Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: MSc, Punjab University; MPhil, University of Engineering and Technology; PhD, University of Kansas
Naeem Asad received an MSc in organic chemistry from Punjab University’s Institute of Chemistry. In 2008, he earned an M. Phil. in applied chemistry at the University of Engineering and Technology in Lahore, Pakistan. He then moved to the United States to pursue a PhD in organic chemistry with Prof. Paul Hanson at the University of Kansas. He joined the Dore Laboratory in 2015. His research interests include multi-step synthesis toward heterocyclic scaffolds, photochemistry of photo-cleavable protecting groups to be utilized in biological systems, and small-molecule library development for biological testing.
Photoremovable, photo-releasable, photocleavable, or photoactivatable protecting groups (PPGs) provide spatial and temporal control over the release of various biologically active compounds. When conjugated to neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, cell-signaling molecules, second messengers, drugs, and other biological effectors, PPGs are useful probes of biology, biochemistry, neurobiology, and biomedicine. The work is aimed at creating biocompatible quinoline-based PPGs with strong absorption above 350 nm that undergo a clean photochemical reaction with high quantum yield for release of a wide range of functional groups, exhibit low intrinsic activity, and are stable and soluble in biological media. Another goal is to optimize the photochemical and photophysical properties of the PPGs for multiphoton excitation mediated release of biological effectors.