Chemistry is truly the central science and underpins much of the efforts of scientists and engineers to improve life for humankind. TheMIT Department of Chemistryis taking a leading role in discovering new chemical synthesis, catalysis, creating sustainable energy, theoretical and experimental understanding of chemistry, improving the environment, detecting and curing disease, developing materials new properties, and nanoscience.
The Chemistry Education Office staff is responsible for administering the educational programs in the Department of Chemistry. Students can find answers to many questions about the undergraduate and graduate programs on the department website, and they are encouraged to stop by and see the staff in the office located in 6-205.
The student-run outreach programs in the Department of Chemistry aim to bring the excitement of chemical sciences to the community through lively demonstrations designed to illustrate a broad range of chemical principles. Graduate students visit science classes in high schools and middle schools in the Greater Boston area with a view to demystifying chemistry through hands-on experiments. ClubChem, an undergraduate chemistry organization, conducts Chemistry Magic Shows for elementary schools and youth programs in the Greater Boston area.
Chemistry is truly the central science and underpins much of the efforts of scientists and engineers to improve life for humankind. MIT Chemistry is taking a leading role in discovering new chemical synthesis, catalysis, creating sustainable energy, theoretical and experimental understanding of chemistry at its most fundamental level, unraveling the biochemical complexities of natural systems, improving the environment, detecting and curing disease, developing materials new properties, and nanoscience.
Nitric Oxide: Chemistry and Pathophysiology Our laboratory has been interested for many years in the formation, distribution, and metabolism of nitrate, nitrite, and N-nitroso compounds. This work led to our discovery of the endogenous synthesis of nitrogen oxides and eventually the discovery of nitric oxide as a biological molecule. At present our laboratory is conducting research on the pathophysiological consequences of nitric oxide and its oxidation products. This encompasses cell-mediated nitrosation, free-radical reactions, and oxidation. We are particularly interested in the nature of chemical damage to DNA and its genotoxic consequences. From a health point of view this is important for the inflammatory state and for various infections and diseases that increase the risk of cancer. We are also interested in the inhibition of these reactions by antioxidants and other substances that offer protection from oxidative stress.
Tissue Engineering for Drug Development and Chemical Toxicity Cells placed inculture generally lose at least some key differentiated physiological functions that they normally exhibit as part of organized tissues in the body. Thus, while cultured cells may be adequate for some applications in drug metabolism and detection of toxins, they are certain to fail for others. We have developed an in vitro organized tissue-based sensor for detection of unknown toxins and rapid screening of drug metabolism. The technology combines a unique chip-based micro tissue arrangement with mass spectrometric and optical sensors to detect changes in tissue behavior and measure primary and secondary biochemical transformations of drugs and toxins.
Quantitative Ultramicro Measurements for Drug and Carcinogen Metabolism We are developing new approaches to measure the fate of drugs and chemicals in the classical paradigm for drug metabolism: Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion (ADME). The methods include variations in biological Mass Spectrometry and Laser-Induced Fluorescence Spectroscopy. An important new, unique tool is an Accelerator Mass Spectrometer for C14 and tritium that will be directly coupled to gas and liquid chromatography. These tools will enable us to conduct "Nanotracing" of molecules in humans at heretofore unexplored levels.