Research Interests

Curare alkaloids, 1957-1962. Work for PhD: helped elucidating the structure of the main alkaloid, C-curarine. For references, see Merck Index, curare.

Nucleotides, oligonucleotides and analogs, 1963-1982. Research supported by the NIH and NSF. Most significant results: polymerisation of nucleotides in the solid state; the use of cyclonucleosides in oligonucleotide synthesis; the conversion of poly ribouridylate into poly arabinouridylate; the first NMR of a trinucleotide; biologically active phosphotiesters of nucleosides; the discovery of cyclocytidine as cytotoxic agent; and the synthesis of 2'-deoxy-2'-thionucleotides.

Some representative articles are the following: Arabinonucleotides II. Nagyvary, J. J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 91, 5409 (1969) Synthesis and Structure of Polyarabinouridylic acid. Provenzale, R.G. and Nagyvary, J. Biochemistry 9, 1744 (1970) Synthesis and Properties of 2'-Deoxy-2'-thiocytidine. Patel, A.D., Schrier, W. H., and Nagyvary, J. J. Org. Chem. 45, 4830 (1980)

Origin of life research, 1972-76, supported by the NASA. This involved prebiotic synthesis of nucleotides and a study of micelles as possible compartments for selective assembly; also, new hypothesis for the origin of the genetic code. Representative articles: Prebiotic formation of cytidine. Tapiero, C. M., and Nagyvary, J. Nature 231, 42 (1971) Origin of the Genetic Code. Nagyvary, J. and Fendler, J. H. Origin of Life 5, 357 (1974)

Hypocholesterolemic effect of dietary fiber, 1977-1983, supported by State grants and the American Egg Board. Using C13-nmr spectroscopy, we were able to show the direct binding of lipid micelles to the carboxylic groups of pectin. We discovered the powerful hypocholesterolemic activity of polyaminoglucose, i.e. chitosan in mice, dogs and men, and quantitated the lipid/chitosan interactions. We also discovered the use of chitosan in treating jaundice and obtained a patent for such applications. (Since chitosan is a natural product, companies had no commercial interest in such patents.). See articles: The Hypolipidemic Activity of Chitosan and Other Polysaccharides in Rats. Nagyvary, J. et al. Nutr. Repts. Internat'l 20, 677 (1979) Exploratory Studies of Lipid-Pectin Interactions. Falk, J. D. and Nagyvary, J. J. Nutr. 112, 182 (1982) The Binding of Micellar Lipids to Chitosan. Nauss, J. L., Thompson,J. L., and N agyvary, Lipids 18, 714 (1981)

Violin research.
Inofficially began in the mid 1960's with field trips to Italy, continued as a week end hobby in the 1970's, and became my exclusive research in 1983. This research was supported first by over $100,000 of my own money, then by private grants from Mr. Manny Rosental and the Skaggs Foundations. Key contributor (1988-1993) was the State of Texas in the amount totaling $295,000.
We have made a significant progress in elucidating and reproducing the methods of violin making which made Stradivari and his contemporaries so superior to the craftsmen of the later periods. The explanation for the uniqueness of the Cremona violins is based on the chemistry of its materials, which were provided by the local chemist. This is best explained in the last article on the following list.

The various aspects of violin science we have been investigating are: