Chemistry Alum Jacoby Wins TA Award While Pursuing Ph.D.

By Purnell T. Cropper | August 14, 2012

Kimberly Jacoby ’10, who is entering the third year of her doctoral studies at Temple University, will receive the Guy F. Allen Memorial Award in September. The award recognizes outstanding teaching assistants. She has served as a TA for the undergraduate Organic Chemistry lecture and laboratory courses. Jacoby earned a B.A. in Chemistry with a Concentration in Chemical Professions from Arcadia University.

Jacoby, a member of Dr. Robert Stanley’s research group, currently is investigating the role of adenine along the pathway of electron transfer in E.coli photolyase, a DNA repair enzyme. The enzyme contains flavin adenine dinucleotide as a cofactor. This flavin cofactor can be excited by UV light and transfers an electron to a thymidine dimer in order to carry out repair. Measurements of excited state dynamics have been made using transient absorption and an optical kerr gated fluorescence set up.

Jacoby’s other area of research involves a biological imaging project. Flavins are fluorescent molecules and are found in many enzymes involved in metabolic pathways. In humans there is an enzyme which synthesizes flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) from flavin mononucleotide and ATP, called FAD synthase(hFADS). Bacteria have a bifunctional enzyme to carry out flavin biosynthesis, called FAD synthetase (cFADS). The cFADS carries out a phosphorylation reaction and an adenylation reaction. cFADS conveniently makes dually fluorescent analogues of FAD by incorporating a fluorescent base analogue of adenine like 2-aminopurine. hFADS do not incorporate fluorescent base analogues in the adenylation reaction. Having this unique isolation should enable the imaging of cells using techniques such as single molecule microscopy and fluorimetry.

To date, Jacoby’s collaborative research results have been presented at two national meetings. She presented “The Role of Adenine in the Initial Photoinduced Electron Transfer Repair of UV-Damaged DNA by DNA Photolyase” at the 17th International Flavins and Flavoproteins Symposium in Berkley, Cal., in July 2011. More recently, she presented “Photoinduced Electron Transfer Repair of UV-damaged DNA by DNA Photolyase Incorporating A Modified FAD Cofactor: The Role of Adenine in Repair” at the 244th American Chemical Society National Meeting in Philadelphia, Pa., in August 2012.

While at Arcadia, Jacoby participated in the First Year Study Abroad Experience and completed her degree requirements in three years. Her Capstone research, done in collaboration with Dr. Linda Mascavage, involved “The Synthesis of 2-Dichloromethylene-3-phenyl-4-thiazolidinone: Attempted Dehydrohalogenation of a 4-Thiazolidinone Derivative.”