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M. Cecilia Yappert, Ph. D.

by Wittliff,James L. last modified Aug 04, 2009 11:11 AM

Professor of Chemistry


Email Cecilia Yappert
Phone Number: 502-852-7061 (Office)
Fax Number:
Address: Department of Chemistry
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292
Ph. D. 1985, Oregon State University


Additional Appointments:

  • Professor of Chemistry
  • Associate Appointment, Dept. of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
  • Director of Graduate Studies in Chemistry, Dept. of Chemistry
  • Member, American Chemical Society
  • Member, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
  • Member, Biophysical Society


Research Interests:

One of our research themes is the development and application of spectrochemical analytical approaches for the selective determination and quantitation of species in complex matrices, particularly those of biological interest. As an example, we are applying laser induced fluorescence, UV-visible absorption, Fourier transform infrared, and more recently NMR spectroscopies to study, at the molecular level, processes which may lead to the formation of cataracts in human lenses. Fiber optical sensors have been used in conjunction with laser induced fluorescence to map the distribution of extrinsic fluorophores in human lenses. Changes in protein secondary structure are being investigated by monitoring the conformation-sensitive Amide I band region of the infrared spectrum. This broad band is the result of the overlap of bands corresponding to each structural component, i.e., {alpha}-helix, {beta}-sheet, {beta} turns and random coil. The resolution of these bands is achieved by applying computa-tional procedures, such as derivative spectroscopy and the nonlinear adaptation of the Kalman filter.


The theoretical and experimental characterization of fiber optical sensors is another area of our research. These studies allow us to design more sensitive sensors and to control the size and location of the interrogated sample volumes. This type of information is particularly relevant in the application of optical sensors to biological samples that are not homogeneous and can be affected by the presence of the sensing device.


Besides the above areas of research, my students are actively involved in the development of instrumental accessories, and interface hardware and software. We interact very closely with the faculty in the Department of Ophthalmology. Separation procedures and biological assays necessary in our studies are often performed in the Department of Ophthalmology under the supervision of Dr. Douglas Borchman, who has collaborated with us since 1987.



Selected Publications:

  1. L. Huang , V. Grami, Y. Marrero, D. Tang, M. C. Yappert, V. Rasi, and D. Borchman, "Human Lens Phospholipid Changes with Age and Cataract."  Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., in press, 2005.
  2. V. Grami, Y. Marrero, L. Huang, D. Tang, M. C. Yappert and D. Borchman. "Alpha-Crystallin Binding In Vitro to Lipids from Clear Human Lenses."  Exp. Eye Res., in press, 2005.
  3. D. Borchman, M. C. Yappert, and M. Afzal, "Lens Lipids and Maximum Lifespan" Exp. Eye Res. 2004, 79:761-768.
  4. R. Estrada and M. C. Yappert, "Regional Phospholipid Analysis     of Porcine Lens Membranes by     MALDI-TOF MS"  J. Mass Spect. 2004, 39: 1531-1540.
  5. M. Rujoi, R. Estrada and M.C. Yappert, "In situ MALDI-TOF MS regional analysis of neutral phospholipids in lens tissue." Anal. Chem. 2004, 76:1657-1663.
  6. M.C. Yappert, D. Borchman, "Sphingolipids in human lens membranes: an update on their composition and possible biological implications." 2004, invited review in Chem Phys Lipids, 2004, 129:1-20.
  7. R. Estrada, M.C. Yappert, "Alternative approaches for the detection of various phospholipid classes by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry." J. Mass Spectrom. 2004, 39:412-422.
  8. M.C. Yappert, M. Rujoi, D. Borchman, I. Vorobyov, R. Estrada, "Glycero- versus sphingophospholipids: correlations with human and non-human mammalian lens growth." Exp. Eye Res., 2003:725-734.
  9. D. Tang, D. Borchman, M.C. Yappert, G.F.J.M. Vrensen, V. Rassi, "Influence of age, diabetes, and cataract on calcium, lipid-calcium and protein-calcium relationships in human lenses." Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003, 44:2059-2066.
  10. M. Rujoi, J. Jin, D. Borchman, D. Tang and M.C. Yappert, "Isolation and lipid characterization of     cholesterol-enriched fractions in cortical and nuclear human lens fibers." Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003, 44:1634-1642.
  11. E. Oborina, M. C. Yappert, "Effect of sphingomyelin versus dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine on the extent     of lipid oxidation." Chem. Phys. Lip. 2003, 123:223-232.
  12. I. Vorobyov, M.C. Yappert, D.B. DuPré, "Energetic and topological analyses of cooperative sigma H- and pi H-bonding interactions." J. Phys Chem A, 2002, 106:10691-10699.
  13. M. Rujoi, D. Borchman, D.B. DuPré, M.C. Yappert, "Ca2+ interactions with sphingomyelin and dihydrosphingomyelin." Biophys. J., 2002, 82:3096-3104.
  14. L. Li, X.Tang, K.G. Taylor, D.B. DuPré, M.C. Yappert. "Conformational studies of ceramides by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy." 2002, Biophys. J., 82:2067-2080
  15. I. Vorobyov, M.C. Yappert, D.B. DuPré, "Hydrogen bonding in monomers and dimers of 2-amino ethanol." J. Phys. Chem., Part A, 2002, 106:668-679.
  16. D.B. DuPré, M.C. Yappert, "Cooperative Hydrogen- and πH-bonded interactions involving water and the ethylenic double bond." J. Phys. Chem., Part A, 2002, 106:567-574.
  17. D.B. DuPré, I. Vorobyov, M.C. Yappert, "Orbital interactions in stable and metastable conformations of the dimethylphosphate anion." 2001, J. Molec. Struct. Theochem., 544:91-109.


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