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Dr. Michael Kasha
Emeritus Faculty

Dr. Michael Kasha

Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor

Ph.D. (1945) University of California, Berkley

Research Interest

MOLECULAR SPECTROSCOPY RESEARCH DEFINING NEW EXCITATION MECHANISMS, WITH APPLICATIONS TO BIOPHYSICAL PHENOMENA

PHOTON-ANTENNA, ENERGY-TRAP MODEL We have developed a theory coupling the Davydov exciton model with the Forster resonance transfer model, offering ultra–longrange coupling of molecular excitation. This extends our previous work on the underlying mechanism of excitation transfer in the photosynthetic reaction center (the special pair chlorophyll model utilizes the McRae-Kasha dimer selection rules), to other amplification mechanisms for localized probe excitation.

PROTON-TRANSFER SPECTROSCOPY We have re-examined the biprotonic photo-tautomerism to elucidate the electronic mechanism. Claims for a two-step proton-transfer mechanism we are finding unsupported by the spectroscopic and the quantum-theoretical basis. Some mysteries of the 7-azaindole base-pair excitation phenomena are being pursued.

FLAVONOL ELECTRONIC SPECTROSCOPY We are continuing a long-range study of the excitation behavior of the flavonols. The 5-hydroxyflavonols (like quercetin of tea) have exhibited the unorthodox behavior of a photo-physical induction phenomenon, pertinent to binding-site polarity studies. The flavonols of human physiology interest are those selected for special study.

Professor Kasha is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and recipient of the R. S. Mulliken Medal (Molecular Spectroscopy), the G. Porter Medal (Photochemistry), and the A. Jablonski Award (Molecular Photophysics).

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