dansykes_picOur work involves theoretical and spectroscopic investigations of the structures and properties of chemical substances of environmental and forensic concern.

Novel stationary phases: The principal aim of the research is to develop a suite of silane coatings (HPLC, GC, SPME) with a high-degree of selectivity towards specific nitro aromatics and develop mixed-mode phases with broad selectivity and use multiple component analysis to recover individual analyte species. The forensic application of the SPME fibers could lead to future validation studies confirming accelerant canine detection alerts and aid in the explosive screening process by airport security agencies.

Analysis and detection of antidepressants and personal care products: Development, optimization and validation of sample extraction (antidepressants: blood, urine, water/wastestreams; personal care products: water/wastestreams) and LC-MS-MS methods. Antidepressants are the most heavily prescribed class of drugs today and are often co-factors in drug overdose cases. Both antidepressants and personal care products survive the wastewater treatment process, and therefore, of environmental and human health concern.

Analysis and detection of club drugs: The characterization of novel club drugs and the development, optimization, and validation of methods GC-MS and LC-MS-MS for their analysis. Club drugs under investigation include synthetic cannabinoids (including JWH-018, JWH-073, CYP-47, 497), modified glass cleaners, and Krokodil.

Chemical Education: Pedagogical transformation of the chemistry curriculum via the use and integration of small, mobile instruments for laboratory enhancement (SMILE). The major goal of the project is to design, develop, implement, and assess the construction and use of small-scale instruments in the chemistry curriculum at the high school and college levels.

Prerequisites for undergraduate research students: Chem 227 and Chem 210