Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dr. Michael T. Huggins

“Hydrogen Bonding Studies with Simple Pyrrole Derivatives”
-  Dr. Michael T. Huggins

Dr. Huggins spent his time talking about his work with the Dipyrrinone structure.  The majority of the talk was rather in depth so I took notes on what I could.  It seemed that most things that Dr. Huggins and his staff did to try and get the Dipyrrinone to react the way they wanted ended up failing.  They tried using amide groups but after many different methods and failures he stated that he is just “sick of amides.”  Another problem for his research has to do with the environment of Florida.  The humidity has a major effect on the yield that he is able to produce in the lab, which has a wide range of anywhere between 30-80% of starting material.  The thing that I found most interesting was the fact that he wants to use fluorescent Dipyrrinones to help in the detection of certain organophosphates.  These detectable chemicals could be harmful ones such as herbicides, or nerve gas.  If you wanted to test the runoff from a farmer’s field then by using UV spectra and the fluorescent Dipyrrinones you can determine if the water is in fact contaminated.  He also mentioned that the chemical agent Sarin could be detected as well such as the gas that was used in the Syrian attacks.  The test would essentially turn the color from the oximate color which could be purple to the yellow green color of the oxime, which would confirm the presence of that particular chemical.  This to me seems like it has so many different useful applications.  To sum up the lecture he spoke briefly about Pensacola and the University of West Florida.  Pensacola is the oldest city in the US, predating both St. Augustine and Jamestown.  The school has 13,000 students who go there.  



1 comment:

  1. I also attended this section. It seemed like Dr. Huggins was trying to be personal, clear, and also gave his research perspective. However, his presentation was difficult to analyze because he speed through many important reactions that required detail close-up. I noticed that he failed many experiments. I like the way he incorporated real life environment that affected his research such as Florida's humidity played a huge role. If he lived in a different environment, his research could also alter into a different perspective.