Victoria Codrina Ewbank-Popescu - Chemistry Faculty

Codrina Ewbank-Popescu

Associate Professor of Chemistry
Chemistry, 105 Wynn Hall
p 315-228-6093


BS University of Bucharest, Romania 1994; MS, PhD Carnegie Mellon University 1997, 2000

Teaching Experience

Associate Professor, Ursinus College, 10 years

Professional Experience

Mossbauer and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance of iron proteins and complexes


Physical and instrumental chemistry, general chemistry, physical inorganic and bioinorganic chemistry


Structure and mechanism of iron proteins and enzymes, iron Mossbauer spectroscopy, iron-based biological processes, bioenergetics, catalytic environmental remediation, spectroscopic determination of electronic parameters of iron compounds and iron containing biological molecules, magnetic properties, hyperfine interactions in iron complexes, model complexes for iron enzymes, bio-inspired iron complexes, monovalent iron.


Tichnell, C.R.; Shultz, D.A.; Popescu, C.V.; * Sokirnyi, I.; Paul D. Boyle, “Synthesis, Characterization and Photophysical Studies of an Iron(III) Catecholate-Nitronylnitroxide Spin-Crossover Complex” Inorg. Chem. 2015, 54 (9), 4466–4474.

Hsieh, C.-H.; Ding, S.; Erdem, O. F.; Crouthers, D. J.; Liu, T.; McCrory, C. C. L.; Lubitz, W.; Popescu, C. V.; Reibenspies, J. H.; Hall, M. B.; Darensbourg, M. Y., Redox active iron nitrosyl units in proton reduction electrocatalysis. Nat Commun 2014, 5.

Bittner, M. M.; Lindeman, S. V.; Popescu, C. V.; Fiedler, A. T., Dioxygen Reactivity of Biomimetic Fe(II) Complexes with Noninnocent Catecholate, o-Aminophenolate, and o-Phenylenediamine Ligands. Inorganic Chemistry 2014, 53 (8), 4047-61.

Bittner, M.M., * Kraus, D., Lindeman, S.V., Popescu, C.V , Fiedler, A.T “Synthetic, Spectroscopic, and DFT Studies of Iron Complexes with Iminobenzo(semi)quinone Ligands: Implications for o-Aminophenol Dioxygenases” Chem. Eur. J. (2013), 19(29): 9686-98 (DOI: 10.1002/chem.201300520)

Stoian, S., Hsieh, C.-H.; *[1]Casuras, A.; Singleton, M.L., Darensbourg, M.Y., *McNeely, K.M.,  *Sweely, K., Popescu, C.V.  “Hyperfine Interactions and Electron Distribution in FeIIFeI and FeIFeI Models for the Active Site of the [FeFe]-Hydrogenases”, J. Biol. Inorg. Chem., (2013) 18: 609-622. {}

Hsieh, C.-H.; Brothers, S.M.; Hall, M.B.; Popescu, C.V; Darensbourg, M.Y., “The Ambidentate Thiocyanate Ligand in Dinitrosyl Iron Complexes”, Inorganic Chemistry (2013), 52(4): 2119-2124.

Hsieh, C.-H., Harman, S. D., Singleton, M.L., Reijersee, E.; Lubitz, W.; Popescu, C.V., Brothers, S.M., Reibenspies, J.H., Hall, M.B., Darensbourg, M.Y. "Structural and Spectroscopic Features of Mixed Valent FeIIFeI Complexes and Factors Related to the Rotated Configuration of Diiron Hydrogenase” J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2012), 134, 13089-13102.

Popescu, C.V., *Casuras, A., Hsieh, C.-H., Stoian, S.A, M., Darensbourg, M.Y. " Mössbauer studies of model complexes illustrating different states of the H-cluster in [Fe-Fe] hydrogenases ", Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (2011) 16, S94.

