The Toscano group’s main interests have focused on the application of nanosecond time-resolved infrared (TRIR) spectroscopy to the study of organic reactive intermediates and the development of novel photochemical precursors to nitric oxide (NO).

More recently, our research activities have turned to study the fundamental chemistry and biochemistry of nitroxyl (HNO). HNO has been shown to have biological activity distinct from that of its redox cousin, NO, and related nitrogen oxides. Much of the recent interest in HNO has been catalyzed by research suggesting that it may be a novel therapeutic for the treatment of heart failure. At neutral pH in the absence of chemical traps, HNO efficiently dimerizes to hyponitrous acid (HON=NOH), which subsequently dehydrates to nitrous oxide (N2O). Given this inherent reactivity, HNO cannot be used directly; donor molecules are required for the generation of HNO in situ.

In order to advance our understanding of HNO chemistry and biochemistry we are actively pursuing research in the following areas:

(1) Development of new physiologically useful HNO donors
(2) Development of new analytical tools for the detection and study of HNO
(3) Elucidation of fundamental HNO solution-phase chemistry
(4) Characterization and reactivity of HNO-derived modifications in peptides and proteins