August 2020: Didar Asik

Didar Asik.

Didar Asik, 5th-year Ph.D. student in Prof. Morrow's group


  • Asik, D.; Smolinski, R.; Abozeid, S.M.; Mitchell, T.B.; Turowski, S.G.; Spernyak, J. A.; Morrow, J.R.; Modulating of the properties of Fe(III) macrocyclic MRI contrast agents by appending sulfonate or hydroxyl groups. Molecules, 25(10), 2291, 2020.
  • Abozeid, S. M.; Asik, D.; Sokolow, G. E.; Lovell, J.; Nazarenko, A.; Morrow, J. R.; Co (II) Complexes as Liposomal CEST Agents. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2020.
  • Patel, A.; Asik, D.; Snyder, E. M.; Delillo, A. E.; Cullen, P. J.; Morrow, J. R.,  Binding and release of Fe (III) complexes from glucan particles for delivery of T1 MRI contrast agents. ChemMedChem, 2020.
  • Snyder, E. M.; Asik, D.; Abozeid, S.M.; Burgio, A.; Bateman, G.; Turowski, S. G.; Spernyak, J. A.; Morrow, J. R.; A Class of FeIII Macrocyclic Complexes with Alcohol Donor Groups as Effective T1 MRI Contrast Agents. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.,59, 2414-2419, 2019.
  • Patel, A.; Asik, D.; Spernyak, J. A.; Cullen, P.J.; Morrow, J. R.;MRI and fluorescence studies of Saccharomyces cerevisiae loaded with a bimodal Fe(III) T1 contrast agent. J. Inorg. Biochem., 201, p. 110832, 2019.


My research focuses on designing, synthesizing and the characterization of Fe(III) macrocyclic complexes as T1 MRI contrast agents. I utilize NMR and MRI methods for characterization of complexes in vitro and in mice.

I appreciate being a graduate student at UB because it has improved me, not only scientifically but also personally and made me a more confident and independent researcher.

The reasons that I like my research are being part of a diverse and respectful team as well as collaboration opportunities with my colleagues and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. I have always enjoyed working and learning new analytical techniques in the Chemistry Instrumentation Center that has been a very friendly and supportive environment.

Additionally, working as a teaching assistant for General Chemistry courses was one my most favorite experiences at UB. I have realized how much I like to teach and help students. I learned from my students more than they did from me.

I will always be proud of being part of this inclusive, supportive and caring UB chemistry community!

Outside of the lab, I like to spend my time with my friends and family, walking and cycling in the parks, reading novels under a tree and listening to music 24/7 ( If don’t listen, I sing :-) ).