Honors Program

Honors in Chemistry

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Dr. Michael Kruppa

Thesis Professor Department

Biomedical Sciences

Thesis Reader(s)

Sean Fox, Abbas Shilabin


There is an emerging threat of Neisseria gonorrhoeae strains that are resistant to all antibiotics. Because of this, the purpose of this research is to isolate, analyze, and partially characterize a new inhibitor(s) of N. gonorrhoeae. Since there is an unknown molecule secreted by Candida albicans that inhibits N. gonorrhoeae, this molecule can be partially characterized using 1H NMR Spectroscopy to assist in the development of a new antibiotic compound. It was hypothesized that quorum-sensing molecules, trans, trans- farnesol, tyrosol, phenylethyl alcohol, and tryptophol, could be possible candidates for the inhibitor. Because of this, 1H NMR spectra for these quorum-sensing molecules were obtained to serve as controls. Column chromatography and fractionation was used to isolate the inhibitor in large scale from C. albicans grown in salts-based media. Attempts to isolate the inhibitor in large scale, however, was unsuccessful since no inhibition of N. gonorrhoeae was observed. Because of this, analysis of growth media was conducted to test the media effect on producing the inhibitor. C. albicans was grown in liquid chocolate, liquid white chocolate, salts-based, and YPD media in aerobic and candle jar environments. Analysis of growth media in different environments suggests that liquid chocolate and salts-based media retain the inhibitory activity. 1H NMR spectra were obtained for the isolated molecule in liquid chocolate and salts-based media in both aerobic and candle jar environments. Analysis of this 1H NMR suggested that the inhibitor could be isolated from either the aerobic or candle jar environment for both liquid chocolate and salt-based media because a clear peak between 3.5 and 4.0 ppm was observed in all spectra. Comparison of 1H NMR spectra from quorum-sensing molecules with spectra from the isolated molecule suggests that the inhibitor is not a quorum-sensing molecule. The peaks represented by the inhibitor cannot be fully characterized and thus, either correspond to a single molecule or a complex molecular structure. It can be concluded that the inhibitor secreted by C. albicans to inhibit N. gonorrhoeae is a new unknown compound.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Withheld

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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