Alumni Profile – Matthew McLaughlin
Matt graduated with a B.A. in Chemistry from New Paltz in May of 2006 and is now in the Ph.D. program in chemistry at the University of Rochester working in Dr. Pat Holland’s research group. He works in the area of bioinorganic chemistry where the goal is to understand and model the role of transition metals in biological systems.
“The focus of my research is the reduction of N2 to NH3, which provides “fixed” nitrogen for biosynthesis of nucleic acids and proteins. The N-N triple bond is cleaved in nature by the “iron-molybdenum cofactor” of the enzyme nitrogenase (shown below). Inspired by the low-coordinate iron sites in the cofactor, I am attempting to prepare a 3-coordinate iron protein that can bind and weaken the N2 bond.”