Biomedical and Medicinal Chemistry
Biomedical and Medicinal chemistry research at New Mexico Tech focuses on the discovery, design, synthesis and evaluation of novel bioactive molecules. Research in this area involves a strong synthetic organic component, which often leads to the development of novel synthetic methodologies to construct anticancer, antibacterial or antiviral agents.
Professor, Department Chair
Broadly defined by the area of Physical Organic chemistry, research in the Heagy group involves design and synthesis of new dyes; specifically dual fluorescent platforms for ion and molecule detection. Panchromatic emissive systems are under study for WOLED devices. Toward solar fuels, earth abundant semiconductor materials are being explored at the nanoscale size for photocatalytic conversion of green house gas, carbon dioxide and its water solubilized analog, bicarbonate to formate and methanol.
Dr. Pias studies the structural dynamics of biochemical systems, with the aim of gaining insight into metabolic regulatory mechanisms. Her current focus is on oxygen flux across biological membranes and other cellular lipid structures. Given the central importance of aerobic metabolism for human health, hindrance of oxygen transport on the cellular level can have enormous consequences, impacting tumor cell metabolism, cardiac function, and diabetic insulin response. The Pias Group takes a biophysical chemistry approach, using computer simulations to gain insight into lipid structural dynamics and oxygen diffusion.
Accurate and rapid detection of pathogens in contaminated water and food samples is necessary to prevent spread of certain infectious diseases. Dr. Piyasena and his research group explore developing miniaturized bioassay systems utilizing microfluidics and surface modification techniques for pathogen detection and environmental monitoring.
Dr. Tello-Aburto’s group focuses on the total synthesis and biological evaluation of natural products and their analogs. Efforts in this area often lead to the discovery of new synthetic methodologies in organic synthesis, including transition metal catalysis and organocatalysis.