Assistant professor Zhang integrates synthetic chemistry and analytical techniques into many areas of research in environmental sciences in order to understand the chemical reactions behind the transformation of organic pollutants in living bodies and environments.
Such chemical reactions help to elucidate the effects of pollutants on human health and climate change on the molecular level. For example, the synthesis of analytical standards and stable isotope labeled internal standards enable highly sensitive analyses of biomarkers in toxicology studies.
In atmospheric chemistry, the same approach facilitates the characterization of secondary organic aerosols in order to understand their mechanism of formation and their effects. Synthesis of uniformly 13C labeled polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) is essential for stable-isotope probing techniques utilized in studies on biodegradation of PAH.
Learn about the Biomarker Mass Spectrometry Facility