Liu, T., Li, B., Popescu, C.V., *Bilko, A., Perez, L., Hall, M. B., Darensbourg, M, Y. “Analysis of an Iron Dicarbonyl as Synthetic Analogue of the Hmd or [Fe]-Hydrogenase Active Site” Chem. Eur. J. (2010), 16, 3083-3089.

Li, B., Liu, T., Popescu, C.V., *Bilko, A., Darensbourg, M, Y. “Synthesis and Mössbauer Characterization of Octahedral Iron(II) Carbonyl  Complexes FeI2(CO)3L and FeI2(CO)2L2: Developing Models of the [Fe]-H2ase  Active Site” Inorganic Chemistry (2009), 48 (23), 11283-11289.

Popescu, C.V., Mock, M.T., Stoian, S.A., Riordan, C.G. “A high-spin organometallic Fe-S compound: Structural and Mössbauer Spectroscopic Studies of [Phenyltris((tert-butylthio)methyl)borate]Fe(Me), Inorg. Chem. (2009) 48 (17), 8317-8324.

Popescu, C.V., Mock, M.T., Stoian, S.A., Riordan, C.G. “Mössbauer Studies of a high-spin ferrous organometallic complex” Abstracts of Papers, 238th ACS National Meeting, Washington, D.C., United States, (2009) INOR-173.

*Bilko, A., Popescu, C.V., Liu, T. Singleton, M., Darensbourg, M.Y. “Organometallics in Biology - Mössbauer Spectroscopy of Iron Models for the Active Site of the Hydrogenase” Abstracts of Papers, 238th ACS National Meeting, Washington, D.C., United States, (2009) PHYS-539.

Mock, M.T., Kieber-Emmons, M.T., Popescu, C.V., *Gasda, P., Yap, G.P.A., Riordan, C.G. “A Series of Cyanide-Bridged Binuclear Complexes”, Inorg. Chim. Acta (2009) 362, 4553-4562.

*Sweely, K.D., Popescu, C.V. “Mössbauer spectroscopy in the elucidation of structure and reactivity of iron hydrogenases” Abstracts of Papers, 236th ACS National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, United States, (2008) PHYS-449.

Mock, M.T., Popescu, C.V., Yap, G.P.A., Dougherty, W.G., Riordan, C.G. “Monovalent Iron In a Sulfur-rich Environment”, Inorg. Chem. (2008), 47 (6), 1889-1891.

Popescu, C.V., Mock, M.T., Stoian, A.S., Riordan, C.G. "Synthetic, structural and Mössbauer studies of novel high-spin iron complexes supported by a tri-thioether ligand", Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (2007) 12, p. S149.

Banerjee, R., Zhang, J., Popescu, C., Lipscomb, J. D. “Delineating the interface between sMMO components”, Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (2007) 12, p. S71.

Zhang, J., Wallar, B.J., Popescu, C.V., Renner, D.B, Thomas, D.D., Lipscomb, J.D. “Mapping the Interface of the Methane Monooxygenase Component Complex” Abstracts of Papers, 231st ACS National Meeting, Atlanta, GA, United States (2006), INOR-391.

Zhang, J., Wallar, B.J., Popescu, C.V., Renner, D.B, Thomas, D.D., Lipscomb, J.D. “Methane Monooxygenase Hydroxylase and B Component Interactions” Biochemistry (2006) 45, 2913-2926.

*DeHont, R. F., Chiarella, G.; Melgarejo, D.; Stoian, S.; Koch, S.; Münck, E.; Popescu, C. V. “57Fe-Mössbauer spectroscopic studies of model compounds for the Fe-only hydrogenases”, Abstracts of Papers, 228th ACS National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, United States (2004), CHED-137.

Wolfe, M. D., Altier, D. J., Stubna, A., Popescu, C. V., Münck, E., Lipscomb, J. D. “Benzoate 1,2-Dioxygenase from Pseudomonas putida: Single Turnover Kinetics and Regulation of a Two Component Rieske Dioxygenase”, Biochemistry, 2002,  41(30),  9611-9626.

