The Department of Chemistry congratulates Lucas Weiser '17, winner of Brown's Outstanding Chemistry Student Award from the Rhode Island Section of the American Chemical Society. Lucas will present his poster titled "Water Soluble [4Fe-4S] Clusters as a Point of Crosstalk Between Nitric Oxide and Hydrogen Sulfide" at the ACS RI Chapter Poster Session & Awards Night on April 11.
Lucas is a researcher in the lab of Prof. Eunsuk Kim. He describes his research on iron-sulfur clusters as follows:
Iron-sulfur clusters are ubiquitous in biology and are found at the heart of a wide variety of enzymes in the human body. They have been found to participate in a multitude of processes including electron transfer, iron storage, and reaction catalysis. In our lab, we are probing a new functionality of these cofactors: signal transduction. Specifically, we have found that nitric oxide, a signaling molecule, reacts with iron-sulfur clusters in a reducing environment to produce hydrogen sulfide, a secondary signaling molecule. Our lab has been focused on the investigation of this reaction with [4Fe-4S] clusters, characterizing the products and quantifying the hydrogen sulfide production. Further, we have designed a cluster that is soluble in organic and aqueous solvents. This cluster allows us to perform our reaction in physiological conditions to establish a better understanding of the capacity of this reaction to occur in the human body.