About the Chemistry Department at Hunter
Message from the Chair
Hiroshi Matsui, Chair
Hunter College is located in the heart of Manhattan's cultural center, on Park Avenue at 69th Street. Its central location makes it readily accessible from all parts of the metropolitan area by means of an elaborate system of express trains and buses which operate 24 hours a day. Many students live in the Greenwich Village and Morningside Heights areas and in other parts of Manhattan. Others live in residential areas in one of the other boroughs or across the Hudson River in New Jersey.
The College, founded in 1870, is one of the senior colleges of the City University. The chemistry faculty consists of sixteen members, many of whom have been appointed in the last few years. Faculty, post-doctoral researchers, graduate students and undergraduates are engaged in a variety of projects of current interest in science and chemical education.
The abundance of major equipment in the department provides students with the opportunity to carry out many kinds of chemical investigation. The NMR facility includes a 500 MHz Varian 500 Unity Plus, a JEOL GX-400 400MHz spectrometer and a 300 MHz General Electric QE-300. These instruments can be used for routine determinations as well as multidimensional analysis of complex molecules, and all are equipped with multinuclear probes. A number of UV-visible spectrophotometers are available, as are FT-IR and laser Raman spectrometers and an atomic absorption spectrometer. A Spex fluorescence spectrometer capable of lifetime and steady-state measurements is used to monitor protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions. Molecular structure studies are also supported by UV-visible and infrared circular dichroism spectrometers and by an X-ray crystallography facility which includes state-of-the-art low temperature and area detection capability. Standard gas and high-pressure liquid chromatography instruments are readily accessible, and are backed up by a Hewlett-Packard gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer with direct inlet capability. In addition, there are scintillation counters, centrifuges, cold rooms, and a variety of electrochemical instruments available to researchers in the department.
The department's direct link to the Internet opens all the facilities of that network to users of the many workstations and other computing equipment in our laboratories. The backbone of our facility is the IBM RS/6000 RISCstation, of which there are about a dozen in use. They are augmented by a number of other workstations from Sun and DEC, and graphics systems from Evans and Sutherland and Silicon Graphics. Naturally, there are many Macs and DOS-based PCs available for word processing, spreadsheets, literature searching, etc. An intradepartmental network links these machines, and supports our research efforts in molecular modelling and computational chemistry. The department also has full access to the central computational facility of the City University, powered by several IBM 3090 mainframes.
Electronic and machine shop services maintain the instrumentation in excellent working condition, and are also available for the design and construction of new equipment.
Hunter's close proximity to numerous scientific organizations, institutes, and universities provides valuable cross-fertilization of ideas in all areas of research in the physical and life sciences and in medicine. The New York Academy of Science is just two blocks from Hunter, for example. Members of the research staff are currently making important contributions in each of the traditional subdisciplines of chemistry as well as conducting theoretically and biologically oriented investigations.