David A. Forsyth
403 Hurtig Hall
1973 Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
1969 B.A., Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota
Prof. Forsyth uses the various techniques of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and computational chemistry in seeking a fuller understanding of organic structure and activity. In collaboration with other researchers, molecules of interest are probed by NMR techniques such as line-shape analysis for dynamic properties, nuclear Overhauser effects, isotope shift measurements, and various 2-D experiments. Dynamic NMR consists of analyzing the changes in line-shape that occur when the rates of processes such as conformational interconversions are altered as a consequence of changing temperature. NMR isotope shifts are the small changes in chemical shifts that accompany substitution of a heavier isotope for a lighter one, through perturbation of vibrational motion or rapid equilibria.
The current focus of Prof. Forsyth’s research is on synthetic and naturally occurring amines, alkaloids, steroids, and organometallics. Many of the structures of these molecules are capable of undergoing rapid conformational or configurational exchange. Understanding the details of structure can help provide insight into their biological activity or other properties. NMR measurements at low temperature are used to freeze-out conformational motion. Molecular mechanics calculations are used to explore possible structures and subsequent molecular orbital predictions of NMR chemical shifts and coupling constants are used to connect the predicted structures to the NMR observations.
Kirss, Rein U.; Forsyth, David A.; Plante, Marc A. Synthesis and spectroscopy of binuclear phosphine bridged palladium hydrides: Pd2HX3[dppm]2 (X = Br, I; dppm = bis[diphenylphosphino]methane). Journal of Organometallic Chemistry (2003), 688(1-2), 206-215.
Sebag, Albert B.; Hanson, Robert N.; Forsyth, David A.; Lee, Choon Young. Conformational studies of novel estrogen receptor ligands by 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy and computational methods. Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry (2003), 41(4), 246-252.
Tilley, Leon J.; Prevoir, Shawn J.; Forsyth, David A.. Fun with computational chemistry: Solving spectral problems using computed 13C NMR chemical shifts. A comparison of empirical and quantum mechanical methods. Journal of Chemical Education (2002), 79(5), 593-600.