Congratulations to Songye Li, senior doctoral student - Winner of the 2010 Summer Research Competititon
Dr. J. William Louda congratulates Songye Li on her achievement of winning the 2010 Summer Research Competition. The prestigious competition includes a financial award, The Louda Graduate Research Award, which was made possible by a very generous donation from Drs. Deborah W. and J. William Louda.
Brief Summary of Songye Li's Summer Research in the Lepore Group: the Basis for Her Winning Submission to the Department of Chemistry Summer Research Competition
The Lepore group is interested in the development of more efficient ways to prepare radioactive agents through a collaboration with an NIH laboratory for use in medical imaging particularly positron emission tomography (PET). As a senior doctoral student in the group, Songye Li played a crucial role in the development of a first-generation reagent to expedite the radiolabeling process used to make PET imaging agents. This reagent class is termed nucleophile assisting leaving groups (NALGs), initially coined in the Lepore Group, and will soon be commercially available under an FAU license agreement by a major chemical manufacturer. Songye's efforts over the months of summer 2010 were to construct a class of NALG reagents combing the best elements of previous reagents. Specifically, Songye attempted to introduce a new chelating unit (a "soft" Lewis base) in addition to the oligoether motif present in existing NALG reagents developed in the Lepore Group. This new NALG reagent ("super NALG") should lead to exciting gains to facilitate the application of PET to an increased number of diseases. Through intensive efforts over the summer, Songye explored a number of chemical synthesis routes eventually identifying the likely pathway to the desired "super NALG" reagent.