William F. Nirode
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Degrees: PHD, 2000, Univ Tennessee Knoxville; BA, 1995, Baldwin-Wallace Coll
Bio: Research Interests:
Our research focuses on the area of analytical chemistry. An analytical chemist is one who asks and answers the questions What is in there? and How much is in there? An analytical chemist can be both qualitative and quantitative. Analytical chemistry can be used in a wide range of applications including: biochemistry; environmental chemistry; forensic science; food chemistry; pharmaceutical and medicinal analysis; industrial chemistry and inorganic, organic, and polymer disciplines of chemistry. It is the analytical chemist who is called upon to analyze and make determinations of a wide variety of samples in these previously mentioned areas of chemistry. The analytical chemist either uses current established methods to solve new problems or develops new methods to solve both old and new problems. In our group, we work on both scenarios: using established methods and developing new methods. Our work concentrates on two main areas of analytical chemistry: chemical separations and optical spectroscopy.1. Vitamin Analysis
Vitamins play a critical role in our everyday nutrition. There are many different types of vitamins. Vitamin B complex consists of several vitamins that are grouped together because of the loose similarities in their properties, distribution in natural sources, and physiological functions. All the B vitamins are soluble in water making them easier to work with than the fat soluble vitamins. Most of the B vitamins have been recognized as coenzymes, and they all appear to be essential in facilitating the metabolic processes of all forms of animal life. We are currently investigating the properties of these B vitamins and separating them by CE with absorbance detection. Various sources of B vitamins such as multi-vitamin tablets, nutrition supplements, energy drinks, and foods are being analyzed for their composition and quantity of these B vitamins.2. Evaluating Nitric Oxide Release by Furoxans
Nitric oxide (NO) is an important intercellular signaling molecule and plays a role in a variety of biological processes. NO is a relatively stable molecular free radical produced in biological systems that is capable of scavenging harmful free radicals in vivo. Nitric oxide has many physiological roles; NO serves as a chemical messenger and is involved in the immune, nervous and cardiovascular systems. NO regulates blood vessel dilation, serves as a neurotransmitter, and is involved in the immune response and the regulation of cell death (apoptosis). Recently, 1,2,5-oxadiazole-2-oxides (furoxans, Figure 1) have been shown to release NO in the presence of thiol cofactors. Furoxan derivatives, therefore, may serve therapeutically as NO-generators in vivo. We are collaborating with Dr. Wachter in the investigation of synthetically derived furoxans to serve as nitric oxide releasing pharmaceutical agents. A combination of spectroscopic techniques are used to characterize the heterocyclic products.