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Office: MEYR 475B
Phone: 410-455-1576
Professional Interests
Research Group
Veronika Szalai
Post-Doctoral University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill 1998; Ph.D. Yale University 1998; B.A. Bryn Mawr College 1988
Neurotoxicity and Structure of Copper-containing Amyloid-beta
Alzheimer's Association
7/1/07 - 6/30/10
MRI: Acquisition of an ICP-MS and an IC by UMBC for Use in Environmental and Human Health Research at UMBC and Howard University
National Science Foundation

University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) in collaboration with Howard University (HU) will acquire an Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS) and an Ion Chromatograph (IC) for use in environmental and human health research.

CAREER: Transition Metal Mediated Guanine Oxidation in Condensed DNA
National Science Foundation
This CAREER award by the Inorganic, Bioinorganic and Organometallic Chemistry program supports work to test the hypothesis that DNA condensation affects the rates and yields of one-electron guanine oxidation.
To determine whether reaction rates are affected by DNA packing, the one-electron oxidation of guanine by ruthenium(III) polypyridyl complexes is monitored using a model system in which DNA has been artificially condensed in reverse micelles. Comparison of the rates and yields of guanine radical formation in the reverse micelle model system to those determined in dilute solution will reveal how the oxidative chemistry occurring in dilute solution compares to that sustained by condensed DNA. 
Oxidative damage to DNA is a process important in production of cancerous cells and aging. This project provides cross-disciplinary training in physical, inorganic, and biochemistry to students involved in fundamental research on this process and discoveries from this research will be incorporated into courses taught by the principal investigator. This project will couple with ongoing efforts at UMBC to increase minority participation in science through the Meyerhoff Undergraduate and Graduate Fellowship Programs, NIH-Minority Access to Research Careers Program, Women in Science and Engineering, and an NSF-ADVANCE grant.
Transition Metals in Guanine Quartets: Development of Novel Materials
Research Corporation Research Innovation Award
The overall goal of the project is to develop novel materials using biological scaffolds in conjunction with paramagnetic species. While we aim to create new materials, our initial goal is to introduce transition metal ions into guanine quartets while maintaining the structural integrity of the DNA architecture and determining the magnetic interactions that may exist in the assemblies. At first, our studies will be carried out on solutions (or glasses) of individual guanine quartet assemblies in order to probe the type and extent of magnetic interaction between metal ions. In the future, we will develop a method to produce solids with long-range structural ordering of the individual molecular assemblies. We have the following specific aims to begin this project: (1) to incorporate transition metal ions instead of alkali metal ions into the central channel of the guanine quartet and to affirm the structural integrity of the assembly, and (2) to establish the electronic and magnetic properties of the assemblies using optical and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopies and magnetic susceptibility measurements.