Alice Deckert

Title: Professor
Department: Chemistry
Other Departments: Biochemistry (chair)
Degrees: B.S. Chemistry & B.A. Mathematics, Bethel College; Ph.D., Stanford University

Contact Info

Email: alice.deckert@allegheny.edu
Phone: (814) 332-5329
Website: Click here

Office Info

Office Location: Doane Hall of Chemistry C.005
Office Hours: Click here

Research Interests

My research interest is in the area of chemical kinetics. Projects in my lab include both solution-phase kinetics and interfacial kinetics.  Solution phase projects center around investigating the mechanism of RNA and DNA using a kinetic approach.  My investigations of interfacial kinetics utilize self-assembled monolayers (SAM).  These films consist of well-ordered mono-layers made from omega-organo thiols.  The ordered nature of these films provides a unique opportunity to study reactions in organized media.

We employ stopped-flow techniques to study solution phase reaction kinetics.  Our stopped-flow uses UV-vis absorption spectroscopy as detection.  Our investigations involve RNA/RNA and DNA/DNA as well as RNA/DNA duplexing kinetics.  This project has grown out of a collaboration with Dr. Martin Serra.

Our primary tools for monitoring interfacial reactions are ATR-FTIR, and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS).  We are interested in reactions between the surface of the film and molecules from the solution. In this case only one reactant is “organized” or constrained while the other reactant is free to move in three-dimensions.  An understanding of this class of reactions is important when designing chemical sensors or biosensor technology.

Recent senior projects:

  • “Oxygen binding of myoglobin immobilized on self-assembled monolayers”
  • “Investigation of the kinetics for activation of 4-mercaptobenzoic acid with N-hydroxysuccinimide and 1-[3-(dimethylamino)propyl]-3]ethylcarbodiimide hydrochloride and displacement by histidine”
  • “Kinetics of DNA duplexing and denaturation studied using surface plasmon resonance”
  • “Kinetic investigation of glucose oxidase binding to a gold organosulfur self-assembled monolayer using surface plasmon resonance (spr) and contact angle (CA)”