Illinois State University’s Distinguished Professor of Organic Chemistry Tim Lash has been awarded a three-year National Science Foundation grant of $300,000 for his extensive study on porphyrins.
Porphyrins are stable pigment found in nature. One example is heme, a component of the protein hemoglobin that allows oxygen to be transported in the blood, making blood red. “Porphyrins answer basic questions – Why is blood red? Why is grass green?” said Lash. “These compounds not only occur widely in nature, but are also used for a remarkably number of different functions.”
Lash, whose award now brings his total to seven NSF grants, delves into the intricacies of porphyrin pathways, rearranging them and seeing how they react. His team has published a multitude of papers in international research journals on the reactions of rearranged porphyrins, including Angewandte Chemie, Journal of the American Chemical Society, The Journal of Organic Chemistry, Tetrahedron and Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry. His studies have also become the basis of work for many other chemists.
Lash has a doctorate from the University of Wales, College of Cardiff, and a degree from the University of Exeter.