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Chemical Biology


The Interface Between Chemistry and Biology

The Chemical Biology faculty are using their chemical expertise to explore biological phenomena. Their research programs include studies of enzyme mechanisms, membrane structure and function, drug discovery, protein folding, cellular receptors, and macromolecular structure determination. Novel biosynthetic and chemical strategies are being used to synthesize small molecules for use in probing enzyme mechanisms, exploring ligand-receptor interactions and in treating disease. Methods such as high resolution NMR, mass spectrometry, stopped-flow kinetics, fluorescence, CD, UV/vis, and Raman spectroscopies are used to probe macromolecule structure, function and folding.

More information about the Chemical Biology Training Program.

Elizabeth Boon

Elizabeth Boon
Associate Professor. Fundamentals and applications in biological sensing. Prokaryotic nitric oxide biology. Fundamentals and applications of the H-NOX family. Peptide and protein engineering for novel sensing applications.

   
Isaac Carrico

Isaac Carrico
Associate Professor. Introduction of small molecules into biological systems for the purpose of tracking or perturbing cellular processes. Metabolic engineering. Protein engineering. Bioorthogonal reaction development.

   
Dale Drueckhammer

Dale Drueckhammer
Professor. Computer-based design and synthesis of receptors and sensors for biomolecules. Design and synthesis of enzyme inhibitors. Enzyme reaction mechanisms

   
Jarrod French

Jarrod French
Assistant Professor. Structural biology, chemical biology and enzymology of metabolic pathways and protein complexes

   
Liang Gao

Liang Gao
Assistant Professor

   
David Green

David Green
Affiliated Assistant Professor. Computational biology of protein interactions.

   
Frank Johnson

Frank Johnson
Professor. Synthesis of viral enzyme inhibitors. Chemical aspects of genetic toxicology. New organo-alkali synthetic chemistry

   
Scott Laughlin

Scott Laughlin
Assistant Professor. Chemical neuroscience. Design and application of optical probes for imaging neural circuitry. Applications of small molecules to controlling animal behaviors. Leveraging chemistry to understand the neural circuitry that links sensory experience and behavior.

   
Erwin London

Erwin London
Professor. Membrane protein structure and folding. Cell entry by membrane-penetrating bacterial toxin proteins. Role of cholesterol in membrane structure.

   
Lisa Miller

Lisa Miller
Affiliated Associate Professor. Applications of synchrotron x-ray and infrared imaging to diseases such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

   
Ming-Yu Ngai

Ming-Yu Ngai
Assistant Professor. Synthetic methodology development using multifunctional catalysts and dual catalysis. Drug design and synthesis. Radio-tracer development for Positron Emission Tomography.

   
Iwao Ojima

Iwao Ojima
Distinguished Professor. Design, synthesis, and structure-activity relationships of medicinally-active compounds, especially for the drug design and discovery of anticancer agents and antimicrobials. Development of new and efficient methods for the synthesis of biologically active compounds of medicinal interests.

   
Dan Raleigh

Dan Raleigh
Professor. Experimental studies of protein folding and amyloid formation.

   
Robert Rizzo

Robert Rizzo
Affiliated Professor. Quantifying molecular recognition with computational structural biology.

   
   
Nicole Sampson

Nicole Sampson
Professor. Bioorganic chemistry and mechanistic enzymology. Investigation of the structure and function of cholesterol oxidase protein-membrane interactions, and its relationship to Mycobacterium tuberculosis pathogenesis. Synthesis of peptides and polymers to probe the role of ADAM proteins in mammalian fertilization.

   
Orlando Scharer

Orlando Scharer
Professor. Our work combines organic chemistry, biochemistry, and molecular and cellular biology to investigate the mechanisms of DNA repair in higher eukaryotes and the relationship of these processes to anti-tumor and gene therapy.

   
Jessica Seeliger

Jessica Seeliger
Assistant Professor. New perspectives on how Mtb exploits its membrane structure and composition to interact with its human host environment. The results could impact how we design antibiotic therapies against Mtb and other bacterial pathogens.

   
Carlos Simmerling

Carlos Simmerling
Professor. Development of tools for efficient simulation of chemical systems and using them to study the structure and dynamics of molecules involved in biological processes.

   
Peter Tonge

Peter Tonge
Professor, Chemical Biology, Drugs and Imaging. Bacterial fatty acid and menaquinone biosynthesis; transcription and translation, mechanistic enzymology, development of novel antibacterial agents, in vitro and in vivo mechanism of drug action using mass spectrometry and positron emission tomography, mechanism of photoreceptor function using protein engineering and ultrafast infrared spectroscopy, optogenetics.

   
Jin Wang

Jin Wang
Professor. Theoretical biophysics and biophysical chemistry; protein folding; molecular recognition; biomolecular reaction dynamics; single molecules.

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