Analytical Chemistry is the branch of chemistry that studies how to analyze the chemical components of samples. This analysis can be qualitative or quantitative, and involves the use of instruments and methods to separate, identify, and quantify matter. Examples of some areas using analytical chemistry at GGC include environmental science and medical applications.
Dr. Huang’s research interests focus on trace level compounds identification and quantitation using GC/MS and HPLC/MS in various matrices. Projects include GC/MS method development, LC/MS method development, pesticide analysis, and water quality.
Dr. Kalman’s research interests in analytical chemistry include using HPLC, UV/VIS, and DSC to look at the interactions between proteins and at how changing solution conditions affect these interactions.
Dr. Kirberger’s primary research interests focus on the interaction between proteins and metal ions and how this relates to disease, diagnostics, and therapeutics. Approximately 40% of proteins bind metal ions as co-factors necessary for protein function. Metal toxicity is frequently associated with binding of non-physiological metal ions (e.g., lead, cadmium, mercury) with proteins through different binding modes. Using computational methods combined with data from statistical analyses, we can better understand the structural parameters associated with metal binding, and by extension, modify proteins to selectively bind certain ions with high affinity for directed purposes. For example, proteins can be modified to selectively bind gadolinium to function as an MRI contrast agent. Additionally, proteins can be modified to promote selective binding of radioactive metals to allow for targeted therapeutic remediation of cancer. Integration of a metal-binding site may be achieved either through mutation of key amino acids or by using a grafting approach whereby a binding motif is inserted at a select region in the peptide sequence. This research is highly-interdisciplinary, combining molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, statistics, bioinformatics, and prediction algorithm development. Various standard molecular biology techniques are used for cloning, protein modification and protein expression. Metal binding and structural analyses of proteins are conducted using Spectrofluorometry, ICP-OES and multi-dimensional NMR.
Dr. Mwongela’s research interest includes developing undergraduate research projects in the area of lipid analysis and interaction of lipids with biomolecules, as well as analysis of pesticides or environmental pollutants using HPLC and GCMS or if /when available capillary electrophoresis.
Dr. Zimmermann is interested in applying analytical methods to making measurements of atmospheric gas-phase and particulate species. Current projects include: AFM analysis of sea spray aerosols collected from Skidaway Island; Passive sampling and measurement of PAHs in the metro-Atlanta region; and sampling and characterization of particulate biodiesel emissions.