College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
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Faculty Mentors:

Dr. Lijuan Li (Chemistry & Biochemistry)


B.S. Chemistry, Jinlin University, Changchun, China (1983)

M.S. Chemistry, Jinlin University, Changchun, China (1987)

Ph.D. Inorganic Chemistry, McMaster University, Canada (1992)

Research Interests:

Recent investigations have demonstrated that nitric oxide plays key roles in many diverse cellular functions, such as controlling blood pressure, preventing platelet aggregation, acting as biological messengers and immune system cytotoxic agents, and memory storage. These discoveries have stimulated intense interest in metal-nitrosyl complexes, especially those that mimic the structures of biologically active metal complexes and metal compounds that can generate NO in a controlled manner for pharmacokinetic studies, cancer therapy and other medicinal applications.

Non-heme iron-nitrosyl complexes have been identified as products after biosynthetic evolution of NO and proposed to store nitric oxide. They are found to be responsible for several important biological functions. Non-heme iron nitrosyls have biological properties that are defined by their chemical characteristics. However, the isolation and structural determination of these compounds by means other than IR and EPR are both extremely tedious and difficult to carry our and very little is known about them. Our research is to synthesize non-heme iron nitrosyl compounds that mimic biologically active non-heme iron nitrosyls by using ligands that mimic amino acids of proteins, such as histidine , cystein, etc.

The reaction mechanisms and structures of these complexes will be studied by a combination of spectroscopic methods, such as FT-IR, EPR, NMR, UV-vis, X-ray crystallography and electrochemical techniques. These results will provide information on the structures of biological active non-heme iron nitrosyls, thus help neuroscience, physiology and medicinal research community to understand the diverse biological functions of nitric oxide and its metal complexes, some of which include controlling blood pressure, preventing platelet aggregation, acting as biological messengers and immune system cytotoxic agents, and involving in long-term memory. The kinetic data will be used to identify those NO releasing metal complexes, which could be used in cardiovascular muscle relaxation, cancer therapy, pharmacokinetic studies and other medicinal applications.

List of Recent Publications:

  • R. Wang, J. Zhang and L. Li, “Synthesis, characterization and crystal structure of a dinuclear iron nitrosyl complex with 2-mercapto-1-[2-(4-pyridyl)-ethyl]-benzimidazolyl”, Journal of Molecular Structure, 2009, in press. DOI information: 10.1016/j.molstruc.2009.02.010
  • X. Song, Z. Wang, Y. Liu, C. Wang and L. Li, “A high sensitive gas sensor for ethanol based on Mesoporous ZnO-SnO2 nanofibres”, Nanotechnology, 20, 075501 (2009).
  • R. Wang, M. A. Camacho-Fernandez, W. Xu, J. Zhang and L. Li, "Neutral and Reduced Roussin’s Red salt Ester [Fe2(µ-RS)2(NO)4] (R = n-Pr, t-Bu, 6-methyl-2-pyridyl and 4,6-dimethyl-2-pyrimidyl): Synthesis, X-ray Crystal Structures, Spectroscopic, Electrochemical and Density Functional Theoretical Investigations", Dalton Trans., 777 – 786 (2009). X. Li, C. Wang, L. Li, Y. Y. Zhao, H. Y. Wang and Y. Young, Preparation and Dielectric Property Investigation of Ferrocene/Poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) Composite Membranes”, J. Nanosci and Nanotech., 8, 1-5 (2008).
  • Y. Y. Zhao, X. Li, C. Wang and L. Li, “The Effects of Organic Solvent on the Electrospinning of Water-Soluble Polyacrylamide with Ultrahigh Molecular Weight”, Journal Solid State Phenomena, 121, 113-116 (2007).
  • X. Li, C. Wang, Y. Li, H. B. Liu and L. Li, “The Effects of CdS Nanorods on the Morphology of ELectrospun Poly(vinyl pyrrolidonr) Products”, Journal Solid State Phenomena, 121, 109-112 (2007).
  • N. Guo, Y. Zhao, Y. Zhang, L. Dong, L. Li, and C. Wang “Roles of TiO2 Nano-Particles in the Formation of Monolithic Silica-Gels via Bulk Sol-Gel Process”, R. J. Inorg. Chem., 50(2), 158-164 (2005).
    R. C. Struthers, D. B. Chang, R. Toossi, S. Ahdout, L. Li, and R. G. Palomba, “Storage device for sorption and desorption of molecular gas contained by storage sites of nano-filament laded reticulated aerogel”, United States Patent #6906003 (2005).
  • X. Wang, E. B. Sundberg, L. Li, K. Kantardjieff, S. Herron, M. Lim and P. C. Ford “A Cyclic Tetra-Nuclear Dinitrosyl Iron Complex [Fe(NO)2(Imidazolate)]4: Synthesis and Structure” J. Chem. Soc. Chem. Comm., 477-479, (2005).
  • S. Wang, X. Wang, L. Li and R. C. Advincula, “Design, Synthesis and Photochemical Behavior of Poly(benzyl ester) Dendrimers with Azobenzene Groups Throughout Their Architecture”, J. Org. Chem., 69, 9073-9084 (2004).
    L. Li, E. B. Sudberg and X. Wang “Synthesis, Structures and Spectroscopic Studies of non-heme Iron Nitrosyl Complexes”, J. Inorg. Biochem. 96, 179 (2003).
  • X. Wang, S. Wang, L. Li, A. E. B. Sundberg and G. P. Gacho “Synthesis, Structure and Catalytic Activity of Mononuclear Iron and -oxo Diiron Complexes with Ligand 2,6-bis(N-methylbenzimidazol-2-yl)pyridine”. Inorg. Chem., 42, 7799-7808 (2003).
    W. Liu, C. Wang, T. Shi, W. Zhang and L. Li “Synthesis and Properties of Liquid Crystal Zinc Porphyrin”, Polymer Preprints, 44(2), 877 (2003).
  • L. Li, N. Reginato, M. Urschey, M. Stradiotto and J. Liarakos “The synthesis and Crystallographic Characterization of Linear and Cyclic Dinitrosyl Complexes Containing Bis(phosphine) Bridgeing Ligands”, Can. J. Chem., 81, 468-475 (2003).

Office location:

MLSC 321

Campus Phone:

(562 ) 985-5068