Metal-Organic Frameworks
Researchers: Ayala, Denny, Moreton, Palomba, Wang, Yu
The design, synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of new metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) is the goal of this project. MOFs are a class of materials that combine organic ligands and metal ions to generate porous materials with defined topologies. Our focus for several years has been on the development of postsynthetic methods for the functionalization of MOFs. Postsynthetic methods, such as postsynthetic modification (PSM), postsynthetic deprotection (PSD), and postsynthetic exchange (PSE) are useful approaches to altering the physical properties of MOFs and generate MOF materials with new properties, including catalytic function. Prior work from our lab has focused on replacing the organic ligand component with a 'metalloligand' (e.g. coordination complex) that can impart new spectroscopic properties to the MOF. These studies largely focused on dipyrromethene (dipyrrin) complexes as building blocks, and as such we have a general interest in developing the coordination chemistry of these interesting pyrrolic ligands. Most recently, we have developed an interest in the interface between MOF and polymer materials, including a new hybrid we describe as polyMOFs (see figure below) and mixed-matrix membranes (MMMs) derived from MOFs.

Metalloprotein Inhibitors
Researchers: Adamek, Chen, Credille, Dick, Ma, Perez
The design, synthesis, and evaluation of inhibitors of metalloproteins is the focus of this project. A number of metalloproteins are associated with diseases ranging from heart disease to cancer to anthrax infections. Using fundamental principles of inorganic chemistry we have developed inhibitors that better target the metal active sites of these proteins. The majority of our work has focused on Zn(II)-dependent metalloproteins (see figure on left); however, we have applied our approach to other targets such as HIV integrase (Mg(II)-dependent, see figure on right) and many others. Our work in this area has also lead us to the exploration of the coordination chemistry of novel ligands, including thiopyrones and hydroxypyridinethiones.

Other Projects
Researchers: Various
In the course of our research we often run across a variety of interesting findings that we choose to investigate. One previous effort was understanding the mechanism of the metalloregulatory protein MntR (and homologues). MntR (see figure on left) is a metalloregulatory protein (metal-activated, DNA-binding protein) from B. subtillis that helps to regulate manganese(II) homeostasis. We focused on trying to understand how MntR is selective for this metal ion in its DNA-binding response; however, this project is no longer an active project in our group. Other projects in the lab that we have investigated have involved the study of lead(II) chelators, thioflavone metal complexes, a wide range of coordination chemistry with novel ligands, supramolecular metal-phosphine clusters (see figure on right), and various other topics in bioinorganic and supramolecular chemistry.
MntRFigure 2a