SOAR Student Profiles

Isaac Puckett

Isaac Puckett

  • SOAR Position: Member; Research Mentor (2024-2025)
  • Major: Biochemistry
  • Faculty Mentor(s): Dr. Scott Handy

Current Focus: Investigation of a New Histidine-Catalyzed Reaction Option for the Knoevenagel Condensation Reaction for the Preparation of Potential Fluorophores 

Project Description

This project seeks to investigate the difference in reaction times and product yields regarding the preparation of various fluorophores, molecules which exhibit fluorescence, when using either glycine or histidine as the catalyst in a Knoevenagel Condensation reaction as well as explore and characterize the various fluorescent properties of each final product in response to various chemical factors. This project will consist of the organic synthesis of numerous organic compounds through the Knoevenagel Condensation reaction, the identification of compounds through H-NMR spectroscopy and TLC analysis, the comparison of reaction times and product yields across final products when using either glycine or histidine, and the characterization of the final products’ fluorescence spectra through UV/Vis spectroscopy.

Why does this topic interest you?

This topic interests me because fluorophores are organic compounds which are important to biological research focused on further understanding disease through their ability to fluorescently signal various chemical factors such as changes in polarity which are often associated with the development of various diseases.

What are your professional aspirations?

I aspire to complete a Ph.D. program in organic chemistry. Afterward, I plan to pursue a career as a chemist involved in the research and discovery of chemicals valuable to understanding diseases.

Do you have any advice for future researchers?

Research and pursue a topic that challenges and inspires you to keep learning.

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