Eli G. Hvastkovs

Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies, Analytical Chemistry

Office: SZ 512
Phone: 252-328-9767
E-mail: hvastkovse@ecu.edu

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Connecticut Health Center, Department of Cell Biology, and University of Connecticut, Department of Chemistry (2004-2008)
  • Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Wyoming (2004)
  • BS, Chemistry, University of Wyoming (1999)

Research Overview

Research in the Hvastkovs group is centered on the development of electrochemical sensors to detect biologically relevant events. At present, we are interested in elucidating and detecting genetic abnormalities that can lead to cancer. In one project, we are concerned with detecting DNA damage on a gene sequence specific level using an electrochemical platform. We do this through the formation of DNA modified electrodes and the use of a redox active reporter molecule that binds to DNA in a specific manner based on its helical structure. A second project aims at detecting hypermethylated gene segments that can be indicative of silencing or “switching off” that particular gene, which has been shown to be an initial step in the formation of a cancerous cell.

Selected Publications

LaFave, E.R.; Turner, R; Schaaf, N. J.; Hindi, T; Rudel, D.; Hvastkovs, E.G.  “Complementary Square Wave Voltammetry and Tandem Mass Spectrometry Analysis to Identify and Detect Compensatory Genomic Changes in Nematodes due to Nickel (II) Exposure,” Sensors and Actuators Reports, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.snr.2021.100070.

LaFave, E. R.; Gerber, B.; Harrison, L.; Anderson, A.; Hvastkovs, E. G. “Sugar Pills? Investigating Humphreys’ Homeopathic Specifics: Utilizing Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry for an In-Depth Look at Nineteenth-Century American Homeopathy,” International Journal of Historical Archaeology, 2021, 1-17, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10761-021-00637-0.

Tarpey, M. D.; Amorese, A. J.; LaFave, E. R.; Minchew, E. C.; Fisher-Wellman, McClung, J. M.; Hvastkovs, E. G.; Spangenburg, E. E. “Skeletal Muscle Function Is Dependent Upon BRCA1 to Maintain Genomic Stability,” Exercise and sport sciences reviews, 49 (4), 2021, 267-273, https://doi.org/10.1249/JES.0000000000000265.

LaFave, E. R.; Tarpey, M. D.; Balestrieri, N. P.; Spangenburg, E. E.; Hvastkovs, E. G. “Complementary Square-Wave Voltammetry and LC-MS/MS Analysis to Elucidate Induced Damaged and Mutated Mitochondrial and Nuclear DNA from in Vivo Knockdown of the BRCA 1 Gene in the Mouse Skeletal Muscle,” Analytical chemistry 93 (33), 2021, 11592-11600, https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.1c02249.

Ohler, A.; Long, H.; Ohgo, K.; Tyson, K.; Murray, D.; Davis, A.; Whittington, C.; Hvastkovs, E. G.; Duffy, L.; Haddy, A.; Sargent, A. L.; Allen, W. A.; Offenbacher, A. R.  “Synthesis of redox-active fluorinated 5-hydroxytryptophans as molecular reporters for biological electron transfer,” Chemical Communications 57 (25), 2021, 3107-3110, https://doi.org/10.1039/D1CC00187F.

Tyson, K. J.; Davis, A. N.; Norris, J. L.; Bartolotti, L. J.; Hvastkovs, E. G.; Offenbacher, A. R. “Impact of Local Electrostatics on the Redox Properties of Tryptophan Radicals in Azurin: Implications for Redox-Active Tryptophans in Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer,” The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 11 (7), 2020, 2408-2413, https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpclett.0c00614.

Robb, A. J.; Vinogradov, S.; Danell, A. S.; Anderson, E.; Blackledge, M. S.; Melander, C.; Hvastkovs, E. G. “Electrochemical detection of small molecule induced Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm dispersion,” Electrochimica Acta 268, 2018, 276-282, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electacta.2018.02.113.

Hvastkovs, E. G.; Rusling, J. F. “Modern approaches to chemical toxicity screening,” Current Opinion in Electrochemistry, 3(1), 2018, 18-22, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coelec.2017.03.013

Trumbo-White, C. M.; Hvastkovs, E. G. “Electrochemical Assessment of Sequence Selective DNA Damage from Myoglobin and Cytochrome P450 Bioactivated Benzo[a]pyrene at TP53 Oligomers.”  Electroanalysis, 2016, 28, 2875-2883.

Hvastkovs, E. G.; Rusling, J. F.  “State-of-the-Art Metabolic Toxicity Screening and Pathway Evaluation.”  Analytical Chemistry (Cover Article), 2016, 88, 4584-4599.

Vinogradov, S. M.; Satterwhite-Warden, J. E.; Hicks, R. P.; Anderson, E.; Hvastkovs, E. G. “Electrochemical Detection of Alginate Penetration in Immobilized Layer-by-Layer Films by Unnatural Amino Acid Containing Antimicrobial Peptides.” Electrochimica Acta, 2015, 186, 245-252.

Huffnagle, I. M.; Joyner, A.; Rumble, B.; Hysa, S.; Rudel, D.; Hvastkovs, E. G. “Dual Electrochemical and Physiological Apoptosis Assay Detection of in Vivo Generated Nickel Chloride Induced DNA Damage in Caenorhabditis elegans.” Analytical Chemistry, 2014, 86, 8418-8424.

Satterwhite, J. E.; Trumbo, C. M.; Danell, A. S.; Hvastkovs, E. G. “Electrochemical Study on the Effects of Epigenetic Cytosine Methylation on Anti-Benzo[a]pyrene Diol Epoxide Damage at TP53 Oligomers.” Analytical Chemistry, 2013, 85, 1183-1191.

Satterwhite, J. E.; Pugh, A. M.; Danell, A. S.; Hvastkovs, E. G. “Electrochemical Detection of anti-Benzo[a]pyrene Diol Epoxide DNA Damage on TP53 Codon 273 Oligomers.” Analytical Chemistry, 2011, 83, 3327-3335.