibrational spectroscopy and T-jump relaxation. One aspect of the work is to understand enzyme-substrate interactions which have long been recognized as representing an extreme expression of structural complementarities in biological chemistry. Basic research geared towards understanding the inner workings of an enzyme system is important if cures for the diseases caused by a malfunctioning or deficient enzyme are to be found. Our group is investigating the hydride transfer mechanism involved in the enzyme dihydropteridine reductase. DHPR is important in the normal cycling of tetrahydrobiopterin, an essential cofactor in the synthesis of serotonin and cathecholamine precursors. Regulation of DHPR became of interest with the discovery of atypical phenylketonuria, a neurological disorder associated with a defect in tetrahydrobiopterin recycling.


Fearnley, Stephen
Associate Professor
P:718-262-2660
O: AC-3F01D

As a synthetic organic chemist, my research involves development of new methodology for the construction of bioactive natural products: alkaloids, cyclic ether arrays, & C-glycosides. Current studies include:

• Investigation & use of oxazolone as a useful heterocyclic scaffold for alkaloid synthesis - studies of intramolecular Diels-Alder reactions with oxazolone as dienophile.

• Novel organosilane chemistry for approaches to bioactive ethers - concise assembly of cis-fused bicyclic ether arrays via intramolecular attack of vinylsilanes at tethered oxocarbenium ions. A related silyl-activated Friedel-Krafts process requires an unusual combination of electronic & steric effects.

Recently completed targets include 2-epi-pumiliotoxin C & deoxyaltholactone. Similar approaches to gephyrotoxin & dysiherbaine are underway.

Scheme

Foster, Catherine
Doctoral Lecturer
P:718-262-5314
O: AC-3F01H

Johnson, Lawrence
Professor
P:718-262-2650
O: AC-3F01C

We spent many years studying the high resolution electronic spectroscopy of porphyrins. Recently, however we began to study the dynamics and thermodynamics associated with the formation of RNA construct-peptide complexes using single molecule detection methods, such as dual color fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (DCFCS) and single pair fluorescence resonance energy transfer (spFRET).


Lee, Jong-Ill
Associate Professor
P:718-262-2665
O: AC-3F01G

My research interest includes the development of a new drug delivery system which can target a specific organ, collect useful physiological data and release drugs when a light signal is given.

Photoactive drug carrier


Musumeci, Daniele
Assistant Professor
P:718-262-2765
O: AC-3F01K

Profit, Adam
Associate Professor
P:718-262-2656
O: AC-3F01B

Currently there are two main areas of investigation being pursued in my laboratory.

1) Amyloid Formation and Protein Aggregation. The abnormal formation of protein aggregates, or amyloid deposits, is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease as well as Type 2 diabetes. My laboratory is investigating the molecular interactions that occur between key proteins that contribute to the formation of amyloid in these diseases. Through a more detailed understanding of how these proteins self-assembly to form aggregates, we hope to design and develop inhibitors which may serve as a template for potential therapeutic agents.

2) Protein Kinase Inhibitors. We are developing compounds that inhibit the activity of key enzymes (kinases) which can cause tissues to grow out of control and develop into tumors. To do this we are synthesizing molecules that exploit the unique molecular recognition motifs found in these enzymes to more effectively deliver inhibitory species to the active site.


Robie, Daniel
Assistant Professor
P:718-262-2669
O: AC-3F01

I study gas phase molecular reaction dynamics, vibrational energy transfer, photodissociation, chemical reactions, and the spectroscopy of gases using cavity ring-down spectroscopy, a laser-based technique. I am currently working on the weak absorption in the visible of hydrogen and its isotopomers.


Small, Yolanda
Assistant Professor
P:718-262-2592
O: AC-3F01J
Dr. Small’s research is at the interface of biology, chemistry and condensed matter physics where she applies computational techniques to address questions ranging from reactions in enzymes, which impact the design of pharmaceuticals for a variety of diseases, to reactions at the aqueous/semiconductor interface, which are necessary for the design novel renewable energy materials. Her scientific expertise is in two main areas: (1) Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical (QM/MM) modeling and simulations and (2) electronic structure methods using Gaussian-based Density Functional Theory (DFT).

Tolentino-Collado, Jinnette
ADJUNCT LECTURER
P:
O:

Professor Emeriti

Richards, Lynne
Professor Emerita
P:718-262-2661
O: AC-3F01
Scheiner, Peter
Professor Emeritus
P:718-262-5370
O: AC-3F01

Part-Time Faculty

 Teltingdiaz, Martin, Adjunct Associate Professor

College Laboratory Technician

 Allen-Michaud, Teresa, CLT

Staff

 Hassan, Alireja, Senior College Laboratory Technician

 Hassan, Alireja, College Laboratory Technician

 Hewitt, Julia, CUNY Office Assistant

 Lapo, Robert, Graduate Assistant