Anna-Lisa Hennig

Anna-Lisa Hennig, Undergraduate Student

Undergraduate Student Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: BS, NYU Abu Dhabi (expected 2018)

Anna Hennig is an undergraduate student at NYU Abu Dhabi, graduating this upcoming May 2018 with a BS in Chemistry. She is carrying out her “capstone” (i.e., undergraduate thesis) work in the Dore Laboratory, investigating the effects of meta-substitution on the two-photon absorption sensitivity of the 8-cyano-7-hydroxyquinolinyl photoremovable protecting group (PPG). In the past, she has assisted in research into the synthesis of fluorinated carbohydrates at the University of Southampton, UK. After graduation, she hopes to put her chemical skills to practical use and possibly pursue a career in art conservation.


Understanding physiological processes is vital for scientific advancement in many areas, from disease control to technological developments. While much progress has been made, particularly with the help of bioimaging techniques, a full knowledge of human physiology remains distant. To narrow the gap in knowledge, there is a need to develop more biological probes for studying the dynamic nature of physiological processes. Using light-dependent probes is effective as they provide tight control of the timing and location of events. In this category, photolabile protecting groups (PPGs) are of particular interest because of their simplicity of use. PPGs activated through the simultaneous absorption of two photons are especially useful for investigations in whole animals. However, the lack of PPGs activated by absorption of two photons is an impediment to their use. This project aims to optimize the 8-cyano-7-hydroxyquinolinyl PPG for higher sensitivity to two-photon absorption.