Highlighted Publications

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Fang Group

The Fang group successfully synthesized two types of Pd-Bi nanocrystals with different crystal structures, known as monoclinic phase and fcc phase. They further identified that the monoclinic phase exhibits superior catalytic activity for alkaline oxygen reduction reaction, one of the significant reactions in the fuel cell system. This discovery has been published in J. Am. Chem. Soc.

Ming Zhou, Jiangna Guo, Bo Zhao, Can Li, Lihua Zhang and Jiye Fang, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021, 143, 38, 15891–15897.

Publication Link: Journal of the American Chemical Society

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Fang Group

Working together with collaborators, Fang group recently published a research article, “Synthesis of Core@Shell Cu-Ni@Pt-Cu Nano-Octahedra and Their Improved MOR Activity” in Angewandte Chemie, one of the prime chemistry journals in the world (2019 Impact Factor: 12.959). This work demonstrated a colloidal seed‐mediated approach to prepare octahedral CuNi@Pt‐Cu core@shell nanocrystals using CuNi octahedral cores as the template. By precisely controlling the synthesis conditions, uniform Pt‐based thin-shells can be achieved. The resultant carbon‐supported CuNi@Pt‐Cu core@shell nano‐octahedra showed superior activity in electrochemical methanol oxidation reaction (MOR), indicating that both the lattice strain and shape effects play a key role in this catalyst improvement.

Publication Link: doi.org

WileyChem Link: WileyChem

Image: Accounts of Chemical Research
Accounts of Chemical Research
Rozners Group

Eriks Rozners and Venubabu Kotikam have published an Account “Amide-Modified RNA: Using Protein Backbone to Modulate Function of Short Interfering RNAs”. Remarkably, this major chemical modification has unexpectedly little effect on structure and stability of the RNA duplex and, at certain positions of short interfering RNAs, eliminates some of the undesired off-target activity while improving their on-target activity. The article was chosen by Editors as the Cover Image of the September 2020 issue of Accounts of Chemical Research.

Read more here: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.accounts.0c00249

Image: Catalysis
 Dimitrov and Fang Groups

Dimitrov and Fang groups together with a Cornell research team recently published their development of fraction-controlled Pt-Cu-based porous film electrocatalysts used for alkaline oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in ACS Catal. The catalysts prepared using an electrochemical deposition-stripping synthetic approach show superb electrocatalytic ORR activity in 0.1M KOH with control of the introduced Au composition. After a composition optimization, the de-alloyed Pt37Cu56Au7 ternary catalyst exhibits a 7.2-fold higher mass activity than that of the standard Pt/C and the longest durability among all tested samples including the Pt/C.
“Enhanced ORR Kinetics on Au-Doped Pt-Cu Porous Films in Alkaline Media”, Yunxiang Xie, Yao Yang, David A. Muller, Hector D. Abruna, Nikolay Dimitrov, and Jiye Fang, ACS Catal., 10 (xx) 9967 - 9976, (2020).

Image: journal issue image
journal issue image

Bane and Tumey groups

The Bane group (Chemistry) and Tumey group (Pharmaceutical Sciences) recently reported on an expanded repertoire of substrates that can be recognized by the microbial transglutaminase (mTG) enzyme. Applications of mTG utilizing the noncanonical substrates are demonstrated in providing isopeptide diversity and enabling side-chain hydrazide derivatization on peptides and proteins. Together, the work shines light on hitherto undiscovered capabilities of mTG and further broadens the versatility of this enzyme in biotechnology. This publication is the second full-length paper generated from the partnership between the Bane and Tumey groups. 

