Dejan S. Nikolic

    Email Address:
    College: Pharmacy Department: Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy
    Title: Research Assistant Professor
    Office: 435 Phone: 3-5867
    Participating in the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Awards program: Yes

    Research Interest:
    Drug discovery and development from natural products.

    The lab is interested in identifying active ingredients from botanicals used to alleviate menopausal symptoms as well as to investigate their bioavailability, pharmacokinetics and metabolism using in vitro and in vivo model systems. examples plants currently under study are black cohosh, licorice and wild yam.

    The primary technique used in the lab is liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). The lab is equipped with state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation that include all modern types of mass spectrometers.

    Minimum time commitment in hours per week: 12

    Qualifications of a Student:
    Chemistry or biochemistry major is preferred. Year in college is not as important as the background knowledge and skills. The only exception is Honors College students looking for a Capstone project. Those students should be in their junior year or earlier.

    Brief Summary of what is expected from the student:
    We are currently in need of two students to conduct research in the are of synthesis and characterization of plant derived natural products.
    The first project involves small scale synthesis and analytical characterization of compounds that had been identified in plants, but are in limited supply to carry out biological evaluation. The student will set up chemical reaction, purify the desired product using open column low pressure chromatography and HPLC and characterize the prepared compound using mass spectrometry and NMR.A possibility exists that the student will also conduct biological evaluations of the synthesized compounds. This an excellent opportunity for a motivated student to learn basic skills in synthetic and analytical chemistry.

    The second project involved measurement of activity of natural products against selected enzymes. The student will test activity of compounds using enzymatic assays, will calculate relevant parameters and prepare reports.This is an excellent opportunity for a student interest in drug discovery

    These are not paid positions; however, previous students working in the lab had been supported by the CURA program.

    Strong work ethic and commitment to the project is expected.

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