Foundation Award for Research

Nikolay Gerasimchuk

Dr. Nikolay Gerasimchuk

College of Natural and Applied Sciences

I. Focus of Research

My work is focused on chemistry and applications of oxime-bearing small organic molecules that tightly bind a variety of metal ions. Specifically I am interested in development of chemistry of cyanoximes are new class of organic molecules – weak organic acids – with general formula:

chemistry formula

where R is an electron-withdrawing group above. The presence of the CN-group makes these molecule several orders of magnitude more acidic, which leads to easy attained deprotonation and formation of yellow conjugated anions that are much better ligands for metal ions binding than conventional aliphatic, aromatic oximes or a-dioximes. The cyanoximes represent a series of new, excellent ampolydentate ligands for coordination chemistry. Both free ligands and their Na+ and K+ salts, main group- and some transition metals complexes show variety of biological activity. Currently 39 cyanoximes are known, and there are more than two hundred cyanoxime complexes have been synthesized and studied using different spectroscopic methods and x-ray analysis. Prepared compounds demonstrate interesting stereochemistry and properties that allows a broad spectrum of their interesting applications.

II. Major Projects

I do have currently three major projects under way in my research group. These are: 1) new cytotoxic bivalent palladium and platinum cyanoximates [started in 2002]; 2) coordination polymers of monovalent thallium [started in 2004], and 3) visible light insensitive antimicrobial silver cyanoximates [started in 2008].

III. Future Directions of Research

At the moment we found among 6 new one-dimensional polymeric platinum compounds extremely interesting property of light emission in the near-infrared part of spectrum above 1000 nm. Being also cytotoxic, these compounds can have enormous application in theranostics, which is diagnostics combined with therapy. The diagnostics part comes from ability of these compounds to emit light with wavelength that is not absorbed by body, and, thus, can be detected from the inside. About half-a-dozen of these compounds are known up to date, and we have filed intellectual property disclosure with the aim to patent these compounds for their use in biomedical field.

IV. Topics related to your research and of interest to the broad University Community, for which you are available for presentations and/or consultations.

Inorganic chemistry, bio-inorganic chemistry, applications of variety of spectroscopic techniques and X-ray diffraction