Synthesis of an Unnatural Fluorescent Amino Acid

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Thomas Goyne


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-3-2019


The long-term goal of this project is to chemically synthesize an unnatural fluorescent amino acid (UFAA) that can later be used to build glow-in-the-dark proteins. UFAAs allow investigators to visualize a single protein in an otherwise transparent living cell. The specific UFAA target for this project is L-alanine, 3-[7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-yl], which is an analog of the natural amino acid tryptophan. This synthesis consists of a coupling reaction followed by a deprotection reaction. Products have been characterized using 1H and 13C NMR, and Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS). Future tasks could include optimizing the yield and purity of this UFAA.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Madeline is a senior at Valparaiso University, majoring in chemistry, and minoring in biology.

Cassandra is a sophomore at Valparaiso University, majoring in biochemistry, and is pursuing Pre-Med.

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