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Tri-college Bioinorganic Chemistry

The T-BIC consists of Rob Scarrow's research group from Haverford, Sharon Burgmayer's group from Bryn Mawr, and Liliya Yatsunyk's group from Swarthmore. Our group was initiated through Mellon Seed grants in 2009. It is currently supported by the Mellon Root Grant for 2017-2019. In the time in between, the group was supported by the faculty research funds and generous donations of each of our departments.  In summer 2017 TBIC expanded to include Amanda Reig's research group from Ursinus. We meet 4-5 times a year on each of the four campuses for joint group meetings where students share their research findings and engage in scientific discussions in a collaborative environment. Once a year (if funding permits) we invite an outside speaker, well-respected in the bioinorganic field, for a formal presentation. Our past invitees were: Veronika Szalai from NIST (2009-2010); Dr. Charles Riordan of the University of Delaware (2010-2011); Nicolai Lehnert of the University of Michigan (February 2014); and Paul Lindahl from Texas A&M (February 2017). We also hosted local research groups of  Mark Schofield and Lou Charkoudian from Haverford, Yan Kung from Bryn Mawr. The faculty and students from these group presented their work at TBIC enriching experience of our students. TBIC meetings led to collaborative work between our four campuses.

TBIC meeting on July 19th, 2022 at Swarthmore

TBIC is finally back! There was a lot of enthusiasm about having this meeting. Sharon Burgmayer came with five students from Bryn Mawr; two students and Amanda Reig came from Ursinus; four students and Rob Scarrow came from Haverford; and four students and Liliya Yatsunyk represented Swarthmore for a total of 19 participants. To reintroduce the students and faculty, Liliya asked each participant to share about a new knowledge or skill aquired due to COVID. In addition to a lunch from a local restaurant, Occasionally Yours, the TBIC group enjoyed the following presentations:

  1. Alexandra Bender, Ursinus: Characterization of DFsc Phosphatase Activity
  2. Sherry Liu, a recent graduate, class of 2022 shared her senior thesis and current work, Bryn Mawr: Synthesis and Characterization of a fully reduced mononuclear molybdenum cofactor model
  3. The entire Haverford team that consists of Berlensie Chery, Carley Parsons, Matthew Ruiz, and Kristina Tran presented: Guanidine-containing metal-binding ligands
  4. David Ye, Swarthmore College: Oligo 10 biophysical studies and crystal structure

TBIC meeting on November 18, 2019 at Bryn Mawr

This time around we were a small group. Ursinus students and Amanda could not make it . We had a nice indican dinner and very exciting presentations followed by good questions from the audience and productive discussion. For our introductory question Sharon asked us to report on efforts we do toward helping the planet. There were a lot of very interesting suggestions. My favorite was Meetless week, which I will try to implement as Meetless Friday. We heard the following presentations:

  1. Sawyer McCarty, Swarthmore:  "Studying the structures of G-quadruplex TET sequences"
  2. Diana Striplet, Haverford: "oBIM3tren/oBIMDdeen"
  3. Emma Allen, Bryn Mawr: "Reactivity of a molybdenum cofactor model complex with a phosphonium salt"

TBIC meeting on July 17, 2019 at Swarthmore

We had a nice big and enthusiastic group from Swarthmore (Liliya Yatsunyk, Joanne Miao, Dana Bseiso, Linda Lin, and Jack Rubien), Haverford (Rob Scarrow and 6 of his summer students), Bryn Mawr (Sharon Burgmayer and five of her students), and Ursinus (Amanda Reig, Joe Pantel,and Brendan Cherrey), totaling 21 person. We have yummy middle eastern food. We had three talks from Joe Pantel (Ursinus); Joanne Miao and Dana Beseiso (Swarthmore), and another talk from Haverford folks.

