Faculty Sponsor

Thomas Goyne


Arts and Sciences



ORCID Identifier(s)

Taylor Gaskill 0000-0003-2060-5237; Esteban Kurth 0000-0001-6772-6269; Thomas Goyne 0000-0002-7189-0704

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Summer 7-23-2021


The long-term goal of this project is to more efficiently synthesize an unnatural fluorescent amino acid, 3-[7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-yl]-L-alanine, diazole for short. This fluorescent amino acid can be incorporated into a transparent protein, thus creating a “glow-in-the-dark” protein. Two parallel pathways are being explored to synthesize this diazole amino acid: traditional organic synthesis and biocatalysis. 1H-NMR and LC-MS are being used to analyze the organic route by monitoring the reaction kinetics of the key coupling reaction. The goal of these kinetics experiments is to identify optimal reaction conditions (solvent, temperature, etc.). For the biocatalytic route, the enzyme glutathione S-transferase from the cyanobacterium T. elongatus is being used to catalyze the key coupling reaction. Enzyme kinetics are monitored using LC-MS.

Abstract Image

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Taylor Gaskill is from Columbus, Indiana and will graduate from Valparaiso University in 2023. With a major in Chemistry, Taylor plans to pursue dentistry after graduation. Esteban Kurth is from Chicago, Illinois and will graduate from Valparaiso University in December of 2021 with a degree in Biochemistry. After graduation, Esteban plans on entering the workforce and eventually wants to obtain his PhD

synthesis.pdf (26 kB)
Literature Synthesis (PDF)

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Literature Synthesis (JPG)