Carmen Works

Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Adjunct Faculty in Biology
Ph.D. University of California (Santa Barbara), 2001
Phone: (707) 664-3084
Office: Darwin 321

Research Interests:

The functional role of transition metals in biological systems.

Research Program:

Research in my group is concerned with the bioinorganic chemistry of chromium. It has been suggested that this metal is essential for proper glucose metabolism in the 3+ oxidation state. Current projects involve the isolation, purification and characterization of a small elusive protein, which has been claimed to be the final biological destination for chromium. Any transition metal, which is biologically important, must be carefully transported in biological systems and between bio-molecules. If chromium is important for metabolism there must be proteins that exist to transport, store and deliver this metal ion to its target destination. Transferrin, the iron transport protein, has been suggested to also transport chromium and we are currently investigating the feasibility of this by performing pH depended kinetic studies.


Works, C. F., C. J. Jocher, G. D. Bart, X. Bu, P. C. Ford. 2002. Photochemical nNitric oxide precursors: synthesis, photochemistry, and ligand substitution kinetics of ruthenium salen nitrosyl and ruthenium salophen nitrosyl complexes. Inorganic Chemistry 41:3728-3739.

Lim, M. D., I. M. Lorkovic, K. Wedeking, A. A. Zanella, C. F. Works, S. M. Massick, P. C. Ford. 2002. Reactions of nitrogen oxides with heme models. characterization of NO and NO2 dissociation from Fe(TPP)(NO2)(NO) by flash photolysis and rapid dilution techniques: Fe(TPP)(NO2) as an unstable intermediate. Journal of the American Chemical Society 124:9737-9743.

Works, C. F., and P. C. Ford. 2000. Photoreactivity of the ruthenium nitrosyl complex, Ru(salen)(Cl)(NO): solvent effects on the back reaction of NO with the Lewis Acid Ru(III)(salen)(Cl). Journal of the American Chemical Society 122:7592-7593.

Course Offerings:

General Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Metals in Biology, Research methods and spectroscopy.