George S. Wilson

Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Primary office:
Malott Hall
Room 3029

Academic Degrees

  • A.B., 1961, Princeton University
  • Ph.D., 1965, University of Illinois
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, 1965- 1967, University of Illinois

Areas of Specialization

Bioanalytical Chemistry

Research Interests

Analytical Chemistry: redox biochemistry, in-vivo measurements with biosensors, development of analytical reagents based on biological recognition, problem-based learning in instrumental analysis.

The measurement of analytes in complex biological media continues to be a challenge. High sensitivity and selectivity are often essential to successful analysis. In addition, in-vivo measurements performed in order to understand time-dependent physiological processes may require good spatial and temporal resolution as well. Successful implementation of such analyses also requires reliable functioning of the analysis system in a matrix often not compatible with the analysis objectives.

Biosensors. A major effort is focused on the development of biosensors suitable for continuous in-vivo monitoring of analytes such as glucose, lactate, glutamate, and oxygen. The objective of this work is to understand the temporal and spatial concentration dependence of these analytes in response to chemical and physical stimuli. These measurements are expected to contribute to the understanding of brain trauma, and other abnormalities, and to the treatment of these conditions. We have been successful in developing a subcutaneously-implantable glucose sensor which is being used to monitor blood glucose in diabetic patients. The effects of the interactions with the surrounding tissue must be considered and this has been a major emphasis in recent years. Sensor design and the effective coupling of the analyte recognition process into the transduction of this event play a key role in defining sensor response characteristics. Attention is focused on the development of sensors with sub-second response times, high selectivity and small size.

Biological Recognition. The use of biological recognition has broadened beyond enzymes and antibodies to include the properties of aptamers, oligonucleotides derived from a library screened for binding to small molecules or to proteins with selectivity and binding affinity comparable to that of an antibody. We have particularly examined the environmental effects on the behavior of fluorophores attached to aptamers, particularly with regard to the fluorophore photophysics. Biological recognition has also been used as a basis for the isolation of individual chromosomes from a cell nucleus.

Post-translational Modifications of Proteins. In biological systems proteins are modified systematically to render them active and also by chance resulting from reaction with reactive oxygen species (ROS). These would include nitric oxide, superoxide, peroxide, peroxynitrite, or hydroxyl radicals. Analytical methods based on immunochemical and mass spectrometric approaches are being developed.

Selected Publications

  1. Wilson, G.S and Michael, A.C., eds., Compendium of In-Vivo Monitoring in Real-Time Molecular Neuroscience, Vol. 2 Microdialysis and Sensing of Neural Tissues, World Scientific Publishing, Singapore, 2017.
  2.  Mozziconacci, O.,  Bhagavathy,, G.V.,Yamamoto, T., Wilson, G.S., Glass, R.S.,  Schöneich, C., Neighboring Amide Participation in the Fenton Oxidation of a Sulfide to Sulfoxide, Vinyl Sulfide and Ketone Relevant to Oxidation of Methionine Thioether Side Chains in Peptides, Tetrahedron, 72, 7770-7789 (2016).
  3. . Yamamoto, T., Dai, J., Jacobsen, N.,  Ammam, M., Hall, G., Mozziconacci, O., Wilson, G.S., Glass,.R.S., Schöneich, C.,, Neighboring π-Amide Participation in Thioether Oxidation: Conformational Control, Organic Lett., 18, 3522-3525 (2016).
  4. . Wilson, G.S., Native glucose oxidase does not undergo direct electron transfer, Biosens. Bioelectron., 82, Pages vii-viii (2016), DOI:10/1016/j.bios.2016.04.083.
  5. . Yamamoto, T., Ammam, M., Roberts, S.A. Wilson, G.S. Glass, R.S., Suzuki-Miyaura synthesis of m-terphenyl thioethers and their facilitated oxidation by through-space π...Sπ interaction, Tetrahedron, 72, 2527-2534 (2016).
  6. . Xu, W., Yi, H., Yuan, Y., Pei Jing, Y., Chai, Y., Yuan, R., Wilson, G.S., An Electrochemical Aptasensor, for Thrombin using Synergic Catalysis of Enzyme and Porous Au@Pd core-shell Nanostructures for Signal Amplification, Biosens. Bioelectron., 64, 423-428 (2015).
  7. Wilson, G.S. and Michael, A.C., eds., Compendium of In-vivo Monitoring in Real-time Molecular Neuroscience, Vol. 1, Fundamentals and Applications, World Scientific Publishing, Singapore, 2015.
  8. Naylor, E., Aillon, D.V., Barrett, B.S., Wilson, G.S., Johnson, D.A., Johnson, D.A., Harmon, H.P., Gabbert, S., Petillo, P.A., "Lactate as a Biomarker for Sleep", Sleep, 2012, 35: 1209-1222
  9. Glass, R.S., Schoeneich, C., Wilson, G.S., Nauser, T., Yamamoto, T., Lorance, E., Nichol, G.S., and Ammam, M., “Neighboring Pyrrolidine Amide Participation in Thioether Oxidation. Methionine as a “Hopping” Site”, Org. Lett., 2011, 13: 2837-2839.
  10. Naylor, E., Aillon, D.V., Gabbert, S., Harmon, H., Johnson, D.A., Wilson, G.S., and Petillo, P.A., “Simultaneous Real-Time Measurement of EEG/EMG and L-Glutamate in Mice: A Biosensor Study of Neuronal Activity During Sleep”, J. Electroanal. Chem., 2011, 656: 106-113.
  11. Wilson, G.S., and Zhang, Y., “Introduction to the Glucose Sensing Problem in In-Vivo Glucose Sensing, Cunningham, D.D. and Stenken, J.A., eds. Wiley, New York, 2010.
  12. Chakrabarti, S., Svojanovsky, S.R., Slavik, R., Georg, G.I., Wilson, G.S., and Smith, P.G., “Artificial Neural Network-Based Analysis of High-Throughput Screening Data for Improved Prediction of Active Compounds, J. Biomolec. Screening, 2009, 14 : 1236-1244.
  13. Ammam, M., Zakai, U.I., Wilson, G.S., and Glass, R.S., “Anodic Oxidation of m-terphenyl thio-, seleno-and telluroethers: Lowered oxidation potentials due to chalcogen.•••π interaction, .Pure Appl. Chem., 2010, 82: 555-563.
  14. Glass, R.S., Hug, G.L., Schoeneich, C., Wilson, G.S., Kuznetsova, L., Lee, T.M., Ammam, M., Lorance, E., Nichol, G.S., and Yamamoto, T., “Neighboring Amide Participation in Thioether Oxidation: Relevance to Biological Oxidation, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2009, 131: 13791-13805.
  15. Chung, W.J., Ammam, M., Gruhn, N.E., Nichol, G.S., Singh, W.P., Wilson, G.S., and Glass, R.S., “Interactions of Arenes and Thioethers Resulting in Facilitated Oxidation, Org. Lett., 2009, 11: 397-400.
  16. Wilson, G.S., and Johnson, M.A., “In-Vivo Electrochemistry: What Can We Learn About Living Systems? Chem. Rev., 2008, 108: 2462-2481.


Chemistry department receives more than $6 million in research grants annually
14 chemistry faculty members have NSF CAREER Awards
Longest-running chemistry Research Experience for Undergraduates in the nation
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