Wednesday, April 20, 2016

URSP Student Min Ki Seo Researches the Purification & Spectral Characterization of Small Molecules that Hinder the Process of Apoptosis

For a couple months now, I have been working on a research project that is related to a possible development of a new medicine. There are several other researchers who are in charge of other aspects of this project. My main focus on this grand project has been spectral analysis. Although I never thought I would do a research in spectroscopy, I was curious of how medicines or drugs are developed. Also, since this project is related to Alzheimer’s disease, it drew my interest toward this project. In my life, there have been quite a number of people who passed away from this disease, so I knew the seriousness of the matter. As I have been studying to enter into a health-related field, it was an excellent opportunity to contribute to such project, which could possibly help those who suffer from numerous diseases. I cannot guarantee whether the specific work I do in this project will be related to the direction I will be heading towards. Still the thought of a possible involvement in giving aids to people definitely is essential to my long-term goals.

In specific of the work I contribute for this project, I am using a software called MestreNOVA (MNOVA) to analyze a proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectrum. My mentor has already synthesized about 75 different organic compounds. I am assisting him in running the NMR machine to obtain the 1H-NMR spectrum for each compound. Once the spectrum is obtained, I utilize MNOVA to process the spectrum by phasing, correcting, calibrating, integrating, etc. These spectrums are then organized into a presentable view. Also in this process, I make sure whether there is any abnormal peaks or impurities in the compound. If an impurity is found, I notify the mentor so that he can clean the compound again or synthesize them again. This week, I have discovered that the solubility of each compound plays a crucial role in the 1H-NMR spectrum. Sometimes when the spectrums were somewhat odd, I did not know why, but the mentor told me that it is due to the insolubility of the compound.