Today our group met people at the US Embassy to discuss funding and scholarship opportunities for research abroad in the Czech Republic. Then we ate lunch, did some shopping at a mall called Palladium (a mall with an element name – how cool is that!!), and returned to the convention center to view the poster presentations. Many of the students did very impressive work and some had only been pursuing their Ph.D.s for one year. One poster was detailing research on photodynamic therapy (PDT), so I talked to this student for a while, since my project is also involving PDT. He is working on a photosensitizer (PS) using a core of phthalocyanines that had been derivatized with alkyl groups containing a N atom as well as a S atom to create a more water soluble system. He also tested three types of derivatized phthalocyanines – one with Mg metal coordinating with N atoms of the core system, one with Zn metal coordinating with N atoms of the core system, and one reacted with HCl to remove the Mg metal and bond two H atoms to the N atoms of the core system. He tested the singlet oxygen quantum yield and fluorescence yield with the PS dissolved in DMF and also used DMF as the solvent for testing the maximum wavelength absorption which was about 700 nm. The Zn coordinated to the N atoms of the core system yielded the highest quantum yield of singlet oxygen.
I am looking forward to tomorrow morning’s plenary session – the speaker is Roger Tsien who won the 2008 Nobel Prize for his work with the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). I studied this work extensively since I took a cumulative exam on it back in October, 2008 during my first year of graduate studies.