Patrick J. Desrochers
Chair and Professor
Professional/research interests: Work in my lab involves the coordination chemistry of nickel, its interactions with amino acids and hydrogen-rich materials. These interactions are related to the biochemistry of this metal; in some bacteria nature uses nickel to catalyze commercially significant reactions. The association of nickel with sulfur in the form of cysteine is a common theme in this chemistry. Some reactions catalyzed by nickel-enzymes include the consumption and production of hydrogen gas and methane generation from rotting vegetation. Both hydrogen and methane are attractive as alternative fuels. My laboratory studies new complexes of nickel and sulfur in order to understand how the association of nickel with cysteine is useful in these kinds of reactions. I am also interested in nickel interactions with hydrogen sources, including borohydride and ammonia. These systems are being investigated for their reactivity as selective organic reductants and as potential hydrogen storage media for fuel cell applications. Most recently work in my lab has focused on anchoring these chemical systems to plastic substrates to improve their recyclability and use in applications ranging from protein purification to small molecule sensors. Courses I teach: Fundamentals of Chemistry (1301), Chemistry in Society (1400), General Chemistry I & II (1450,1451), Intermediate Inorganic (3360), Advanced Inorganic (4380 lecture, 3150 lab), Bioinorganic (as special topics, 4385).
More information can be found on Dr. Desrocher’s web page.