Faculty Research Award Recipients

2004: Mohammed Mahroof-Tahir

Mohammed Mahroof-Tahir
Dr. Mohammed Mahroof-Tahir, Associate Professor of Chemistry (Photo taken by Neil Andersen, University Photographer)

On September 2, 2004, Dr. Mohammad Mahroof-Tahir, Associate Professor Chemistry, was awarded the 2003-2004 College of Science and Engineering (COSE) Faculty Research Award. The award was established in the academic year 1997-1998 and the purpose of the award is recognize outstanding contributions to research during a faculty member’s appointment at St. Cloud State University (SCSU). Each year, faculty from COSE are invited to nominate a colleague, or themselves, for the Faculty Research Award. Previous award recipients are not eligible for future research awards. However, previous nominees may be, and are encouraged, to be re-nominated for the research award.

Award criteria includes a faculty member’s collaboration with and support of student researchers, dissemination of research results (publications and presentations), external recognition of the quality of research activities and service to the professional community. The COSE Applied Research Committee selects the recipient of the research award and forwards their recommendation to the Dean’s Office for approval.

Mahroof-Tahir has been employed by COSE since 2001. Prior to his probationary appointment in 2001, he was also employed by the college in the academic year 1999-2000. The colleagues who nominated Mahroof-Tahir for the research award state that, “Even though his research is complex and difficult, he works extremely hard to ensure that all of his students play an active role in experimental design and interpretation of results. He also ensures that his students understand the overall objective of the research and how their individual portion of the project fits into this overall objective.”

Mahroof-Tahir’s overall research interests, as stated within his Curriculum Vitae, are studying the role of metals in biological systems and the medicinal importance of metal complexes. In particular, the main areas of his research interests are the medicinal chemistry of metals, bioinorganic chemistry and coordination chemistry. His research interests also focus on the synthesis and characterization of antidiabetic and anticancer complexes.

Since vanadium complexes have shown promising antidiabetic properties, Mahroof-Tahir’s research groups are involved in the synthesis and characterization of metallo-pharmaceuticals containing vanadium. They are also researching the mechanistic and structure activity relationship of synthesized complexes. To get an insight into the structure activity relationship, they are involved with the synthesis of vanadium complexes with organic ligands with systematic variation of the electron donating and electron withdrawing groups on the organic ligand system. His Vitae states, “To understand the mechanism of action of these complexes as antidiabetic agents we are involved in conducting comprehensive enzyme kinetic studies with three key enzymes; protein tyrosine phosphatase, alpha glucosidase and phosphodiasterase, which play an important role in diabetes.” His research interests also include the synthesis and characterization of the organometalic complexes of ruthenium and titanium which are also being developed to selectively treat diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

Since his appointment to COSE in 2001, Mahroof-Tahir has worked with 26 undergraduate students on original research projects; played a key role in the development of an interdisciplinary research program that involves faculty from chemistry, biology and environmental sciences; and has been a faculty research sponsor for 20 students who presented their research at the SCSU Student Research Colloquium, four students who presented their research at national American Chemical Society meetings and seven students who were recipients of the COSE Denise M. McGuire Student Research Award (formally named the COSE Undergraduate Research Award). He has numerous international, national and local research collaborations with faculty such as the international research collaboration between SCSU and the HEJ Research Institute in Pakistan.

Since 2001, Mahroof-Tahir has published 9 research papers with the majority of the publications in peer-reviewed journals. Since 2000, he has published 12 abstracts as part of faculty and/or faculty-student presentations at local, national and international research conferences. He has given three invited international talks and one local invited talk since 2002.

Again since 2002, Mahroof-Tahir has been the recipient of five externally funded research proposals. He was one of the five authors of the Chemistry Department’s $175, 000 National Science Foundation grant which was used to purchase a Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer. In addition, he also received a time grant for the University of Minnesota’s super computer. He has been the recipient of six internally funded research proposals and travel grants. He has also reviewed and edited research publications, proposals and books in addition to maintaining multiple society and association memberships and hosting the fall 2002 General Chemistry Workshop.

Travis Mills is a former undergraduate research student that conducted research with the award recipient, Dr. Sreerama from the Chemistry Department and Dr. Schuh from the Biological Sciences Department on the synthesis, characterization, toxic effects and anti-cancer properties of a new Vanadium metal complex VO(DBM) 2; DBM = dibenzoylmethane. Mills describes the research award recipient as, “He cares about the work he is doing and is very knowledgeable in his field. I think he cares about his students because he is around a lot and offers help to students. He takes extra time to help his students and work with his research advisees. I highly recommend him for this award, as he has been a great advisor to me.”

For all of his research activities and support of student-faculty research, Dr. Mohammad Mahroof-Tahir is truly deserving of the 2003-2004 COSE Faculty Research Award.

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