Michael Smith

Professor Emeritus


  • NIH Postdoctoral Trainee, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1979
  • Ph.D. Purdue University
  • B.S. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Research Interests

Our current research involves total synthesis, drug design and the use of conducting polymers in green chemistry. We have synthesized an indocyanine green fluorescent dye that is linked to a nitroimidazole unit. This compound targets cancerous hypoxic tumors in mice, allowing the tumor to be imaged by a fluorescence detector. This work is done in collaboration with Professor Quing Zhu in the Department of Electrical and Computer engineering. In collaboration with Professor Frank Nichols at the UConn Health Center, we are studying a series of lipids obtained from the dental pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis, which are responsible for inflammatory responses in periodontal disease, and also trigger multiple sclerosis in mice. We have synthesized the various chiral diastereomers and biological assay will determine which dihydroceramide compounds are responsible for the biological effects. A medicinal chemistry study will follow to determine the structure-activity relationships of these compounds. In collaboration with Professor Gregory Sotzing (Chemistry) we are studying the role of additives with conducting polymers.

Contact Information
Fax(860) 486-2981
Mailing AddressUniversity of Connecticut
Department of Chemistry
55 N. Eagleville Rd
Storrs, CT 06269