Organic Synthesis of an Unnatural Fluorescent Amino Acid

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Thomas Goyne and Dr. Jeffrey Pruet

Streaming Media


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Summer 7-24-2020


The long-term goal of this project is to chemically synthesize an unnatural fluorescent amino acid, 3-[7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-yl]-L-alanine. This amino acid can be used to build glow-in-the-dark proteins, allowing investigators to visualize a single protein in an otherwise transparent living cell. We have been unable to replicate the previously reported synthesis and are exploring different reaction conditions and workup procedures. To determine the efficiency of the new reaction conditions, reaction kinetics will be analyzed using 1H-NMR and LCMS, which follow the reactions over time.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Cassandra Niemeyer is a senior at Valparaiso University. She is also a Biochemistry major pursuing premed.

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