Research Interests - Dr. Wallace Fu
Dr. Fu is just starting his academic research projects. If you are interested
in doing research with him, please contact him. The areas of his interests
are: (1) mycosporin like compounds, (2) peptide synthesis and (3) factorial
• MYCOSPORIN LIKE COMPOUND
Mycosporins are natural products derived
from dihydropyrogallols and amino acids. Marine organisms and plants are
known to use these molecules for protection from harmful UV radiation.
In this research the students will learn how to make complex molecules
from simply building blocks, known chemical transformations and readily
available recyclable reagents. Dr. Fu is looking for scientists from other
disciplines to collaborate with him on evaluating these novel chemical
substances for potential commercial applications.
• PEPTIDE SYNTHESIS
Peptides are small polyamides
made from natural amino acids which are sequentially joined in an orderly
manner. The first
synthetic peptides (pituitary gland hormones oxytocin and vasopressin)
were prepared synthetically by Dr. Du Vigneaud (Chemistry Nobel 1955).
Later, Dr. Merrifield at Rockefeller University developed a solid phase
peptide synthesis (SPPS) method which greatly simplified the work and increased
the output efficiency. For that work Merrifield received the Chemistry
Nobel prize in 1984. Many commercial peptide products are produced by this
approach. The research emphasis here is help the students learn to use
the computer to perform the synthesis. Such specialized skills will benefit
the students who intend to seek employment in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical
industries or for students wanting to further their education in the field
of peptide synthesis.
• FACTORIALLY DESIGNED EXPERIMENTS
Often in a synthesis
project the chemists will encounter difficulties in reaction transformations.
may have to be optimized. Here the students will learn how to apply basic
statistics to solve problems. A set of experiments with carefully planned
independent variables (reaction parameters) will be measured against
the results (dependent variables). The desired outcome could be quantified
so that quality could be reproduced with consistency. The purpose here
is to introduce students to interdisciplinary approach to problem solving.
It is used in many industries to solve everyday quality issues. Pharmaceutical
companies, automobile manufacturers and even furniture makers can benefit
from such an approach to maintain quality, increase productivity and