Assistant Professor, Analytical Chemistry
- Principal Investigator, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Department of Blood Research, Maryland (2000-2007)
- Postdoctoral Fellow, Dublin Institute of Technology (1997)
- PhD, Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin (1996)
- BSc, Chemistry & Physics, Trinity College Dublin (1992)
Research in my group focuses primarily on the application of infrared spectroscopy for quantitative analysis. We are currently involved in several projects and details of two are given below.
Preservation of archaeological artifacts.
Current work involves the determination of diffusion rates of preservatives into waterlogged archaeological wood taken from Beaufort Inlet Shipwreck (31CR314), believed to be Queen Anne's Revenge1, Blackbeard's pirate ship. These wooden artifacts cannot be dried or they will suffer excessive shrinkage and so the water within the remaining wood structure must be replaced in order to preserve the artifact. The current protocol (developed for preservation of the Vasa2 and the Mary Rose3) involves soaking the wood in polyethylene glycol (PEG-400) of various concentrations for several years. After several years of soaking the artifact may be lyophilized or soaked in PEG-4000 prior to long term storage or display.
The Mary Rose during the preservation process
It is important to ensure that the PEG is homogeneously dispersed within the wood and that a concentration profile does not exist, but conservators typically do not have the time or resources to monitor this, hence the excessive soaking times. Our goal is to make this process more efficient by determining the optimum soaking time for PEG that would produce the most consistent concentration of PEG throughout the entire piece of wood. We use simple gravimetric techniques and spectroscopic techniques for these studies.
Protein and peptide secondary structure analysis.
Infrared spectroscopy may be used to determine protein and peptide secondary structure. The advantage of this technique over CD spectroscopy, NMR and crystallography is that conformational analysis reveals quantitative and qualitative data in a timely manner with small sample sizes. The secondary structure may also be analyzed in buffer which gives a more realistic picture of the protein or peptide in its native environment.
Welsh, W., Biscardi, B., Fink, T., Watkins-Kenney, S. and Kennedy, A. (2011), Identification of Suspected Horn from the Queen Anne's Revenge (1718), North Carolina, USA. International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, 40: no. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-9270.2011.00320.x
Russell, A. L.; Kennedy, A.; Spuches, A. M.; Venugopal, D.; Bhonsle, J. B.; Hicks, R. P. Spectroscopic and thermodynamic evidence for antimicrobial peptide membrane selectivity. Chemistry and Physics of Lipids 2010, 163, 488-497.
Kennedy A, Long C. J, Hmel P.J, Hicks R, Reid T.J. The association of dimethylsulfoxide and model membranes studied by pulse-field gradient NMR. Spectroscopy 2004, 18, 265-269.
Rentas F.R, MacDonald V, Rothwell S, McFaul S, Asher L, Kennedy A, Hmel P, Meledandri C, Salata J, Harman R, Reid T. White Particulate Matter in Blood Collection Bags. Transfusion 2004, 44, 959-966.
Long C.J, Hmel P.J, Kennedy A, Quiles J.G, Seelbaugh J, Reid T.J. The Interaction of DMSO with Model Membranes: I. Comparison of DMSO and d6-DMSO – A DSC and IR Investigation. J. Liposome Res. 2003, 13, 249-257.
Kennedy A, Long C.J, Hmel P.J, Reid T.J. The Interaction of DMSO with Model Membranes: II. Direct Evidence of DMSO Binding to Membranes – An NMR Study. J Liposome. Res 2003, 13, 259-267.
Hmel P.J, Kennedy A, Quiles J.G, Gorogias M, Seelbaugh J.P, Morrissette C.R, Van Ness K, Reid T.J. Physical and thermal properties of blood storage bags; Implications for shipping frozen products on dry ice; Transfusion 2002, 42, 836-846.
Thomas J-L, Howarth J, Kennedy A, Electrochemical Anion Recognition By Novel Ferrocenyl Imidazole Systems; Molecules 2002, 7, 861-866.
Kennedy A, Hmel P.J, Seelbaugh J, Quiles J.G, Hicks R, Reid T.J. Characterization of the main phase transition in 1,2-dipalmitoyl-phosphatidyl choline LUV's by 1H NMR; J. Liposome Res. 2002, 12, 221-237