October 15, 2019

Summer Science Spotlight - Lucas Muya ’20

Meet Lucas Muya ’20, Summer Science Research Program participant working on Photochromic Drug Delivery


Lucas MuyaName:
Lucas Muya

Class Year:

Primary Academic Focus/Intended Major:

Arusha, Tanzania

Campus Involvement:
Peer Listening Program, Boardgame Club, Beekeeping Club

Title of Research:
Photochromic Drug Delivery

Faculty Research Advisor:
Kevin Schultz, Ph.D.

Description of Research:
Photochromic drug delivery utilizes light to initiate a chemical reaction that releases nitroxyl (HNO), a chemical known to have beneficial biological properties, with precise spatial and temporal control. In this research, an efficient and safe way of delivering HNO at the target site is being investigated.  Specifically, we are synthesizing novel molecules that allow the release of HNO via a reverse Diels-Alder reaction.  Our lab has already shown that this HNO release can take place with light irradiation but requires a very high temperature. My research encompasses an organic synthesis project to make derivative molecules of those previously made that will allow HNO release at physiological temperatures, thus being a more efficient biological medicine.

What are your aspirations after Goucher? How will this research help you achieve your career goals?
I am planning to go straight for my Ph.D. in natural product chemistry. In such a field synthesis of organic molecules is always the center of the study thus this research not only introduces me to the field in a controlled manner but also allows me to experience how an organic chemistry lab operates.