Molecule Day 2003: Porphyrin

Chemistry Porphyrins are a class of compounds that contain macrocyclic pyrrole rings connected by methine bridges. Porphyrin structures are found in many biologically relevant molecules such as enzymes, chlorophylls, heme proteins and bacteria. Because of their aromatic character, porphyrins are often studied spectroscopically (they have intense absorption bands and exhibit fluorescence as well).

Highlights included a student research poster session on various porphyrins and a keynote seminar given by Dr. C. Michael Drain. Dr. Drain is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Hunter College of the City University of New York who spoke about "Porphyrins: From Biology to Nanotechnology." Porphyrins are tetrapyrroles [i.e. consist of four weakly aromatic pyrrole rings joined by methene bridges] and can be found across nature with a variety of purposes and uses.