McNair Scholar 2018 Mark Dresel

Mark Dresel is a senior undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities majoring in Chemistry. His research interest is in the synthesis of lanthanide complexes towards the recycling of phosphate from the water systems. Mr. Dresel plans on getting his Ph.D. in Chemistry.

Mark Dresel headshot
My dream is to increase chemical awareness in the public sphere while advancing current synthetic techniques.

Research project

Exploration of Binding Moieties of Lanthanide Complexes and Its Effects on Anion Affinity

Abstract: Lanthanide complexes that are soluble in water have many applications including as contrast agents for MRI, luminescent sensors for biological and environmental anions, and for environmental remediation. Each of these applications are affected by coordination to anions and selectivity for specific anions over others. Yet the parameters that affect anion recognition and selectivity by lanthanide complexes are poorly understood. Herein, we describe a methodical approach to delineate the parameters that affect recognition of anions by lanthanide complexes in water by monitoring anion binding to Gadolinium complexes by relaxivity.

Faculty mentor

Dr. Valérie C. Pierre is currently an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Pierre received her Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley in 2005. Her research employs supramolecular chemistry for medicinal and environmental applications. Dr. Pierre has published 45 peer-reviewed publications and paper has co-edited a practical reference book on MRI contrast agents.