T. I. Chio, B. R. Demestichas, B. M. Brems, S. L. Bane, L. N. Tumey, Expanding the Versatility of Microbial Transglutaminase Using α-Effect Nucleophiles as Noncanonical Substrates. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 13814-13820. doi: 10.1002/anie.202001830

 Read more here

Image: Catalysis Journal- Dimitrov Group
Catalysis Journal- Dimitrov Group
Dimitrov Group

The Dimitrov group reported on the development and application of all-electrochemically synthesized nanoporous (np) Au-Cu-Pt alloy thin film as catalysts for formic acid oxidation (FAO) reaction. The work emphasizes a pursuit of most efficient catalytic routes for the production of clean energy like by smart materials design at atomic level, involving controlled alloy electrodeposition followed by oxidative copper removal. The unique advantage of the best performing np Au-Cu-(2.6%)Pt catalyst is associated with its exclusive selectivity in support of the preferred direct FAO mechanism along with unseen long-lasting no-passivation behavior in the course of wide-potential-range cycling tests. 

Ultralow Pt-loading Nanoporous Au-Cu-Pt Thin Film as Highly Active and Durable Catalyst for Formic Acid Oxidation, Yunxiang Xie and Nikolay Dimitrov, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 2019, October 31 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apcatb.2019.118366) [Epub ahead of print].

Read more here.

Image: PNAS cover
PNAS cover

Qiang Group

A collaborative work from the Qiang group and the Vugmeyster group at CU Denver has been published on PNAS. This work solved the very first molecular structure of a post-translational modified beta-amyloid fibril. This site-specific modification, with the phosphorylation at residue S8 on Abeta sequence, induces the formation of a more-ordered N-terminal fibril structure with more thermodynamic stable core. In addition, this modification leads to rapid cross-seeded fibrillation to the wild-type Abeta, which may accelerate the pathological amyloid deposition.

This work has been posted as a University Research News headline on the Office of Science homepage at https://www.energy.gov/science/office-science , and reported in the PNAS news

Read more here.

Image: Catalysis Cover
Catalysis Cover

Pantier Group

The Panetier group, in collaboration with the Jurss group at the University of Mississippi, reported a joint experimental and computational study on the use of three novel cobalt catalysts for electrochemical CO2 reduction in aqueous solutions. This study shows that as the rigidity of the macrocycle is increased, selectivity and activity for CO2 reduction over the competing hydrogen evolution reaction is enhanced. As such the most rigid catalyst performs CO2 reduction in water with an overpotential of 420 mV and a Faradaic yield of 93%.

X. Su, K.M. McCardle, L. Chen, J.A. Panetier and J.W. Jurss, Robust and Selective Cobalt Catalysts Bearing Redox-Active Bipyridyl-N-heterocyclic Carbene Frameworks for Electrochemical CO2 Reduction in Aqueous Solutions, ACS Catal. 2019, 9, 7398−7408Chem Biol. 2019 May 6. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.9b00194 [Epub ahead
of print].

Read more here.

Image: ACS Chemical Biology cover
ACS Chemical Biology cover

Grewer Group

Laura Zielewicz from the Grewer laboratory published her research on the mechanism of inhibition of glutamate transporters in ACS Chemical Biology. This work shows that binding of negatively-charged inhibitors occurs within the transmembrane electric field, resulting in voltage dependence of inhibitor binding and dissociation. This finding is important for our understanding of how glutamate interacts with the transporter at the excitatory synapse in the mammalian brain.

Transient Kinetics Reveal Mechanism and Voltage Dependence of Inhibitor and Substrate Binding to Glutamate Transporters. Zielewicz L, Wang J, Ndaru E, Grewer CT ACS Chem Biol. 2019 May 6. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.9b00194 [Epub ahead of print].

Read more here.

Image: JACS cover
JACS cover

Pantier Group

The Panetier group, in collaboration with researchers from Texas A&M University and DePaul University, reported a joint experimental and computational study on the use of imidazolium-functionalized manganese tricarbonyl bipyridine complexes for CO2reduction. This study, which was published in JACS, suggests that imidazolium groups in the secondary coordination sphere promote the formation of a local hydration shell that facilitates the protonation of CO2 reduction intermediates.

S. Sung, X. Li, L.M. Wolf, J.R. Meeder, N.S. Bhuvanesh, K.A. Grice, J.A. Panetier, and M. Nippe, Synergistic Effects of Imidazolium-Functionalization on fac-Mn(CO)3 Bipyridine Catalyst Platforms for Electrocatalytic Carbon Dioxide Reduction, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 6569-6582.

