Campus: CSU Los Angeles -- February 01, 2002
Cal State L.A.'s Chemistry Professor Receives Teacher-Scholar Award
Cal State L.A.'s associate professor of Chemistry Feimeng Zhou (Temple
City resident) received a $60,000 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award
for his project, "DNA Sensing and Protein Metal-Electron Transfer
at the Metal-Solution Interface."
In an award letter addressed to Professor Zhou, it states: "The Henry
Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award places you among a select group of scientists.
Not only have you displayed continuing dedication to education of undergraduates,
but you have also demonstrated outstanding scientific accomplishments.
The award is presented to you in acknowledgement of both these aspects
of advancing the chemical sciences and in the expectation that you will
continue to be a leader in the research and non-research components of
Zhou, who holds a Ph.D. from University of Texas at Austin, specializes
in instrumental analysis and quantitative analysis. He has been a faculty
member at Cal State L.A. since 1997.
The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program was established
by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation to strengthen the teaching
and research careers of talented young faculty in the chemical sciences.
Criteria for selection included a commitment to education and an independent
body of scholarship that signaled the promise of continuing outstanding
contributions to both research and teaching. The Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar
Awards Program, specifically, stresses teaching, mentorship, and the nominees'
accomplishments in research and teaching, primarily with undergraduates.
Research Project Description
DNA microarray technology is having a significant impact on genomics,
drug discovery, and toxicological research. In the project, various chemical
schemes for fabricating DNA films onto metal surfaces and glass slides
have been explored. Surfaces covered with various DNA molecules have been
systematically characterized by a variety of analytical and surface analysis
tools. The objective of this research is to understand the relationship
between surface parameters (e.g., the surface density and orientation
of the immobilized DNA molecules, sizes of the DNA molecules analyzed,
and properties of the underlying solid substrates) with the ultimate DNA
sensor or microarray performances.
The incorporation of metals such as zinc or copper confers steric possibilities,
catalytic activity, or redox properties to the acceptor metalloproteins
to control important biological processes as varied as gene expression,
respiration, and acid/base balance. It has been hypothesized that the
thiolate clusters that coordinate the metals in metallothioneins (MTs)
may render the molecule redox characteristics and can modulate the metal
transfer between MT and a biological substrate. The research group is
testing this hypothesis and to quantify the amount of metal release using
several advanced analytical instruments. Results from this research should
help elucidate the role of MTs in heavy metal detoxification and regulation
of essential metals in cellular environments.