MRI: Track 1: Acquisition of a Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometer for Advancing Research and Education at Montclair State University

Project Details


This award is funded by the Major Research Instrumentation Program and the Chemistry Research Instrumentation Program. Montclair State University is acquiring a Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometer with a pyrolysis unit (Py-GC/MS) to support Professor Jaclyn Catalano and colleagues Nathanael Hirscher, Nina Goodey, Jinshan Gao, Meiyin Wu, and 11 additional faculty members in three departments across the university. This instrument allows for routine separation of liquid and solid samples with high sensitivity and detection of mass to charge ratios. This versatile instrumental setup allows for different sample types encompassing the broad research and teaching needs of the College of Science and Mathematics at Montclair State University. The instrument will be used by the diverse undergraduate and graduate student population performing research. The instrument will be incorporated into coursework pertaining to seven different academic majors and will be used by up to 300 students annually, providing undergraduates with essential research skills for jobs and/or preparing them for professional schools. Programs will be established to include the instrumentation in pre-college student outreach programs.The award is aimed to use the Py-GC/MS instrument to enhance and supplement current ongoing research projects in the fields of biochemistry, analytical, inorganic, and soil chemistry and environmental science. Py-GC/MS is a versatile instrument, capable of analyzing chemical mixtures in the solid (via pyrolysis) or liquid/gas (via standard injection) phase. This allows this instrument to be used by various researchers in different departments on a variety of samples from soils to organic compounds. Multiple research projects will be enhanced by this instrument, including (1) discovery and development of more specific non toxic drugs to be activated (made toxic) by a specific enzyme; (2) evaluation of soil remediation strategies by using artificial root exudate solution to initiate degradation of carcinogenic and toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. This is especially important because these toxins are environmentally stable, resistant to degradation, and generally persist in the environment for long periods of time; (3) determination of the reaction intermediates for the synthesis of glycan standards and free radical tags, which will benefit the development of novel free radical tags for glycan quantitation and characterization; (4) synthesizing and testing novel organometallic catalysts for reactions of hydrocarbons and other organic substrates, controlled by tailored organic ligands; (5) assessment of the environmental contaminants in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area and to investigate human seafood consumption safety. The results will be used to formulate data-driven policy recommendations to safeguard human health. In addition, undergraduates and graduate students will be trained on the instrument as part of their research projects and/or academic coursework.This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Effective start/end date1/09/2331/08/26


  • National Science Foundation: $172,138.00


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