Howard College of Arts and Sciences
Chemistry and Biochemistry
323 Propst Hall
Brian Gregory joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Samford in 2002. He obtained both a B.S. and M.S. in chemistry at Furman University and his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry at the University of Georgia. Before coming to Samford, he held postdoctoral research associate positions at the University of Georgia and the U.S. Department of Energy, Ames Laboratory, Iowa State University.
Gregory currently teaches several courses within the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry: Foundations of Chemistry I/II (CHEM 205/207), Quantitative Chemical Analysis (CHEM 325), Advanced Chemistry Laboratory I/II (CHEM 371/372), Senior Seminar (CHEM 460), and Research/Internship (CHEM 440). He also teaches lab sections associated with CHEM 205/207 and CHEM 325.
His research focuses on using various optical spectroscopic techniques, such as infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), mass spectrometry, and electrochemical methods to investigate the structure and properties of surfaces and thin films. Currently, his research efforts involve the creation of multifunctional monolayer films on metal surfaces, such as gold, Au that will be used for the covalent immobilization of enzymes (see figure below).
The attachment of enzymes and other functional biomolecules to surfaces has been of significant interest in applications ranging from industrial catalysis to biosensors and biofuel cells. Our films are created by chemically reacting two different a,w-functional reagents together – e.g., an amine-terminated n-alkanethiol with different N-hydroxy-succinimidyl ester derivatized oligo(ethylene-glycol) precursors – and allowing the chemically attached molecules to self-assemble onto a metal surface. The result is that one end of the molecule consists of a long alkane chain terminated with a thiol (-SH) group for anchoring the molecule to the metal surface, whereas the other end consists of an oligo(ethylene glycol) chain (OEG) having a pre-determined chain length that allows the functional group at the terminus (X or Y in the figure below) to extend away from the surface. In our approach, the OEG and alkane chains are held together through the formation of an amide bond.
Mixtures of OEGs having different chain lengths and/or terminal groups are combined with the same alkanethiol to produce multicomponent self-assembled monolayer films. The length of the OEG chains in the mixture is chosen to create films that resist bioadhesion (nonspecific adsorption) of enzymes at the film surface. Appropriately chosen functional groups on longer OEG chains will extend beyond the outer edge of the film created by shorter OEG chains and can react in a predetermined way with enzymes in solution to bind them at the surface. Presently, infrared reflection spectroscopy and XPS are being used to ascertain molecular structure and organization within these films.
Given the increasing demand for a scientifically and technologically literate workforce, there is a critical need to provide undergraduate students with experiential learning opportunities in areas using advanced instrumentation and interpreting data from them. To meet these objectives, projects in the Gregory Research Group are geared to offer undergraduate researchers access to sophisticated instrumentation and to help them gain requisite laboratory/chemical analysis skills critical to success in their graduate or professional careers. To further facilitate success, research students are provided with opportunities to give scientific presentations on their projects at a regional or national American Chemical Society meeting, or to assist in the submission of a manuscript based on their research to a peer-reviewed journal for publication.
Degrees and Certifications
- B.S., Furman University
- M.S., Furman University
- Ph.D., University of Georgia
- M. Milosevic, N. Wendland, R.E. Lee, and B.W. Gregory. The usefulness of spectroscopic simulations. Appl. Spectrosc. 2020, 74, 305-313.
- S. Beck, E. Berry, S. Duke, A. Milliken, H. Patterson, D.L. Prewett, T.C. Rae, V. Sridhar, N. Wendland, B.W. Gregory, and C.M. Johnson. Characterization of Trametes versicolor laccase-catalyzed degradation of estrogenic pollutants: Substrate limitation and product identification. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation 2018, 127, 146-159.
- Murphy, A.B.; Duong, C.N.; Crenshaw, K.K.; Hartman, S.K.; Barrett, W.F.; Whitehead, A.R.; Lampkins, A.J.; Gregory, B.W. Catalytic Oxidation of Alkanethiols and Dialkyldisulfides to Alkanesulfonic Acids by H2O2/CH3ReO3 Examined by Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry. J. Mass Spectrom. 2014, 49, 241-247.
- Worley, B.C.; Ricks, W.A.; Prendergast, M.P.; Gregory, B.W.; Collins, R.; Cassimus, J.J.; Thompson, R.G. The Anodic Passivation of Tin by Alkanethiol Self-Assembled Monolayers Examined by Cyclic Voltammetry and Coulometry. Langmuir 2013, 29, 12969-12981.
- Roberts, R.; Driver, J.A.; Brown, D.M.; Amin, S.H.; Gregory, B.W. Hydrogen Peroxide-Induced Oxidation of Mixtures of Alkanethiols and Their Quantitative Detection as Alkanesulfonates by Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry. Anal. Chem. 2011, 83, 9605-9613.