TBIC meeting on January 28, 2019 at Haverford

Sharon Burgmayer and nine students came from Bryn Mawr (Cassie Gates, grad student, Robin Fair, grad student, Emma Allen, grad student, Haley Varnam '19, Torie Berke, '19, Nevada Power, '21, and Natalie Loui, '21), three students and Amanda Reig came from Ursinus, six students (Nathaniel Rolfe, Macy Goldbach, Diana Striplet, Loui Othman, and Genevieve Uy) and Rob Scarrow came from Haverford and five students (Deondre Jordan, Linda Lin, Hyun Kyung Lee, Dana Besiso, and Joanne Miao) came from Swarthmore for a total of 25 participants. Liliya Yatsunyk is on sabbatical and was not able to attend. In addition to a dinner, the meeting enjoyed the following presentations:

  1. Haley Varnam:  "Protonation in Models of the Molybdenum Cofactor
  2. Henry Li: "Synthesis and Characterization of Four Coordinate Tripodal Ligand MIZ3tren."
  3. Deondre Jordan: "Elucidating the Fold of DNA Repats Linked to Cancer."

Participants of TBIC from four campuses - Ursinus, Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore - send their Hello to Liliya Yatsunyk from Swarthmore who is on sabbatical in Bordeaux, France.

TBIC meeting on April 17, 2018 at Swarthmore

Eight students and Sharon Burgmayer from Bryn Mawr, seven students and Rob Scarrow from Haverford, and five students and Liliya Yatsunyk from Swarthmore gathered together for a lively evening of scientific discussions. The meeting started with a dinner, followed by presentations from each research group, and an intensive discussion of each presentation.

  1. Nam Nguyen (Bryn Mawr): "Modeling PEOPP molybdenum complex: synthesis and reactivity."
  2. Benjamin M. Burke and Macy Goldbach (Haverford): "Yes we did NO reaction​. "
  3. Barrett Powell (Swarthmore): "DNA replication: A tangled Tale."

TBIC meeting on January 31, 2018 at Bryn Mawr

Research groups of Rob Scarrow (Haverford), Sharon Burgmayer (Bryn Mawr), Amanda Reig (Ursinus College) and Liliya Yatsunyk (Swarthmore) enjoyed an evening of discussion and research presentations. The meeting started with a dinner and was followed by the following presentations:

  1. Haley Varnum (Bryn Mawr): "Modeling the Molybdenum co-factor: Adventures in protonation."
  2. Samantha Nyovanie (Swarthmore): "Torward the crystal structure formed by VEGF G-Quadruplex."
  3. Darshan Suryavanshi Magar (Haverford): "Synthesis and structure comparison of Co(DIG3tren)X Bph4. "

TBIC meeting on July 18, 2017 at Haverford

Twenty students and faculty met and enjoyed an evening of discussion and research presentations. Bryn Mawr was represented by the research group of Sharon Burgmayer (Cassandra Gates, Victoria Berke, Leslie Reiffen, Sam Schultz, Doug Gisewhite), Haverford was represented by Rob Scarrow's research group (Darshan Suryavanshi Magar, Sydney Churchill, Michelle Lin, Carley Pazzi), and Swarthmore was represented Liliya Yatsunyk's research group (Deondre Jordan, Allan Gao, Linda Lin, Samantha Nyovanie, Barrett Powell). Amanda Reig from Ursinus College also joined us with her students (Brian Van Dyke and Sophie Worthington-Kirsch).The group has enjoyed the following presentations:

  1. Linda Lin (Swarthmore): "Interaction of telomeric DNA with a small molecule ligand as an anticancer strategy."
  2. Cassandra Gates, Victoria Berke and Leslie Reiffen (Bryn Mawr): "The Molybdenum Cofactor: To Infinity and Beyond."
  3. Benjamin Burke (Haverford): "Synthesis and characterization of a high-spin Fe-NO enzyme model complex with H-bond donors."
  4. Brian Van Dyke (Ursinus): "Modeling Type III Binuclear Copper Oxidases with G4DFsc Variants."

