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University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

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UW-Eau Claire Chemist
Presents Research At National Meeting
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.

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Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
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Updated: April 30, 2001