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James Sumner
(Analytical Chemistry Graduate Student)
Background: I recieved my B.S. in chemistry from James Madison University in1999. I then decided to attend the University of Michigan because I thought extremely cold weather would be a great change of pace. Currently I'm preperation to get married to a wonderful girl despite the fact that she is a Broncos fan, but some things can't be helped and must be overlooked. She as well as everyone else will eventually find out that the only great football team there is is the Washington Redskins.

Current Research: My research focuses on the development of PEBBLE sensors for the detection of trace metal ions, mainly zinc. Zinc has been implicated in a multitude of diseases and activity with the body. These have included Alzhemier's and even neuronal transmission. Ideally it would be beneficial to have a method or system that would provide a non-invasive means to measure either internal cellular zinc concentrations or fluxes across neurons. The initial study of engineering a zinc selective sensor was accomplished by incorporating Newport Green and Texas Red into a polymer matrix regime.

A 10-mg/mL PEBBLE suspension in 10-mM Tris buffer was monitored on a fluorescence microscope. Neutral density filters (1, 0.5, and 0.3) were used to attain specific excitation powers. An aliquot of zinc nitrate was added after the emission spectra were collected for each filter. From the emission spectra the intensity ratio was calculated from the maxima centred at 545-nm and 604-nm.


Sumner JP, Aylott JW, Monson E, Kopelman R (2002). A fluorescent PEBBLE nanosensor for intracellular free zinc. The Analyst, 127, 11-16.

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