Seminar Speakers 2011 - Chemistry Department

Department Seminar Speakers




  • Dr. Krishnaswami Raja (College of Staten Island, CUNY)
  • November 11, 2011
  • Title: "Protein Polymer Hybrids and Curcumin Derivatives for Biomedical Applications"
  • Abstract: Bioconujugates with proteins is a multibillion dollar industry. The current technology of producing polymer bioconjugates is limited to a few monomers; the number of dyes/drugs that can be conjugated per protein without loss of bioactivity is limited. A general synthetic methodology to produce a range of living copolymer protein conjugates with an amplified loading of dyes/drug will be presented. Over 7500 research papers and 18 clinical trials support the potential of Curcumin (the active ingredient in the spice Turmeric) to treat a range of pathological conditions. Curcumin is poorly absorbed by the body thereby severely limiting its potential as a drug candidate. A comprehensive strategy towards drug candidates with enhanced bioactivity based on Curcumin will also be presented.

  • Dr. Alfredo Mellace (Nassau Community College, SUNY)
  • September 21, 2011
  • Title: "Ancient Technology"
  •  Abstract: Ancient societies, like our modern society, had their own method of producing items and goods for construction, food, clothing, writing, currency, the military, and most other necessities for everyday uses. The objective of this presentation is to discuss aspects of the science behind ancient military technologies especially during the Roman period. Some of the technologies with respect to building raw materials, metal/wood work, leather/textile dyeing, design and function of weaponry and siege machines will be discussed. To this end, reconstructions that are a mirror of the past in production, material composition, and function of Ancient Roman weapons, armor, and clothing will be displayed illustrating first hand the technology, mastery and artistry of the time.

  • Dr. Robert Bittman (CUNY Distinguished Professor, Queens College, CUNY)
  • April 29, 2011
  • Title: "Sphingolipids and the Immune System: Synthesis and Properties of Analogs of FTY720 and alpha-Galactosylceramide"
  • Abstract: Sphingolipids play important roles in the regulation of many cellular processes. FTY720 (also known as Fingolimod and Gilenya) is a synthetic analog of sphingosine that binds to G-protein coupled receptors, and is the first drug approved in the U.S. for oral treatment of multiple sclerosis. The glycosphingolipid alpha-galactosylceramide is a derivative isolated from a marine sponge that stimulates the immune response by forming a complex with CD1d, a protein on the surface of antigen-presenting cells, thereby inducing natural killer T cells to produce immunomodulatory cytokines that may be used to treat cancer, infections, and autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. This seminar will discuss the synthesis and bioactivities of analogs of these two important sphinglipids.

  • Dr. Nicholas D. K. Petraco (John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY)
  • March 11, 2011
  • Title: "Application of Pattern Recognition to Trace Evidence Analysis"
  • Abstract: Given a set of a set of multivariate data constituting evidence in a crime, how likely is it that, when a conclusion of association/non-association is drawn from that evidence, that conclusion is erroneous? With recent challenges to the admissibility of almost all forms of physical evidence analysis, such a question is of paramount importance. In this talk we will show how state of the art methods of statistical pattern recognition (i.e. machine learning) can significantly aid in answering this question. An overview of how we have applied these methods to fire debris analysis (GC-MS gasoline), tool marks (striation patterns), footwear imprints and photocopies will be presented.

  • Dr. Stanislaus Wong (SUNY Stony Brook)
  • February 4, 2011
  • Title: "Functionalized Nanostructures for Biological and Biomedical Applications"
  • Abstract: In the first part of the talk, we will investigate the biocompatibility, specificity, and activity of a ligand-receptor-protein system covalently bound to oxidized single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) as a model proof-of-concept for employing such SWNTs as biosensors. In the second part of the talk, we will describe a novel SWNT-based tumor-targeted drug delivery system which has been developed, consisting of a functionalized SWNT linked to tumor-targeting modules as well as prodrug modules. In the third part of the talk, we describe the large-scale, room-temperature preparation of high-aspect-ratio, single-crystalline Tb-doped CePO4 nanowires, measuring ~12 nm in diameter and over 10 microns in length. The nanowires demonstrated an intense redox-sensitive green photoluminescence, which was exploited, in addition to their inherently high biocompatibility and low toxicity, for potential applications in biomedical detection and labeling of cells. Lastly, we highlight hydrophilic nanocomposites that were found to easily enter into the interiors of HeLa cells without damage, thereby emphasizing their capability not only as fluorescent probes but also as possible drug delivery vehicles, of interest to nanobiotechnology

Cultural Centers

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Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives

Using the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

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QPAC: Performing Arts Center

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

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QCC Art Gallery

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.