Building New Synthetic Enzyme-Mimics – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Building New Synthetic Enzyme-Mimics

In preparation for postgraduate studies, a Hobart student is studying the synthesis and characterization of compounds called dialkylaminopyridines.

July 12, 2002 GENEVA, N.Y. – Hobart junior Zachary Schneider is working this summer in the lab of chemistry professor Martel Zeldin on a research project involving the synthesis and characterization of compounds called dialkylaminopyridines. During the eight-week program, Schneider will work on the synthetic, spectroscopic and catalytic evaluation of these new compounds. The techniques he will master will prepare him for postgraduate studies in chemistry or other laboratory science. He will present his work at the upcoming American Chemical Society (A.C.S.) national meeting in Boston in August.

More specifically, Schneider is working this summer on a research project that involves the synthesis and characterization of compounds containing the dialkylaminopyridine group. Derivatives containing this functional group act as enzyme-like supernucleophilic catalysts for important organic and biochemical reactions. The summer project asks the question “can scientists tether a catalytically active dialkylaminopyridine function to a siloxane cage polymer such as silsesquioxane, which has a cavity of known dimensions and can serve as an active site in an enzyme-like reaction?” The ultimate goal is to build new synthetic enzyme-mimics.

Schneider's research is supported in part by an undergraduate summer research grant from the Polymer Education Committee of the A.C.S.

Schneider is a chemistry major from Gambrills, Md. While at Hobart College he has made the Dean's List and been named a Hobart Deans Scholar in 2001. He is the son of Dr. Donald and Mrs. Rande Schneider.

Zeldin is a visiting professor of chemistry and senior research associate. He holds a Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University. His research is in organometallic polymers, including materials with enzyme-like catalytic properties. He is also interested in understanding the factors that play a role in the thermal degradation of inorganic and organometallic polymers. He is editor of the Journal of Inorganic and Organometallic Polymers and the author of more than 90 peer reviewed papers and edited books. Before joining the Colleges, he was dean of science and technology at the College of Staten Island of the City University of New York.