IREU | Summer Projects in Singapore

U.S. undergraduate students may select from amongst the following projects offered by the National University of Singapore for the 2016 summer ACS IREU:

Project Code Keywords/Research Interests Project Mentor
NUS.1 biochemistry, membrane biogenesis Dr. Shu Shin Chng
NUS.2 nanomaterials, spectroscopy Dr. Wee Shong Chin
NUS.3 Metal-Organic Frameworks, inorganic chemistry, synthesis Dr. Zhao Dan

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(NUS.1) NUS Project 1

Professor Shu Shin Chng

Understanding the transport mechanisms of the Pseudomonas Quinolone Signal across the cell envelope of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic, nosocomial human pathogen that can cause infections in immunocompromised individuals. During infection, the Gram‐negative bacterium resides within multicellular bacterial communities, termed biofilms, which are characterized by their extreme tolerance towards conventional antimicrobial agents. P. aeruginosa biofilms also have a great capacity to evade and counter host innate immune responses through secretion of virulence factors, the production of which are largely controlled by quorum sensing (QS, or cell‐cell signaling) networks. While PQS biosynthesis and gene regulation have been quite well‐studied, little is known about how this hydrophobic molecule is secreted out of the cell and taken up during cell‐cell communication. This project is directed at understanding how PQS is transported across the P. aeruginosa cell envelope, and will involve the use of affinity purification experiments to characterize protein‐protein interactions within the system. This work will provide powerful insights into the complexities of transport of a hydrophobic molecule, such as PQS, across the Gram‐ negative cell envelope, and allow identification of potential anti‐ virulence targets in P. aeruginosa.

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(NUS.2) NUS Project 2

Professor Wee Shong Chin

Biogenic synthesis of metallic nanoparticles

Conventionally, the “bottom‐up” synthesis of silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) typically involves the addition of a reducing agent and a capping agent to a silver ion precursor. However, common reducing and capping agents used can be highly toxic and the reactions often employ harmful organic solvents. In this project, biogenic synthesis of (Ag NPs) uses plant extracts in aqueous solution would be studied and explored. Student's with prior experience in synthesis will receive priority. 

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(NUS.3) NUS Project 3

Prof. Zhao Dan

Synthesis of highly microporous metal‐organic frameworks for adsorption‐based gas separation.

Metal‐organic frameworks (MOFs) are an emerging class of crystalline materials composed of tunable organic linkers and metal ions. Because of possessing the diversity of coordinated models of metal ions and functional organic linkers, MOFs are promising to fill a niche for gas separation. This project mainly deals with synthesizing microporous metal‐organic frameworks with suitable pore size (3‐4 Å) for gas separation (CO2/N2, CO2/CH4). By judicious selection of functional ligands, thermodynamic control of MOFs for anchoring polar gas
molecules is expected and resultant MOF materials are evaluated for gas separation.

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