Read more here.

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Venu Cover

 Rozners Group

In collaboration with colleagues from University of Rochester and Elizabethtown College, Rozners group has published a paper “Synthetic, Structural, and RNA Binding Studies on 2-Aminopyridine-Modified Triplex-Forming Peptide Nucleic Acids” in Chemistry: A European Journal. The study was designated as Very Important Paper by the reviewers and featured as a Cover Picture of the March 21 issue of Chemistry: A European Journal.

Kotikam, V., Kennedy, S. D., MacKay, J. A., and Rozners, E. Synthetic, Structural, and RNA Binding Studies on 2-Aminopyridine-Modified Triplex-Forming Peptide Nucleic Acids. Chem. Eur. J. 2019, 25,4367- 4372.

Read more here.

Image: JPG cover
JPG cover

Grewer Group

Elias Ndaru published work on the synthesis and characterization of novel inhibitors of alanine cysteine serine transporter ASCT2, in collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. Avner Schlessinger from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Amino acid derivatives with sulfonic acid ester and sulfonamide linkages were identified as ASCT2 inhibitors with the most potent compound displaying an affinity in the low microM range.

Novel alanine serine cysteine transporter 2 (ASCT2) inhibitors based on sulfonamide and sulfonic acid ester scaffolds. Ndaru E, Garibsingh RA, Shi Y, Wallace E, Zakrepine P, Wang J, Schlessinger A, Grewer C. J Gen Physiol., 2019 Feb 4 epub ahead of print.

Read more here.

Image: PNAS cover
PNAS cover

Qiang & An Groups

A collaborative work from the Qiang and An groups has recently been published on PNAS. This work describes the studies of thermodynamic intermediate states of interactions between pH-Low insertion (pHLIP) peptides and membrane bilayers, using advanced solid-state NMR spectroscopy. A multi-stage pH-modulated membrane insertion model for pHLIP peptides was proposed. Graduate and undergraduate students S. Otieno, S. Hanz, B. Chakravorty from the Qiang group, and graduate students A. Zhang and L. Klees from the An group contributed to this work.

S.A. Otieno, S.Z. Hanz, B. Chakravorty, A. Zhang, L.M. Klees, M. An, and W. Qiang, pH-dependent thermodynamic intermediates of pHLIP membrane insertion determined by solid-state NMR spectroscopy. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 2018, 115(48), 12194-12199.

Read more here.

Image: JACS cover
JACS cover

Fang Group

The Fang group, in collaboration with researchers from Cornell and NTU, recently reported their observation of phase transitions of formamidinium lead iodide (FAPbI3) under pressure. The article was just accepted by J. Am. Chem. Soc. FAPbI3 is a hybrid compound, consisting of a perovskite alpha-phase and hexagonal (non-perovskite) delta-phase. Study on the pressure-induced structural evolution of this organic-inorganic compound is a hot topic. For the first time, the authors determined that the pressure could accelerate the alpha- to delta-FAPbI3 transformation.

Shaojie Jiang, Yiliang Luan, Joon I. Jang, Tom Baikie, Xin Huang, Ruipeng Li, Felix O. Saouma, Zhongwu Wang, Timothy J. White and Jiye Fang, Phase Transitions of Formamidinium Lead Iodide Perovskite under Pressure, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2018, 140(42), 13952-13957.

Read more here.

Image: Chemistry European
Chemistry European

Vetticat Group

The honor thesis research of an undergraduate student Vladislav Roytman is the subject of a recent publication in Chem. Eur. J. from the Vetticatt group at Binghamton University. This paper details the use of 13C kinetic isotope effects and DFT calculations as a novel probe to distinguish between of enol and enamine mechanisms in aminocatalysis.

Roytman, V. A.; Karugu, R. W.; Hong, Y.; Hirschi, J. S.; Vetticatt, M. J. 13C Kinetic Isotope Effects as a Quantitative Probe To Distinguish between Enol and Enamine Mechanisms in Aminocatalysis Chem. Eur. J. 2018, 24(32), 8098-8102.

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