University of Missouri - Saint Louis

The Graduate School


An oral examination in defense of the dissertation for the degree

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry

Saeedeh Negin
M.S. in Chemistry, December 2011, University of Missouri-St. Louis.
M.S. in Physical Chemistry, May 2003, Zanjan University, Iran.
B.S. in Chemistry, February 1998, Shiraz University, Iran.

Analytical Evaluation of Synthetic Amphiphiles: Aggregation, Transport, and Supramolecular Interactions



Biological membranes form the barriers of life that maintain the physical identity of a cell and prevent its contents from leaking out or foreign substance from entering into it. The need for nutrients and chemical building blocks to enter cells and the need for waste excretion led to the evolution of complex proteins that facilitate and regulate these numerous and varied functions. Such proteins are vast in number and daunting in complexity. Chemists accepted the challenge to develop synthetic compounds that were much simpler than natural proteins but that would still provide some of the functions of the remarkable natural substances. The work in this dissertation describes analytical studies undertaken to define the actions and properties of functional, synthetic ion transporters of varied structure.

The compounds studied fall into three general classes. The first is the tris(arenes), which have been extensively studied in other labs, but their pore-forming activity was not recognized before the work reported here. The second family includes the cyclic tetraarene compounds comprising resorcinarenes, pyrogallolarenes, and cavitands. A unique pyrogallolarene nanotube was formed from a pyrogallolarene, and it exhibited a unique ion transport mechanism. The third family of compounds are amphiphilic heptapeptides, called “synthetic anion transporters” or SATs. The SATs conduct chloride anions through bilayer membranes, and they form aggregates both in the bulk aqueous phase and within the membrane. Certain of these SATs also exhibit interesting biological activity.

Date: November 16, 2012

Time: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Place: 451 Benton Hall


Defense of Dissertation Committee


Dr. George Gokel(Advisor)

Dr. Jerry Atwood
  Dr. Stephen Holmes Dr. James Chickos