Project Title: Visualizing Formaldehyde Noninvasively

Faculty Sponsor: Justin Massing

Department: Chemistry and Biochemistry



Project Description: Although produced endogenously by various enzymes known to regulate epigenetics, elevated levels of formaldehyde have been linked with a number of disease pathologies, including cancer and neurodegeneration. Fluorescent probes incorporating homoallylic amines were recently reported to exhibit a chemoselective response towards formaldehyde over other reactive carbonyl species. However, this approach is restricted to in vitro imaging given the poor penetration depth of visible light. Student researchers will therefore create a reaction-based probe suitable for in vivo visualization of formaldehyde.

Student Tasks & Responsibilities: Students will be trained to carry out synthetic procedures and expected to maintain a detailed laboratory notebook. Additional responsibilities include preliminary evaluation of proposed agents and subsequent collaboration. Furthermore, students will be encouraged to present their findings at relevant conferences and to assist with manuscript preparation.

Minimum Student Qualifications: