Special Seminar: Anastassia Alexandrova
Monday, February 25, 2008
2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
Room 2110, Chemical & Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
Professor Sheryl Ehrman
Top-down and Bottom-Up Molecular Design
Presented by Anastassia Alexandrova
Department of Chemistry
This talk will be about two different strategies in modern molecular design. The "bottom-up" part of the seminar will address novel inorganic clusters, ligands, and building blocks. The major driving force in this design is the theory of chemical bonding, which is being both developed on-the-fly, and immediately applied to new systems. In particular, we will show how the effect of multiple aromaticity and antiaromaticity is prominent and profound in the inorganic world. The "top-down" part of the talk will be about artificial enzymes. Since biological catalysts are generally far superior to synthetic ones, it is truly inviting to incorporate Nature's strategies in human-made catalysts. This ambition led us to the development of an "inside-out" protocol for the design of new enzymes. Using the Kemp elimination reaction as an example, we will demonstrate how enzymes are being designed, tested in silico and in vitro, and optimized to perform catalysis ahead of Nature.