TBIC meeting on April 12, 2017 at Swarthmore

​Seven students and Sharon Burgmayer from Bryn Mawr, seven students and Rob Scarrow from Haverford, and six students and Liliya Yatsunyk from Swarthmore gathered together for a lively evening of scientific discussions. The following talks were given by the members of each research group, followed by intensive discussion of each presentation.

1. Allan Gao (Swarthmore): Investigation of dimerization behavior of N-methylmesoporphyrin IX, NMM

2. Barrett Powell (Swarthmore): gave a very brief update on the success of his crystallization and X-ray data collection for the unusual DNA structure implicated in replication stress.

3. Alexandra Nagelski (Bryn Mawr): Trials of pterin reductionin synthetic molybdenum cofactor models. Alexandra is on her way to a graduate school at Yale!!!

4. Jackson Kwok (Haverford): Synthesis of the four-coordinate tripodal ligand MIZ3-tren and its cobalt acetate complex

TBIC meeting on February 15, 2017 at Haverford

Four students from Bryn Mawr ( Cassie Gates, Nam Nguyen, Allie Nagelski, and  Doug Gisewhite), 6 from Swarthmore, 5 from Haverford as well as the three faculty attended the TBIC. We had a pleasure to host Paul Lindhal from Texas A&M. The meeting started with a dinner with brief student talks giving the overview of the research in each of our respective groups:

1. Barrett Powell and Jessica Chen (Swarthmore): "Secondary Structure Investigation of (CAGAGG)n Repeats"

2. Doug Gisewhite (Bryn Mawr): " "How Suitable are Quinoxalines as Models for the Pterin Subunit of the Molybdenum Cofactor".

3.  Abigail Reuscher (Haverford)

The students talks were followed by coffee and dessert and the talk by our guest speaker Paul Lindhal (Texas A&M). Other faculty and students from Haverford were also present at the talk. We have learned about amazing powers of Moessbauer spectroscopy to study iron in the whole cells.

TBIC meeting on November 11, 2016 at Bryn Mawr

Twenty two students and faculty met and enjoyed an evening of discussion and research presentations. Bryn Mawr was represented by the research group of Sharon Burgmayer (Leslie Reiffen, Cassie Gates, Doug Gisewhite, Allie Nagelski, Nam Nguyen, Leslie Reiffen, Haley Varnum, and Torie Berke), Haverford was represented by Rob Scarrow's research group (Katiana Rufino, Darshan Suryavanshi Magar, Abigail Reuscher, Ben Burke, Nathaniel Rolfe, and Jackson Kwok). Finally, Swarthmore was represented by the group of Liliya Yatsunyk (Barrett Powell, Deondre Jordan, and Allan Gao). The group has enjoyed the following presentations:

1. Deondre Jordan (Swarthmore): “Investigating the secondary structure of non-canonical DNA implicated in Cancer”

2. Katiana Rufino (Haverford): "Synthesis, Characterization and Data Analysis of DIG3tren and the [CoDIG3trenSCN][SCN]H2O Complex"

3. Darshan Suryavanshi Magar (Haverford): "Synthesis of DIG3tren Cobalt complexes with non-identical auxiliary ligands and counter ions"

4. Doug Gisewhite (Bryn Mawr): "The Answer is Always 42"

5. Nam Nguyen (Bryn Mawr): "An Investigation in Cation Exchange between [TEA]Br and KTp* "

TBIC meeting on July 13, 2016 at Swarthmore

​Sixteen students and faculty met and enjoyed an afternoon of discussion and research presentations. In addition to the groups of Liliya Yatsunyk, Sharon Burgmayer (Bryn Mawr), and Rob Scarrow (Haverford), Amanda Reig's group from Ursinus College attended TBIC for the first time. Three presentations were given:

