Gamal A El-Hiti
Our research interests are primarily in the development of novel organic synthetic methods, especially ones that are “greener” than traditionally and synthesis of compounds with interesting properties. Particular current research projects involve use of zeolites and solid-supported reagents and catalysts to gain selectivity in organic reactions; lithiation reactions which we have used to devise novel heterocyclic ring syntheses and to introduce selectivity into aromatic and heterocyclic substitution reactions; heterocyclic chemistry; polymeric materials and design and synthesis of novel compounds with interesting chemiluminescent or other photoactive properties. The current research focuses on the chemistry of tear ferning which is a valuable tool in the detection of dryness of eye. We are investigating the dryness of the eye through evaluation of tear osmolarity using the TearLab system and various other techniques. Also, we are investigating the ocular tear film in diabetic and smoker subjects to test the correlation between dryness of the eye and diabetes disease and nicotine.