Popescu, C. V., Münck, E., Fox, B. G, Sanakis, Y., Cummings, J. G., Turner, I. M., Jr., Nelson M. J. “Mössbauer and EPR Studies of the Photoactivation of Nitrile Hydratase”, Biochemistry 2001, 40, 7984-7991.

Münck, E., Popescu, C. V. “Mössbauer Studies of Exchange Coupled Cluster Assemblies in Biological Systems” Hyperfine Interactions 2000, 126, 59- 67.

Bates, D. M., Popescu, C. V., Koroshilova, N.; Vogt, K., Beinert, H. Münck, E., Kiley, P. J. “Substitution of Lucine 28 for Histidine in the E. coli Transcription Factor FNR Results in Increased Stability of the [4Fe-4S]2+ Cluster to Oxygen”, J. Biol. Chem. 2000, 275, 6234.

Popescu, C. V., Münck, E. “On the electronic structure of the H-cluster in [Fe]-Hydrogenases”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1999, 121, 7877.

Popescu, C. V., Bates, D. M., Beinert, H., Münck, E., Kiley, P. J. (1999) “Mössbauer studies of the FNR transcription factor in whole E. Coli cells”, in Iron Metabolism, Wiley-VCH

Kyritsis, P., Kümmerle, R., Huber, J. G., Gaillard, J., Guigliarelli, B., Popescu C. V., Münck, E., Moulis, J. -M.  “Unusual NMR, EPR, and Mössbauer Properties of Chromatium vinosum 2[4Fe-4S] Ferredoxin”, Biochemistry 1999, 38, 6335.

Popescu, C. V., Bates D. M., Münck E., Beinert, H., Kiley, P. J.  “Mössbauer Spectroscopy as a Tool for the Study of Activation/Inactivation of the Transcription regulator FNR in whole Cells of Escherichia coli”, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 1998, 95, 13431. Kauffmann, K., Popescu, C. V., Dong, Y., Lipscomb, J. D., Que, L. Jr, Münck, E. “Mössbauer Evidence for Antisymmetric Exchange in a Diferric Synthetic Complex and Diferric Methane Monooxygenase”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1998, 120, 8739.

Hsu, H., Koch, S. A., Popescu, C. V., Münck, E.  “Chemistry of Fe Thiolate Complexes with CN- and CO.  Models for the [Fe(CO)(CN)2] Structural Unit in Ni-Fe Hydrogenase Enzymes”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1997, 119, 8371. Khoroshilova, N., Popescu, C. V., Münck, E., Beinert, H., Kiley, P. J.  “Iron-sulfur cluster disassembly in the FNR protein of Escherichia coli by O2: [4Fe-4S] to [2Fe-2S] conversion with loss of biological activity”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA 1997, 94, 6087.

Xia, J., Hu, Z., Popescu, C. V., Lindahl, P. A., Münck, E.  “Mössbauer and EPR Study of the Ni-Activated Metallosubunit of Carbon Monoxide Dehydrogenase from Clostridium thermoaceticum”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1997, 119, 8301.

[1] Undergraduate co-author.


2013-2016       National Science Foundation – RUI: Mössbauer Studies of Iron Containing Model complexes and enzymatic active sites (~$ 190,000)

2012                Sabbatical semester (Fall): Spectroscopy of Iron Containing Model Complexes and Enzymatic Active Sites. (Ursinus College and Carnegie Mellon University)

2010-2014       National Science Foundation – RUI: Mössbauer Studies of Iron Containing Model complexes and enzymatic active sites ($ 165,000, extension to 2014)

2004-2007       National Science Foundation – Major Research Instrumentation Award for Acquisition of a Mössbauer Spectrometer at Ursinus College ($124,000)

2002-2003       NIH Ruth Kirschstein NRSA for post-doctoral research – Structural Dynamics of Methane Monooxygenase by Nitroxide-EPR and Fluorescence Energy Transfer (FET).