1. Barrett Powell, Swarthmore: Pursuing the secondary structure of CAGAGG repeats

2. Alexandra Nagelski, Bryn Mawr: Pterin reduction in molybdenum cofactor models

3. Brian Van Dyke, Ursinus: Copper binding and reactivity of G4DFsc proteins

TBIC meeting on May 3rd, 2016 at Haverford

Seventeen students and faculty from the research groups of Rob Scarrow, Sharon Burgmayer and Liliya Yatsunyk representing Haverford, Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore gathered together for an evening of exciting research discussion. The group has enjoyed the following presentations:

1. Irene Evans, Haverford: Exploring the oxidation reactions of [Fe(DIG3tren)](OAc)2: a biomimetic non-heme iron complex.

2. Irene Xiang, Swarthmore: Interaction of human mitochondrial DNA with the small molecule ligand, RHPS4.

3. Doug Gisewhite, Bryn Mawr: Modeling Moco: Reinvestigating 2010.

TBIC meeting on March 2nd, 2016 at Bryn Mawr

The following students and faculty attended the meeting from Bryn Mawr: Nam Nguye, Haley Varnum, Alexandra Nagelksi, Dough Gisewhite, and Isil Sozuer; from Haverford Karina Gomez, Irene Evans, George O'Hara, and Ben Burke; and from Swarthmore: Jessica Chen, Thomas Ruan, Sayed Malawi, Irene Xiang, Alice Liu, Deondre Jordan, and Barrett Powell. The faculty and students enjoyed the following presentations:

1. Jessica Chen, Swarthmore: Secondary structure determination for (CAGAGGG)n repeats

2. Alexandra Nagelski, Bryn Mawr: Molybdenum pyranopterin dithiolene complexes: investigating the steric effects in molybdenum cofactor models

3. Ashley Zhu, Bryn Mawr: Pterin reduction in Moco model complex: Effects on the electronic environment.

Karina Gomez from Haverford presented a poster "Reactivity of nitric oxide with [Fe(DIG3tren)](triflate)2" which she will bring with her to the ACS meeting in San Diego, March 2016.

TBIC meeting on December 7, 2015 at Swarthmore

16 students and faculty met and enjoyed the following presentations:

  1. Thomas Ruan '16 (undergraduate, Swarthmore college): TMPyP4 derivatives as quadruplex ligands
  2. Benjamin Williams (graduate student, Bryn Mawr college): Pyran tautomerism and pterin reduction in a molybdenym complex modeling Molybdenym cofactor
  3. Karina Gomez (undergraduate, Haverford college): Nitric oxide reactivity with [Fe(DIC3tren)](triflate)2

TBIC meeting on February 4, 2015 at Haverford

Research groups of Rob Scarrow (Haverford), Sharon Burgmayer (Bryn Mawr) and Liliya Yatsunyk (Swarthmore) attended the meeting. June Lee, Jessica Chen, Josh Turek-Herman, Supriya Davis, and Delfin Buyco represented Swarthmore. Today TBIC hosted two outside research groups of Dr. Louise Charkoudian from Haverford, Dr. Yan Kung from Bryn Mawr. The students from these two groups presented short talks.

TBIC meeting on Apr 15, 2014 at Swarthmore (Tue 6-8 pm)

In attendance at TBIC: Swarthmore - 8 people; Haverford - 5; Bryn Mawr - 8, total 21 people

Presentation by Navin Sabharwal (undergraduate, Swarthmore): N-methylmesoporphyrin IX fluorescence as a reporter of strand orientation in guanine quadruplexes.  Presentations from Bryn Mawr and Haverford followed.

TBIC meeting Feb 5 2014, Haverford (Wed, 5-7 pm)

Swarthmore team arrived at Haverford in the middle of an ice storm. Swarthmore campus had no electricity that day, but Haverford, luckily, did. Bryn Mawr decided to play it safe and did not come to the meeting. The main speaker for this evening was Dr. Nicolai Lehnert from the Chemistry Department of the University of Michigan. His talk is titled:  "The first Functional Model System for Flavo-diiron Nitric Oxide Reductases" After his presentation Dr. Lehnert discussed science with our students.

