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Luke Osborn '21

ARS Nova Participant Luke Osborn

Major: Integrative Neuroscience

Bio: Luke Osborn moved from Connecticut to New York to pursue a degree in Neuroscience and his love of chemistry. He envisions going to medical school after graduating Fordham in hopes of becoming a research physician. He also dabbles in journalism.

Mentor: Dr. Marie Thomas
Abstract: The rise of antimicrobial resistance necessitates the development of novel antimicrobial agents. Moreover, the pervasiveness of these agents also requires a thorough understanding of how harmful they are to humans, so we analyzed the possible neurotoxicity of 1,4-diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane (DABCO) derivatives. Derivatives of DABCO, a versatile bicyclic compound with two amines as bridgeheads, may serve as viable antimicrobials. We synthesized several DABCO salts that have one or two alkyl chains of variable length stemming from the amines. Preliminary results indicate that our compounds are effective in inhibiting growth of several strains of bacteria (E. coli, E. aerogenes, B. subtilis, or B. megaterium). Results of other studies DABCO salts confirm our results and provide insights into the effectiveness of DABCO against fungi, viruses, and other strains of bacteria. We then take a look at a similar compound, benzalkonium chloride (BAC), to infer the neurotoxicity of DABCO salts. BAC’s neurotoxicity depends on how long and with what concentration the neurons were exposed to BAC. Several studies also note an immunological mechanism in addition to the detergent effect underlies BAC’s neurotoxicity. Finally, we finish our review with possible next steps to elucidate the neurotoxicity of DABCO salts.