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Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Chemistry

Advisor 1

Marina Tanasova

Advisor 2

Kedmon N. Hungwe

Committee Member 1

Shiyue Fang

Committee Member 2

Tarun Dam

Committee Member 3

Roger Guillory II

Committee Member 4

Nikita Burrows


This dissertation is in two parts:

Part 1 of the study focuses on investigating the feasibility of delivering turn-on rhodamine-based fluorophores through Glucose transporters (GLUTs) for biomedical applications, both in vitro and in vivo. Fluorescent GLUT targeting probes are essential for analyzing transport activity, monitoring glucose uptake, and screening anti-cancer and anti-diabetic agents in cells and living organisms. Currently existing GLUT probes are inherently fluorescent, which limits their practical use, especially in in vivo and high-throughput studies due to background fluorescence. To overcome this limitation, the study explores the potential of using rhodamine as a turn-on fluorophore for GLUT targeting and imaging, aiming to mitigate the issues associated with inherent fluorescence.

Part 2 of the study focuses on advancing safety education for both undergraduate and graduate students in the field of chemical sciences, particularly within chemistry laboratory courses. Given the inherent risks associated with chemistry, continuous safety education is paramount. Recent laboratory incidents in academic settings have emphasized the need for improved safety measures. Part 2 comprises three interconnected studies: identifying gaps in safety education for undergraduates, particularly those enrolled in organic chemistry courses; assessing the impact of RAMP-based safety instruction on students' risk assessment skills; and exploring the development of a student-led Community of Practice to enhance graduate student safety education, driven by the values motivating community members to contribute to its growth.