ACS Presents Dr. Lava Kadel

National Park College math and science faculty Dr. Lava KadelNational Park College (NPC) math and science faculty Dr. Lava Kadel was the monthly guest lecturer for the American Chemical Society (ACS) on Friday. Kadel spoke on applications of X-ray crystallography in chemistry.

In chemical and biochemical labs, new compounds are regularly designed and synthesized, natural products are isolated and new proteins are discovered. These substances could have many applications, which makes it important to study their structures. X-ray crystallography is a very powerful technique for determining the three-dimensional structure of a molecule at atomic resolution. Although there are other spectroscopic techniques that can solve the structure of chemical compounds, X-ray crystallography is unique in the sense that it can help us explain the precise spatial arrangement of atoms and the lengths of chemical bonds.

Kadel not only lectured about the importance of X-ray crystallography, but he also gave brief information about growing X-ray quality crystals, mounting crystals on the diffractometer for data collection, collecting thousands of images and data sets, integrating collected data and ultimately explaining the structure of the compound. Although this lecture was primarily about solving the structure of small molecules, Kadel also mentioned that using crystallography structures of complex biological macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids could also be determined.