Claudia Turro

Dow Professor
Mentor Faculty


Claudia Turro received her B.S. with Honors in 1987 from Michigan State University. She worked with Daniel G. Nocera and George E. Leroi at Michigan State University and received her Ph.D. in 1992. She was awarded a Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research Postdoctoral Fellowship to continue postodoctoral work at Columbia University with Nicholas J. Turro from 1992 to 1995. She has been a faculty member at The Ohio State University since 1996. She received the Early CAREER Award by the National Science Foundation in 1998, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation Young Investigator Award in 1999, was named a 2010 Fellow of the American Chemical Society, and a 2012 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  She was elected Vice-President (2011-12) and President (2012-14) of the Inter-American Photochemical Society and Chair of the Bioninorganic Subdivision of the Division of Inorganic Chemistry of the American Chemical Society (2013-15).

Inorganic Photochemistry, Excited State Processes, Control of Charge Separation and Recombination, DNA Interactions

The Turro group is interested in understanding and utilizing reactions of metal complexes that can be initiated with light. The potential applications of these reactions span the areas of photodynamic therapy (PDT) for the treatment of tumors, luminescent reporters and sensors, degradation of pollutants triggered by light, and solar energy conversion. In order to improve and expand their reactivity, the fundamental understanding of the excited states of mononuclear and dinuclear metal-metal bonded transition metal complexes is necessary and remains an important subject of investigation. The work in the Turro group continues to address long-range charge transport, as well as the chemical control of charge separation and charge recombination. Understanding and controlling these processes is vital for efficient solar energy conversion. Transition metal complexes that are nontoxic in the dark and become highly toxic upon irradiation with visible or near-IR light are ideal for PDT. Complexes that are able to damage or covalently bind to DNA or other biomolecules upon irradiation with visible light are currently being investigated as potential PDT agents in the Turro group. New cationic dirhodium(II,II) complexes that possess ligands with anextended π-system were shown to photocleave DNA with visible light in the absence of oxygen. These complexes are significantly less toxic than a commercially available PDT drug in the dark, but become highly toxic when exposed to visible light. In addition, complexes that undergo photo-induced ligand-loss are also under investigation, such that the complex can covalently bind to DNA following photolysis and disrupt cellular processes in a manner similar to cisplatin.


Selected Recent Publications

“DNA Light-Switch Behavior Observed for a Non-Intercalating Complex” Daniel A. Lutterman, Abdellatif Chouai, Yujie Sun, Cristina D. Stewart, Kim R. Dunbar, and Claudia Turro, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 200830, 1163-1170.

“The Remarkable Influence of M2 σ to Thienyl π Conjugation in Oligothiophenes Incorporating MMQuadruple Bonds” Burdzinski, G., Chisholm, M. H.; Chou, P.-T.; Feil, F.; Chou, Y.-H.; Gallucci, J.; Ghosh, Y.; Gustafson, T.; Ho, M.-N.; Liu, Y.; Ramnauth, R.; Turro, C. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.2008105, 15247-15252.

“Ultrafast Ligand Exchange:  Detection of a Pentacoordinate Ru(II) Intermediate and Product Formation” Yao Liu, David B. Turner, Tanya N. Singh, Abdelatif Chouai, Kim R. Dunbar, and Claudia Turro, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009131, 26-27.

“Redox-Regulated Inhibition of T7 RNA Polymerase via Establishment of Disulfide Linkages by Substituted Dppz Dirhodium(II,II) Complexes” J. Dafhne Aguirre, Helen T. Chifotides, Alfredo M. Angeles-Boza, Abdellatif Chouai, Claudia Turro, and Kim R. Dunbar, Inorg. Chem. 200948, 4435-4444.

“Cell Cytotoxicity Studies of Dirhodium(II,II) Complexes: Documentation of Antitumor Active Dirhodium Compounds Interactions with Nuclear DNA” J. Dafhne Aguirre, Alfredo M. Angeles-Boza, Abdellatif Chouai, Jean-Philippe Pellois, Claudia Turro, and Kim R. Dunbar, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009131, 11353-1136.

“Nuclear Targets of Photodynamic Tridentate Ruthenium Complexes” Ran Zhao, Richard Hammitt, Randolph P. Thummel, Yao Liu, Claudia Turro, and Robert M. Snapka, Dalton Transactions, invited paper for themed issue onMetal Anticancer Compounds 200948, 10926–10931. 

“Anticancer Activity of Heteroleptic Diimine Complexes of Dirhodium: A Study of Intercalating Properties, Hydrophobicity and in cellulo Activity” J. Dafhne Aguirre, Alfredo M. Angeles-Boza, Abdellatif Chouai, Claudia Turro, Jean-Philippe Pellois and Kim R. Dunbar, Dalton Transactions, invited paper for themed issue on Metal Anticancer Compounds 200948, 10806–10812. 

Efficient DNA photocleavage by [Ru(bpy)2(dppn)]2+ with visible light” Yujie Sun, Lauren E. Joyce, Nicole M. Dickson, and Claudia Turro, Chem. Comm. 201046, 2426-2428. 