TBIC meeting on Sept 20, 2013 at Bryn Mawr

KJ Bredder, Michelle, Navin Sabharwal, Mary Kuchenbrod, and Josh Turek-Herman from Swarthmore attended the meeting.

TBIC meeting on March 26, 2013 at Swarthmore (Tue 6:30 pm)

Bryn Mawr was represented by Sharon Burgmayer, Ben WIlliams,Juliana Quarterman, Doug Gisewhite, Yichun Fu, Hannah Gilbert,Anna Kalinsky, Stephanie Yang, and Tianmin Chen. Swarthmore was represented by Liliya Yatsunyk, Navin Sabharwal, Vienna Tran, Michelle Ferreira, Steven Barrett, Supriya Davis, and Josh Turek-Herman. 7 students from Haverford attended the TBIC.

Navin Sabharwal (undergraduate, Swarthmore) presented the talk titled "N-Methyl Mesoporphyrin IX as a strand-sensitive G-quadruplex reporter"

Ben and Juliana (Team Ru) from Bryn Mawr presented their work.

TBIC meeting on October 22, 2012 at Haverford College

22 students and faculty met and enjoyed the following presentations:

  1. Michelle Ferreira (undergraduate, Swarthmore)
    Synthesis and Preliminary Characterization of Novel Polyamide Derivatives of Protoporphyrin IX and Mesoporphyrin IX
  2. Ben Williams (graduate student, Bryn Mawr)
    Structure and Reversible Pyran Formation in Molybdenum Pyrano-terin Dithioline Models of the Molybdenum Cofactor

TBIC meeting on June 6, 2012 at Swarthmore College

19 students and faculty met and enjoyed the following presentations:

  1. Steven Barrett (undergraduate, Swarthmore)
    Structural Considerations of the NMM-Tel22 Complex
  2. Alexandra and Juliana (undergraduates, Bryn Mawr)
    Synthesis and Characterization of Ruthenium Complexes with dppz Ligands
  3. Jolie Krooks (undergraduate, Haverford) Isothiocyanato Co(II) and Cu(II) Complexes of Four Coordinate Tripodal Ligand (FCTC) with Conformational Binding Pocket

TBIC meeting on April 3, 2012 at Bryn Mawr College

Students and faculty from Yatsunyk's, Scarrow's and Burgmayer's groups gathered together for research discussions. The following talks were presented:

  1. Rob Scarrow and Jeff Schneider (undergraduate, Haverford)
    [Co(DIG3tren)X]X, where X = OAc, SCN, OCN, N3, Cl, F, and benzoate
  2. Navin Sabharwal (undergraduate, Swarthmore)
    Investigating the interactions between a platinum(II) metalloporphyrin and quadruplex DNA [pdf]
  3. Doug Giseqhite (graduate student), Yichun Fu, Hannah Gilbert, Suyin Lee (undergraduates, Bryn Mawr)
    Modeling the Molybdenum Cofactor

TBIC meeting on April 3, 2012 at Bryn Mawr College

TBIC meeting on February 7, 2012 at Swarthmore College

18 students and faculty from Yatsunyk's, Scarrow's and Burgmayer's groups gather together in the evening of February 7 to hear updates of each others research. The following talks were presented:

  1. Ben Williams (graduate student, Bryn Mawr)
    Investigations of BMOPP Chemistry: Modeling of the Mo cofactor
  2. Kevin D'aqilla (undergraduate, Haverford)
    Ni(II) complex with DIG3 TREN: potential oxidative catalysis and reactivity
  3. Cole Harbeck and Vienna Tran (undergraduates, Swarthmore)
    Stabilization of G-Quadruplex DNA by FRET [pdf]

TBIC meeting on February 7, 2012 at Swarthmore College