Spring 2018 Seminars


Lunch at 12 PM (University Center)/Seminar at 3 PM (Grote 411, Presentation 3-3:45 PM & Question Sesssion 3:45-4:00 PM)
Date Speaker Home Institution Host Type of Chemistry
January 12, 2018 First Day - No Speaker First Day - No Speaker First Day - No Speaker First Day - No Speaker
January 19, 2018 Dr. Lekh Sharma Vision Laboratories Potts Industrial
January 26, 2018 Dr. Ed Lisic Tennessee Tech Albu Inorganic
February 2, 2018        
February 9, 2018        
February 16, 2018        
February 23, 2018        
March 2, 2018        
March 9, 2018        
March 16, 2018 Spring Break - No Class Spring Break - No Class Spring Break - No Class Spring Break - No Class
March 23, 2018 Dr. Luis Sanchez-Diaz University of Tennessee - Chattanooga Dr. Santiago Physics
March 30, 2018 Spring Holiday - No Class Spring Holiday - No Class Spring Holiday - No Class Spring Holiday - No Class
April 6, 2018        
April 13, 2018        
April 20, 2018 Award Ceremony - No Speaker      



Dr. Lekh Sharma

Clinical Drug Testing and Pharmacogenetic Testing for Prescription Drug Monitoring at Vision Laboratories, LLC

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), every day more than 90 Americans die due to opioid overdose. The number of deaths due to opioid poisoning now exceeds that of heroin and cocaine abuse. The detrimental impact of the drug abuse crisis on public health and socio-economic welfare can’t be overstated. Therefore, Federal and State governments require prescribers to perform random drug testing regularly to monitor patients’ compliance. Vision Laboratories, LLC, a local clinical toxicological drug testing laboratory, is playing an important role in monitoring prescription and illicit drug use of patients in the Chattanooga area and around the country.
Although many different matrices can be used for drug testing, urine and oral fluid are the most common due to the non-invasive nature of urine and oral fluid sample collection. Urine has longer detection windows for drugs as compared to oral fluid. However, the risk of tampering with specimens to interfere with prescription drug monitoring test results is higher in urine as compared to oral fluid. Vision Laboratories, LLC utilizes high complexity instrumentation by employing state-of-the-art Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry systems to determine the presence or absence of over 50 drugs in both urine and oral fluid.
With knowledge gained from Human Genome project as to how inherited genetic differences in genes affect the body’s response to medications, pharmacogenetic testing (PGT) has become a standard of care in prescription drug monitoring. PGT involves genotyping the genes that code for drug metabolizing enzymes (DMEs) and subsequently predicting an organism’s response to a given drug (phenotyping), thereby identifying responders and non-responders to medications, avoiding adverse drug events and optimizing drug dose. Vision Laboratories, LLC utilizes cutting-edge RT-PCR techniques to identify genetic variants in patient DNA from buccal swabs (cheek cells) for PGT. In this presentation, the instrumentation and analytical procedures associated with both drug testing and pharmacogenetic testing will be discussed. Additionally, a case study will be presented to demonstrate how knowledge gained through PGT at Vision Laboratories, LLC has helped physicians achieve better patient care by altering prescriptions and dosage according to each patient’s unique genetic makeup.



Prof. Edward C. Lisic

The Synthesis, Characterization, and Biological Activity against Microbes and Breast Cancer Cells of Copper, Palladium and Platinum Thiosemicarbazone Complexes: Implication of Human Topoisomerase IIα Inhibition.

Recently in our collaborative labs at TTU we have synthesized many new thiosemicarbazone ligands that successfully bind to transition metals to form metal complexes that have biological activity against seven microbe cell lines. Next, we have found that these α-(N)-heterocyclic ligands bind to Cu(II), Pd(II), and Pt(II) to form square planar metal complexes that are excellent inhibitors of the human topoisomerase IIα enzyme (Topo) which is essential during cell replication.[1],[2] This presentation will highlight the synthesis and NMR characterization of the new compounds, and showcase our biological studies including their activity against two breast cancer cell lines. We are investigating the potential of these new metal complexes for use as chemotherapy drugs, and to find their specific mode of interaction with Topo.

 [1] J.T. Wilson, X. Jiang, B.C. McGill, E.C. Lisic, J.E. Deweese, Examination of the impact of copper (II) a-(N)-heterocyclic thiosemicarbazone complexes on DNA topoisomerase IIa, Chem. Res. Toxicol. 29 (2016) 649-658.

 [2] J.D. Conner, W. Medawala, M.T. Stephens, W.H. Morris, J.E. Deweese, P.L. Kent, J.J. Rice, X. Jiang, E.C. Lisic, Cu (II) benzoylpyridine thiosemicarbazone complexes: inhibition of human topoisomerase IIa and activity against breast cancer cells, Open J. Inorg. Chem. 6 (2016) 146.

Dr. Luis Sanchez-Diaz

Dynamic and Structure of Passive and Active colloids

Colloids play an important role in our everyday life, from food and pharmaceutical industries to medicine and nanotechnology. There are two classes of colloidal suspension: equilibrium(passive) and active.  Some examples of passive colloids include proteins, DNA, and nanoparticles whose motion is driven by equilibrium thermal fluctuations. Active colloids, often referred to as microswimmers, are microscopic particles which self-propel through viscous fluids by converting energy extracted from their environment into directed motion. Several types of microscopic biological entities perform active Brownian motion; a paradigmatic example is the swimming behavior of bacteria such as Escherichia coli. For such systems, it is important to understand how particles interact with each other, diffuse, or assemble. This presentation will show that using statistical mechanics approach, Brownian simulations, neutron scattering and optical microscopes, we can calculate the thermodynamic and rheological properties of a colloidal suspension in the liquid phase as well the glass transition.