Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Phone: ext. 2237

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Ph.D. in Chemistry University of North Texas, Texas, 2007
M.S. in Chemistry University of North Texas, Texas, 2004
B. Eng. in Chemistry Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Romania, 1993

After obtaining her Ph.D. in Chemistry, Adriana Dinescu served as a post-doctoral fellow at the Idaho National Laboratory for almost two years. Since 2008, she has taught a variety of chemistry courses at Butler University in Indiana and Wilkes University in Pennsylvania, before joining Centenary University in January 2016. Her research interests include bio-inorganic modeling and simulation, energy efficient catalysis, biomedical research, and structure-based drug design.

Published Works

1. Teresa R. Brown, Michael L. Drummond, Sarah Barelier, Amanda S. Crutchfield, Adriana Dinescu, Kerri D. Slavens, Thomas R. Cundari, Mary E. Anderson, “Aspartate 458 of human glutathione synthetase is important for cooperativity and active site structure.” Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 2011; 411: 536-542.

2. Garold L. Gresham, Adriana Dinescu, Michael T. Benson, Michael J. Van Stipdonk, Gary S. Groenewold, “Investigation of Uranyl Nitrate Ion Pairs Complexed with Amide Ligands Using Electrospray Ionization Ion Trap Mass Spectrometry and Density Functional Theory.” J. Phys. Chem. A 2011; 115: 3497-3508.

3. Adriana Dinescu, Teresa R. Brown, Sarah Barelier, Thomas R. Cundari, Mary E. Anderson, “Role of the glycine triad in human glutathione synthetase.” Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 2010; 400: 511-516.

4. Timothy E. Machonkin, Patrick L. Holland, Kristine N. Smith, Justin S. Liberman, Adriana Dinescu, Thomas R. Cundari, Sara S. Rocks, “Determination of the active site of Sphingobium chlorophenolicum 2,6-dichlorohydroquinone dioxygenase (PcpA).” J. Biol. Inorg. Chem. 2010; 15: 291-301.

5. Yosra M. Badiei, Adriana Dinescu, Xuliang Dai, Robert M. Palomino, Frank Heinemann, Thomas R. Cundari, Timothy H. Warren, “Copper Nitrenes in Catalytic C-H Amination.” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2008; 47: 9961-9964.

6. Adriana Dinescu, Michael T. Benson, “Electronic Structure Studies on Deprotonation of Dithiophosphinic Acids in Water Clusters.” J. Phys. Chem. A 2008; 112: 12270-12280.

7. Thomas R. Cundari, Adriana Dinescu, Abul B. Kazi, “Bonding and Structure of Copper-Nitrenes.” Inorg. Chem. 2008; 47: 10067-10072.

8. Adriana Dinescu, Aurora E. Clark, “Thermodynamic and Structural Features of Aqueous Ce(III).” J. Phys. Chem. A 2008; 112: 11198-11206.

9. Michael T. Benson, Megan L. Moser, Dean R. Peterman, Adriana Dinescu, “Determination of pKa for Dithiophosphinic Acids Using Density Functional Theory.” J. Mol. Struct. THEOCHEM 2008; 867: 71-77.

10. Thomas R. Cundari, Adriana Dinescu, Dunming Zhu, and Ling Hua, “A molecular modeling
study on the enantioselectivity of aryl alkyl ketone reductions by a NADPH-dependent
carbonyl reductase.” J. Mol. Model. 2007; 13: 685-690.

11. Abul B. Kazi, Thomas R. Cundari, Eduard Baba, Nathan J. DeYonker, Adriana Dinescu, and Lloyd Spaine, “Catalytic Synthesis of Arylisocyanates from Nitroaromatics. A Computational Study.” Organometallics 2007; 26: 910-914.

12. Adriana Dinescu, Mary E. Anderson, and Thomas R. Cundari, “Catalytic Loop Motion in Human Glutathione Synthetase: A Molecular Modeling Approach.” Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 2007; 353: 450-456.

13. Nathan J. DeYonker, Tom Grimes, Scott Yockel, Adriana Dinescu, Benjamin J. Mintz, Thomas R. Cundari, and Angela K. Wilson, “The correlation-consistent composite approach: Application to the G3/99 test set.” J. Chem. Phys. 2006; 125: 104111/1-15.

14. Adriana Dinescu, Clinton E. Whiteley, Rachel R. Combs, and Thomas R. Cundari, “Oxygen Atom Transfer Energetics: Assessment of the Effect of Method and Solvent.” J. Phys. Chem. A 2006; 110: 4053-4056.

15. Orson L. Sydora, David S. Kuiper, Peter T. Wolczanski, Emil B. Lobkovsky, Adriana Dinescu, and Thomas R. Cundari, “The Butterfly Dimer [(tBu3SiO)Cr]2(m-OSitBu3)2 and its Oxidative Cleavage to (tBu3SiO)2Cr(=N-N=CPh2)2 and (tBu3SiO)2Cr=N(2,6-Ph2-C6H3).” Inorg. Chem. 2006; 45: 2008-2021.

16. Nathan A. Eckert, Adriana Dinescu, Thomas R. Cundari, and Patrick L. Holland, “A T-Shaped Three-Coordinate Nickel(I) Carbonyl Complex and the Geometric Preferences of Three-Coordinate d9 Complexes.” Inorg. Chem. 2005; 44: 7702 –7704.

17. Corneliu Buda, Abul B. Kazi, Adriana Dinescu, and Thomas R. Cundari, “Stability Studies of Transition-Metal Linkage Isomers Using Quantum Mechanical Methods. Groups 11 and 12 Transition Metals.” J. Chem. Inf. Modeling 2005; 45: 965-970.

18. Adriana Dinescu, Thomas R. Cundari, Vikas S. Bhansali, Jia-Li Luo, and Mary E. Anderson, “Function of Conserved Residues of Human Glutathione Synthetase: Implications for the ATP-grasp Enzymes.” J. Biol. Chem. 2004; 279: 22412 – 22421.


Dr. Dinescu research field is computational chemistry and her experience span over inorganic, physical chemistry, and biochemistry. Her current interests include the following:
• Applications of molecular modeling methods to biochemical systems – molecular dynamics simulations of proteins, docking applications, analysis and calculation of protein-ligand interactions, homology modeling, bioinformatics;
• Homogeneous catalysis and rational design of inorganic catalysts
• Multiconfigurational and DFT methods applied to chemical systems containing open-shell transition metal and lanthanide/actinide complexes;
• Transition state calculations using density functional theory;
• Conformational analysis of molecular structures;
• Applying various solvent models to estimate the effect of environment to chemical systems.