Graduate student Tianyu He presented his research at the University at Buffalo Graduate Student Symposium. His talk was entitled "Synthesis and Biological Effects of Novel Biocompatible Agents for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy."
Graduate student Ashton Lesiak successfully defended her dissertation entitled "Development of direct analysis in real time-high resolution mass spectrometry (DART-HRMS) and statistical analysis tools for the identification and classification of psychoactive plant drugs."
Professor Musah was honored to deliver the Grace Van Dervoort Lecture at The Sage Colleges. Her talk was entitled "Getting to the Root of Psychedelic Plant Highs: Ambient Ionization Mass Spectrometric Approaches to Identification and Characterization."
Graduate student Ashton Lesiak presented her work at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in Las Vegas, NV. Her talk was entitled "Adulteration of Psychoactive Herbal Supplements Revealed by Direct Analysis in Real-Time Mass Spectrometry (DART-MS)." Graduate student Justine Giffen also attended the meeting.
Professor Musah was invited to speak at the University as part of the "Campus Conversations in Standish" lecture series. Her talk was entitled "Smokes, Chews and Brews: The Dangers and Crackdown on Legal Plant Highs."
Professor Musah visited Trinity College in Hartford, CT. She presented a talk entitled "Revealing the Secrets of the Shaman’s: Characterization of Mind-Altering Plants by DART-HRMS."
Mimosa pudica research from the Musah Lab is highlighted in international publications.
New Scientist: Farting plants have a built-in stink bomb that deters predators
"Musah has found that the roots of some species actively release their foul smell. Her team made this discovery while growing seedlings of Mimosa pudica, known for its sensitive leaves that fold up when touched. They found that this plant’s roots are also touch-sensitive, releasing the odour when accosted (Plant Physiology, DOI: 10.1104/pp.15.01705)."
Huffington Post: This Plant Lets Loose a Stinky Defense Mechanism When Humans Touch It
The Musah Lab is very excited to welcome sophomore Allix Coon. She is a chemistry and mathematics double major with a business minor. She is also a proud member of the Honors College.
Professor Musah's research on the creation of a psychoactive plant database for forensic analysis was featured on the front page of the Times Union newspaper.
"Rabi Musah is building a database with the fingerprints of some of the world's worst offenders. They've harmed, hospitalized and — some believe — even killed.
They've done so with impunity for centuries, and that's something Musah and law enforcement across the country would like to stop. Their names are Salvia divinorum, Datura stramonium and Picralima nitida, to name a few. They're ancient, psychoactive plants. And they're natural and perfectly legal."
Professor Musah traveled to Honolulu, HI to attend the 2015 Pacifichem conference. She presented a talk entitled "Solvent-dependent Self Assembly of S-substituted Cysteines" in the Organosulfur session.
The Musah Lab is excited to welcome first year Ph.D. student Cameron Longo. Cameron graduated from Buffalo State University last year with a B.S. in Chemistry.
Professor Musah is a recipient of a 2015 National Institute of Justice Grant "Development of Ambient Ionization Mass Spectrometric and Multivariate Statistical Analysis Methods for Rapid High-Throughput Analysis and Identification of Psychotropic Plant Species" for $688,158. This grant will fund forensic investigation of mind-altering plants and methods to identify psychoactive botanical materials. This is the second NIJ grant that Professor Musah has received.
Ashton was one of four recipients of the Graduate Student Research Award from the 2015 Eastern Analytical Symposium. The award afforded her the opportunity to present her research on forensic identification of botanical materials using DART-MS. Professor Musah also presented a talk on plant emission analysis by SPME-DART-MS analysis.
Ashton and Professor Musah traveled to Hyannis, MA to give talks about their recent work. Ashton spoke about adulteration of psychoactive herbal supplements and Professor Musah presented on work towards the creation of a psychotropic plant database.
Ashton was awarded the 2015 Carol DeForest Student Research Grant Award at the conference.
Professor Musah served as the Chair of the 2015 SUNY STEM Conference. The conference highlighted building pathways and partnerships to enhance STEM education and research throughout New York and the world at large. Keynote speaker Dr. Jill Bargonetti spoke about her experience as a minority woman in STEM. The conference was held at the Albany Marriott October 1st-2nd.
Ashton Lesiak presented a talk about her work on identifiying psychoactive plant materials entitled "From Greenhouse to Drughouse: Characterization of Mind-Altering Plant Materials"
Justine Giffen presented a poster on the research she has done on plant species identification entitled "One Mint Gets you High, One Mint Keeps You Low-Identifying Salvia divinorum and other Sage Species"
Tianyu He presented a poster on his work with "Flower Power: Carboranyl Cysteine Florets on the Pathway to Novel Brain Tumor Treatment"
Graduate students Justine Giffen and Ashton Lesiak traveled with Professor Musah to St. Louis, MO in May 2015 for the annual ASMS conference. Ashton presented a talk about her continuing work on psychotropic plant analysis. Justine and Professor Musah presented in the Plant-omics poster session on their work with plant volatile compound analysis.
Professor Musah received a National Science Foundation grant (grant number 1429329) for the acquistion of an in-house Direct Analysis in Real Time Mass Spectrometer. The new instrument was installed in November 2014. The DART will be used by students and faculty in the chemistry department for research and teaching purposes.
Graduate students Justine Giffen and Ashton Lesiak traveled with Professor Musah to work with collaborators JEOL USA, Inc. In the course of a week, they were able to analyze 1000 samples with Drs. Chip Cody and John Dane using a DART AccuTOF mass spectrometer. It was a great opportunity to experience the convergence of industry and academic research.
A paper entitled "Rapid Detection by Direct Analysis in Real Time-Mass Spectrometry (DART-MS) of Psychoactive Plant Drugs of Abuse: The Case of Mitragyna speciosa aka 'Kratom.'" was accepted for publication in Forensic Science International. The authors of this paper include Ashton D. Lesiak, Robert B. Cody, A. John Dane, and Rabi A. Musah.
A second article entitled "DART-MS In-source Collision Induced Dissociation and High Mass Accuracy for New Psychoactive Substance Determinations" was also accepted for publication in Forensic Science International. The authors on this paper are Rabi A. Musah, Robert B. Cody, Marek A. Domin, Ashton D. Lesiak, A. John Dane, and Jason R.E. Shepard.