“Unusual Photophysical Properties of a Ruthenium(II) Complex Related to [Ru(bpy)2(dppz)]2+” Yujie Sun, Sibrina N. Collins, Lauren E. Joyce, and Claudia Turro, Inorg. Chem. 2010, 49, 4257-4262.

“Ultrafast Dynamics of the Low-Lying 3MLCT States of [Ru(bpy)2(dppp2)]2+” Yujie Sun,  Yao Liu, and Claudia Turro, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 5594-5595. 

“Highly Solvent Dependent Luminescence from [Ru(bpy)n(dppp2)n–3]2+ (n = 0 - 2)” Yujie Sun and Claudia Turro,Inorg. Chem.  201049, 5025–5032. 

“Photophysical Properties, DNA Photocleavage, and Photocytotoxicity of a Series of Dppn Dirhodium(II,II) Complexes” Lauren E. Joyce, J. Dafhne Aguirre, Alfredo M. Angeles-Boza, Abdellatif Chouai, Patty K.-L. Fu, Kim R. Dunbar, and Claudia Turro, Inorg. Chem. 201049, 5371–5376. 

“Effect of Ligands with Extended π-System on the Photophysical Properties of Ru(II) Complexes” Yujie Sun, Maya El Ojaimi, Richard Hammitt, Randolph P. Thummel, and Claudia Turro, J. Phys. Chem. B 2010114, 14664-14670. 

“DNA Photocleavage by an Osmium(II) Complex in the PDT Window” Yujie Sun, Lauren E. Joyce, Nicole M. Dickson, and Claudia Turro, Chem. Comm.201046, 6759-6761. 

“Electronic and Steric Effects on the Photoisomerization of Dimethylsulfoxide Complexes of Ru(II) Containing Picolinate” Daniel A. Lutterman, Aaron A. Rachford, Jeffrey J. Rack, and Claudia Turro, J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 20101, 3371-3375. 

“Effect of Intraligand π-Delocalization on the Photophysical Properties of Two New Ru(II) Complexes” Daniel A. Lutterman, Laurie A. Lazinski-Melanson, Yogen Asher, Dean H. Johnston, Judith C. Gallucci, and Claudia Turro, J. Photochem. Photobiol. A.: Chemistry 2011217, 100-107. 

“Lack of Quenching by [Fe(CN)6]4– is Not Proof of DNA Intercalation” Scott J. Burya, Daniel A. Lutterman, and Claudia Turro, Chem. Comm. 2011, 1848-1850.

“Effect of Electronic Structure on the Photoinduced Ligand Exchange of Ru(II) Polypyridine Complexes” Robert N. Garner, Lauren E. Joyce, and Claudia Turro, Inorg. Chem. 201150, 4384-4391.

“[Ru(bpy)2(5-cyanouracil)2]2+ as a Potential Light-Activated Dual-Action Therapeutic Agent” by Robert N. Garner, Judith C. Gallucci, Kim R. Dunbar, and Claudia Turro, Inorg. Chem. 201150, 9213-9215. 

“Insight into the Reaction Pathway of DNA Model Chelates with Photoactivated cis-[Rh2(u-O2CCH3)2(CH3CN)6]2+” Helen T. Chifotides, Daniel A. Lutterman, Kim R. Dunbar and Claudia Turro, Inorg. Chem. 201150, 12099–12107.

“Light Activation of a Cysteine Protease Inhibitor: Caging of a Peptidomimetic Nitrile with RuII(bpy)2” Tomasz Respondek, Robert N. Garner, Mackenzie K. Herroon, Izabela Podgorski, Claudia Turro and Jeremy J. Kodanko, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011133, 17164-17167.

“To Intercalate or Semiintercalate, or Both?” Claudia Turro, invited commentary, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2011108, 17573-17574.

“Photochemistry and DNA Photocleavage by a new Unsupported Dirhodium(II,II) Complex”, invited submission for a special issue on “Photoactivated Metal Complexes:  from Theory to Therapeutics”,  Zhanyong Li, Scott J. Burya, Claudia Turro, and Kim R. Dunbar, Phil. Trans. A 2012, in press.

“Cytotoxcity of Cyclometallated Ruthenium Complexes:  The Role of Ligand Exchange on the Activity”, invited submission for a special issue on “Photoactivated Metal Complexes:  from Theory to Therapeutics”,  Alycia Palmer, Bruno Peña, R. Bryan Sears, Oliva Chen, Maya El Ojaimi, Randolph P. Thummel Kim R. Dunbar, and Claudia Turro,Phil. Trans. A 2012, in press.

“Excited State Dyanamics of Ru(II) Cycometallated Dyes:  Relation to Cells for Solar Energy Conversion and Comparison to Conventional Systems”, Bruno Peña, Nicholas A. Leed, Kim R. Dunbar, and Claudia Turro, J. Phys Chem. C. 2012, in pess.

Binding Manners” interview for Nature Chemistry 20124, 591.

Areas of Expertise
  • Chemistry & Biochemistry
Research Interests
Focus Areas: 

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