MAILED: April 30, 2001
EAU CLAIRE—A University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire professor recently
presented his research on the rates of chemical reactions at the American
Chemical Society's national meeting in San Diego.
Dr. Jack Pladziewicz, professor and department chair of
chemistry, presented his research, "The Evaluation of Electron Transfer
Reorganization via Cross Reactions," with students Jessica O'Konek, a senior
biochemistry/molecular biology major in the pre-medicine professional studies
program, Oconomowoc, and Teresa Jentzsch, a senior chemistry major, Medford,
April 1-5 at the 221st National Meeting and Exposition of the
American Chemical Society. O'Konek and Jentzsch have been assisting
Pladziewicz in this faculty/student collaborative research project.
Their research focuses on what controls how fast chemical
reactions occur, especially electron transfer reactions, which are key steps in
many important processes, including how humans use oxygen and metabolize food.
Pladziewicz said this research is presently being applied
to understanding two important processes: an enzyme involved in slowing the
aging process and catalysts to replace chlorine in bleaching paper.
"This research is of fundamental interest because it
deals with what controls reactivity," Pladziewicz said.
He added that finding out what controls how fast these
chemical reactions occur could aid drug companies interested in augmenting the
enzyme involved in the aging process by developing a drug that could slow aging
or be of use in organ transplants.
This research also could help environmentalists
interested in replacing chlorine as the bleaching agent in paper, since the
catalyst being studied would use the oxygen in the air in place of chlorine.
Pladziewicz has been working on this research since the
mid 1970's. The National Science Foundation has funded his work since 1985.
O'Konek and Jentzsch received funding from differential tuition funds and the
McNair Scholars Program as well as the NSF.
Now that a lot of the background work has been done,
Pladziewicz said, he is looking forward to doing more experiments this summer on
the anti-aging drugs and the catalyst to bleach paper.
"We still hope to publish this work too, once we have
completed a larger body of related work," Pladziewicz said.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: April 30, 2001