Reactions and Potential Energy Surfaces of Organic Molecules

​Reactions and Potential Energy Surfaces of Organic Molecules​

Researchers at Texas A & M University have synthesized a series of Spiroepoxy-β-Lacotnes that may be of use as a DNA interpolating agent, and hence may have applications as anti-cancer agent.  Now, that is quite a mouthful, so let’s take a look at some pictures.  One of these molecules looks like this:

The idea is that a molecule with such a shape may be able to insert itself into the double helix structure of DNA, and hence is called an interpolating agent.   Most compounds of this general form are not stable and so spontaneously decompose (not a good property for a medicine). However the one example shown above is stable, and therein lies the question.  Why should this particular molecule be stable while many other, similar molecules are not?  We are presently using the Gaussian 09 program to explore the stability of this molecule and several similar ones.  Presently we are performing an extensive study of the potential energy surface of this molecule including several isomers.  Basically we are making a map of the stability as a function of the geometry of the molecule, including the possibility of breaking and forming bonds.

Future work will include characterization of the transition states for the conversion between the various isomers, which will allow us to estimate of the rates of interconversion between them.​

More Information


After their sophomore and junior years, many students participate in summer internships at a broad spectrum of universities and industrial research laboratories.

Learn More

Minor in Chemistry

​​A minor in chemistry requires 24 hours of coursework. This includes a 16-credit hour chemistry core and eight credit hours of electives chosen from approved chemistry courses.

Learn More

Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Chemistry

​The Department of Chemistry at Grove City College offers students the academic freedom to conduct meaningful, relevant research alongside experienced and accomplished faculty.

Learn More

Summer Research Projects

Take an in-depth look at recent Grove City College student and faculty scholarly work in the Hopeman School of Science, Engineering and Mathematics.​

Learn More

Current Students

Every student’s story is different, and how you choose to take advantage of the numerous opportunities to learn, grow and flourish is up to you.

Learn More

B.S. in Biochemistry

​The Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry prepares students for further training in health professions (medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, etc.), graduate work in the biomedical sciences or employment in the biotechnology sector.

Learn More