Guillermo Moyna PhD

Guillermo Moyna PhD

Associate Professor of Chemistry


BS (Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay)

PhD (Texas A&M)

Research Interests

  • Biomolecular NMR spectroscopy
  • Computational chemistry
  • Computer-assisted rational drug design

Investigating how ionic liquids (ILs), a new class of solvents composed solely of ions that show promise as ""green"" materials, solvate polysaccharides such as cellulose and starch.


Broadly described, research in my group involves the application of experimental and theoretical methods to study the interactions of a variety of molecules with their environment at the atomic level. For example, we are currently investigating how ionic liquids (ILs), a new class of solvents composed solely of ions that show promise as “green” materials, solvate polysaccharides such as cellulose and starch. Among the techniques we employ to accomplish this are nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and molecular dynamic (MD) simulations. Our studies so far have allowed us to determine that an important class of ILs, the N,N’-dialkylimidazolium chlorides, solvate carbohydrates through the formation of hydrogen bonds between the IL anions and the hydroxyl groups on the sugar solutes. In the case of cellulose and starch, these interactions disrupt their intricate intra- and intermolecular hydrogen bonding network and lead to their dissolution. Together with results from current and future work in this area, these findings will allow us to develop new IL-based “green” solvent systems and technologies for the extraction, processing, and analysis of polymeric carbohydrates, which could have important industrial applications.
Another active area of research in my laboratory deals with the use of easily accessible NMR parameters, such as chemical shifts and coupling constants, to study the dynamics and conformational preferences of small molecules bound to their protein receptors. This information is critical for medicinal chemists involved in the rational design of novel drugs. Computational tools developed by us based on these concepts are currently being used for this purpose by a number of academic and industrial groups.

Selected Scholarly Activity

Tabarez, C.; Waterman, C.; Rapp, A. L.; Moyna, P.; Moyna, G. “Synthesis of Novel Indenoquinolines and Indenopyridazines via Photoisomerization of Benzotropolone derivatives.” Tetrahedron Lett. 2009, 50, 7128-7131.
Galan, J. F.; Brown, J.; Wildin, J. L.; Liu, Z. W.; Liu, D. H.; Moyna, G. Pophristic, V. Intermolecular Hydrogen Bonding in ortho-Substituted Aryl amide Oligomers“A Computational and Experimental Study of ortho-Fluoro- and ortho-Chloro-N-methylbenzamides” J. Phys. Chem. B 2009, 113, 12809-12815.
Liu, Z.; Remsing, R. C.; Liu, D.; Moyna, G.; Pophristic, V. Hydrogen Bonding in ortho Substituted Aryl amides: The Influence of Protic Solvents. J. Phys. Chem. B 2009, 113, 7041-7044.
Incerti, M.; Fontana, C.; Scarone, L.; Moyna, G.; Manta, E.” A Facile Synthesis of Cycloether Systems Bearing [2, 4]-Oxazole Units. “Heterocycles 2008, 75, 1385-1396.
Fontana, C.; Incerti, M.; Moyna, G.; Manta, E. Conformational Analysis of Analogs of the Bis-Oxazole Oxane Fragment of the Phorboxazoles by NMR Spectroscopy and Molecular Modeling Simulations. Magn. Reson. Chem. 2008, 46, 36-41.
Remsing, RC.; Hernandez, G.; Swatloski, RP.; Massefski, WW.; Rogers, RD.; Moyna, G. “ Solvation of carbohydrates of N,N Dialkylimidazolium ionic liquids: A Multinuclear NMR Spectroscopy study”.; J. Phys. Chem. B ,2008, 112, 11071-11078.
Remsing, RC.; Liu, ZW.; Sergeyev, I.; Moyna, G. ““ Solvation and Aggregation of N,N Dialkylimidazolium Ionic Liquids: A Multinuclear NMR Spectroscopy and Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study”.; J. Phys. Chem.B, 2008, 112, 7363-7369
Remsing, RC.; Wildin, JL.; Rapp, AL.; Moyna, G. “Hydrogen -Bonding and Ionic Liquids revisited: An NMR studies of Deuterium Isotope effects in 1-n-Butyl-3-Methylimidazolium chloride”.; J.Phys. Chem. B, 2007, 111, 11619-11621.
Khrizman, A.; Moulthrop, JS.; Little, S.; Wharton, H.; Yardley, V.; Moyna,G. “ Synthesis and InVitro Protozoocidal Evaluation of Novel Diazabicyclic Tropolone Derivatives”; Arch.Pharm. 2007,340, 569-576.
Fort, D.A.;Remsing, RC.; Swatloski, RP.; Moyna, G.; Rogers, RD “Can Ionic Liquids Dissolve Wood? Processing and Analysis of Lignocellulosic Materials with 1-n-Butyl-3-Methlimidazolium Chloride”. Green Chem. 2007, 9, 63-69.( Listed as a “Top Ten” most accessed articles in Green. Chem. For the months of January and February 2007).
Khrizman, A.; Moulthrop, J. S.; Little, S.; Wharton, H.; Yardley, V.; Moyna, G. “Synthesis and In Vitro Protozoocidal Activity of Diazabicyclo Benzotropolone Derivatives. Bioorg”. Med. Chem. Lett. 2007, 17, 4183-4186.
Moyna, G. “Discrimination of Chiral Compounds Using NMR Spectroscopy”. By Thomas J. Wenzel (Bates College, Lewiston, ME). J. Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ. xxiv + 550 pp. $110. ISBN: 978-0-471-76352-9. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 14102-14103 (book review).
“Mechanism of Cellulose Dissolution in the Ionic Liquid 1-n-Butyl-3- Methylimidazolium Chloride: A 13C and 35/37Cl NMR Relaxation Study on Model Systems,” R. C. Remsing, R. P. Swatloski, R. D. Rogers, and G. Moyna, Chem. Commun., 2006, 1271–1273.
“Use of Ionic Liquids in the Study of Fruit Ripening by High-Resolution 13C NMR Spectroscopy: ‘Green’ Solvents Meet Green Bananas,” D. A. Fort, R. P. Swatloski, P. Moyna, R. D. Rogers, and G. Moyna, Chem. Commun., 2006, 716–718.
“Determination of the Three-Dimensional Structure of Oligosaccharides in the Solid State from Experimental 13C NMR Data and Ab Initio Chemical Shift Surfaces,” I. Sergeyev and G. Moyna, Carbohydrate Res., 2005, 340, 1165–1174.
“High-Resolution 13C NMR Studies of Cellulose and Cellulose Oligomers in Ionic Liquid Solutions,” J. S. Moulthrop, R. P. Swatloski, G. Moyna, and R. D. Rogers, Chem. Commun., 2005, 1557–1559.
“Use of 13C Chemical Shift Surfaces in the Study of Carbohydrate Conformation. Application to Cyclomaltooligosaccharides (Cyclodextrins) in the Solid State and in Solution, “ E. P. O’Brien and G. Moyna, Carbohydrate Res., 2004, 339, 87–96.

Contact Information

Office location: Griffith Hall Room 360
Mailing address: Box 48
University of Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495
Office Phone: 215.596.8526

g [dot] moyna [at] usciences [dot] edu