Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Shawn R. Campagna

Committee Members

Brian K. Long, Ampofo K. Darko, Francisco Barrera


The investigation of a biological system can be probed in multiple fashions to improve our understanding of how they work. The work presented in this dissertation demonstrates how my work utilizes synthesis and spectroscopy to probe biological systems and gain a deeper understanding of cellular processes. My abilities as both an organic and analytical chemist are displayed throughout the projects that I have worked on throughout my graduate studies. Real advances have been made in the probed biological systems, allowing future researchers to take a more targeted approach from the chemical knowledge presented.Chapter 1 will focus on the degradation of dichloromethane in two members of the Peptococcaceae family. Initial isotope analysis of the degradation of DCM anaerobically suggests that each bacterium have a unique mechanism to convert DCM to non-toxic byproducts. An NMR analysis study using 13C-DCM is applied to both pure culture Dehalobacterium formicoaceticum and the mixed culture consortium RM containing DCM degrader Candidatus Dichloromethanomonas elyunquensis to observe the degradation and subsequently perform a pathway analysis.Chapter 2 is a study on the induction of diabetes that is associated with the prolonged treatment of inflammation with glucocorticoids. These drugs have wide ranging applications due to their global anti-inflammatory properties although they tend to limit the secretion of insulin in β [beta]-cells located in the pancreas. To gain a better understanding of this effect a library of glucocorticoids containing both steroidal and non-steroidal scaffolds were synthesized, characterized, computationally modeled, and tested in-vitro as potential anti-inflammatory drugs with candidates displaying little to no effect on insulin production.

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