Mechanisms

Quantum Chemistry Helps Identify New Treatment to Prevent Kidney Stones

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 15 August 2016

A natural citrus fruit extract has been found to dissolve calcium oxalate crystals, the most common component of human kidney stones, in a finding that could lead to significantly improving kidney stone treatment, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Houston, and Litholink Corporation, among which is Giannis Mpourmpakis.

In a study published Aug. 8 in the journal Nature, the researchers offer the first evidence that the compound hydroxycitrate (HCA) effectively inhibits calcium oxalate crystal growth and, under certain conditions, is able to dissolve the crystals. HCA shows “promise as a potential therapy to prevent kidney stones,” the researchers wrote. 

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Duquesne University
Ph.D., Computational and Theoretical Organic Chemistry, UCLA, 1990
Summary:

Our research program is driven by significant problems in organic, biochemistry, and physical chemistry. Our research in chemical theory and computation is fully integrated in strong collaboration with successful experimental chemists. We have a full range on interests, starting with the development of fundamental ideas on the theory of chemical bonding, and how this information can be used to understand the fundamentals of Lewis acidity and basicity, organic reaction catalysis, organometallic structures, and the bonding and reactions at surfaces. In the field of biochemistry, we investigate the energetics and mechanisms of phosphoryl transfer reactions, and design new antimicrobial agents to light the increasing risk of drug resistant bacterial fungal infections.

Selected Publications: 
  • "Metalated nitriles: SNi′ cyclizations with a propargylic electrophile," Ping Lu, Venkata S. Pakkala, Jeffrey D. Evanseck, Fraser F. Fleming, Tetrahedron Letters 56, 3216 (2015)
  • "Intramolecular Charge-Assisted Hydrogen Bond Strength in Pseudochair Carboxyphosphate," Sarah E. Kochanek, Traci M. Clymer, Venkata S. Pakkala, Sebastien P. Hebert, Kyle Reeping, Steven M. Firestine, and Jeffrey D. Evanseck, J. Phys. Chem. B 119, 1184 (2015)
  • "Common Hydrogen Bond Interactions in Diverse Phosphoryl Transfer Active Sites," Jean C. Summerton, Gregory M. Martin, Jeffrey D. Evanseck, Michael S. Chapman, PLOS One 9, e108310 (2014)
  • "Hyperconjugation-Mediated Solvent Effects in Phosphoanhydride Bonds," Jean C. Summerton, Jeffrey D. Evanseck, and Michael S. Chapman, J. Phys. Chem. A 116 10209 (2012)