Prestigious Humboldt Fellowship awarded to Sérgio Domingos

Studying molecular handedness using microwave fields

23 December 2015

Former HRSMC-HIMS PhD student Sérgio Domingos has been awarded a Humboldt Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers. He plans to employ high precision spectroscopy to reveal dynamic stereo-selectivity in chiral molecules.

Sérgio presently works at Melanie Schnell‘s research group in Structure and Dynamics of Cold and Controlled Molecules at the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg, as a postdoc.

Scope of the research

Chiral molecules exist in two forms that are mirror images of each other, similar to our two hands being mirror images. The ability to determine the 'handedness' of chiral molecules is key in establishing how molecular structure and biological activity relate to one another. This is an important aspect, for example, for the development of novel drugs.

Domingos will exploit the high resolution of broadband microwave spectroscopy and the chiral sensitivity of microwave three-wave mixing to study chiral molecular systems and clusters. These studies aim at boosting our comprehension of the mechanisms through which chiral molecules are selective towards specific biological targets. The goal is to complement the ability to determine the handedness of chiral molecules, with the potential capability of selectively separating chiral molecules of different handedness in a controlled matter. This is an exciting perspective to add to the existing toolbox of analytical tools for chiral identification and separation.

Published by  Holland Research School of Molecular Chemistry