This project will utilize a multicomponent reaction discovered in the NSF sponsored Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals. Freshman undergraduate chemistry students will learn to conduct state-of-the-art organic chemistry experiments in a classroom-lab setting. Specifically, each student will combine three readily available organic chemicals to make a product that only they had made that was previously unknown to science. Since each student will isolate a unique product, the class will make a series of compounds with the same general structure, but with varied substitution on the amine and the aryl ring. Instead of ending with this synthesis activity, the faculty team will show the students basic microbiology techniques. The compounds developed by the freshmen will then be tested for antibacterial activity. Since the chemical compounds will be synthesized combinatorially, students along with their faculty mentors will consider the results of the phase one screening to generate hypotheses as to which combinations of specific aldehydes and amines will yield the most effective antimicrobials. This effort will offer students a combined chemistry/microbiology learning experience. There are significant opportunities for students to combine studies of organic chemistry with microbiology at Iowa State University. The added skill sets will enhance their opportunities for employment and graduate and professional education.
To participate in this project, contact Dr. George Kraus
Topics: Chemistry, Microbiology