Todd Whitcombe

Associate Professor

Ph.D. University of Victoria

As a broad classification, my research interests are in the area of "Bio-Inorganic" chemistry and, specifically, in reaction kinetics of model systems for biologically interesting or relevant molecules. 

Presently, I have two research projects underway. The first is an attempt to synthesize macrocyclic metal ion complexes with appended pendant dendritic polymers. These compounds will serve as a model for metal ions within a "heme"-like coordination environment buried within a polymeric backbone. The intent is to monitor the electron transfer reactions of the metal core as a function of dendritic generation, monomeric unit, and solvent control. Correlation of this information will provide insight into the specific mechanism for electron transfer through biological media.

The second project is the construction of a small macrocyclic ring with a suitable pendant arm to act as a mimic for the active site in nitrile hydratase. This work is intended to be the first step in amore extensive elucidation of metal coordination in biological systems.

In addition to my research interests, I have a long standing interest in science education and awareness. To this end, I participate in the organization of various science activities (Science Fairs, Science and Technology Week events, Science Camps for kids and for teachers), I write a column on science that appears in both the Prince George Citizen and the Terrace Times, and I write and perform a radio column that is broadcast on the CBC.

Selected Articles

1) A. McAuley, D.G. Fortier, D.H. Macartney, T.W. Whitcombe, C.Xu, 'Synthesis and Crystal Structure of Nickel(II) Complexes of Macrobicyclic Ligands: Identification and Electron-transfer Reactions of the Corresponding Nickel(II) Complexes in Solution', J. Chem. Soc., Dalton Trans., 1994, 2071-2079.

2) B. Chak, A. McAuley, T.W. Whitcombe, 'Crystal and Solution Structure of a Pendant-armed Macrocyclic Complex of Palladium(II)', Can. J. Chem., 72, 1525-1532 (1994).

3) A. McAuley, T. Palmer, T.W. Whitcombe, 'X-ray Crystal Structure of [Ni(III)(cyclam)(NO3)2](ClO4) and Electron Transfer Reactions of the Ni(III)/Ni(II) Couple', Can. J. Chem., 71, 1792-1799, 1993.

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