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U of M :: College of Liberal Arts :: Chemistry & Biochemistry :: Research & Teaching Faculty

Chemistry & Biochemistry
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
(662) 915-7301
(662) 915-7300 (fax)

Walter Cleland


Associate Professor


Contact Information

Office: 311 Coulter Hall
Phone: 662-915-5422
Email: cleland AT olemiss.edu

Educational and Professional Background

B.S., Miami University (Ohio), 1977
Ph.D., Michigan State University, 1984
Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Arizona, 1983-1986

Research Interests: Preparation of models for the metal centers of metalloenzymes and proteins, including the nickel-containing hydrogenases and urease; synthesis of novel metal sulfur clusters; preparation of self-assembled monolayers on gold having unusual electronic, optical, or magnetic properties

Research Summary

The research interests of our group are in the areas of synthetic inorganic and bioinorganic chemistry. More specifically, we are interested in the preparation and properties of metal sulfur complexes as models for a variety of important biological systems and industrial processes. Enzymes such as the nickel-containing hydrogenases, carbon monoxide dehydrogenase, and urease possess nickel-containing active sites for which no accurate structural, electronic, and chemical model complexes have been prepared. The main focus of our bioinorganic research involves the emerging role of nickel in biological systems. Nickel has recently been shown to be an essential component in several enzymes, including jack bean urease; several hydrogenases; carbon monoxide dehydrogenase; and S-methyl coenzyme-M methyl reductase, the terminal enzyme in methane-producing bacteria. Although the involvement of nickel is now well-established, relatively little is known about the details of the structure and function of the nickel sites in these enzymes.

Recent Publications

Leavy, M. C.; Bhattacharyya, S.; Cleland, W. E.; Hussey, C. L., Electrochemical and spectroscopic characterization of self-assembled monolayers of unsymmetrical ferrocenyl dialkyl sulfide derivatives on gold. Langmuir 1999, 15, 6582-6586.