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Elizabeth Boon, Professor

Elizabeth Boon

A.B. in Chemistry, Kenyon College, 1997
Ph.D. in Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, 2003
NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley, 2003-2006

547 Chemistry
Phone: (631) 632-7945

The Boon Group Website

Chemical Biology, Enzymology, Bioinorganic Chemistry, and Spectroscopy

The ability of biological systems to sense and respond to external stimuli is of fundamental importance. Dissolved gases such as nitric oxide (NO), carbon monoxide (CO) and molecular oxygen (O 2) are well recognized as important biological signals. NO, a well-known signaling molecule in eukaryotic organisms, has recently been implicated in the development of bacterial biofilms. Biofilms are surface-bound, matrix-encapsulated, multicellular communities of bacteria. Biofilms are extremely persistent; current antibiotics are ineffective against these compact and well-protected structures, and host immune systems are typically unable to clear biofilm infections. Despite the well-documented role of NO in this process, the mechanism for NO regulation of biofilm formation is unknown.

Our long-term goal is to understand NO signaling in bacteria from a molecular- to a community-level and to employ this new knowledge to advance human health, prosperity and welfare. Currently we are in the process of identifying and characterizing the biochemical pathways involved in bacterial NO sensing. Accomplishment of this objective is of fundamental importance and will provide a rationale for exploring the potential of these pathways for practical and therapeutic intervention.

For more information, visit our group website!

The Boon Group is affiliated with several different graduate programs:

Chemical Biology Training Program, the Graduate Program in Biochemistry & Structural Biology, the Graduate Program in Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, and the Graduate Program in Molecular & Cellular Biology.


  • Elected a Kavli Fellow, 2011
  • PECASE, 2009
  • ACS PROGRESS/Dreyfus Lectureship Award, 2008
  • NYSTAR James D. Watson Young Investigator Award, 2008
  • Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, 2008
  • Rising Star Award from the Research Foundation of SUNY, 2008


View Complete List of Publications

Representative Publications

  • Bacon, B.; Liu, Y.; Kincaid, J.; Boon, E.M.* (2018) Spectral characterization of a novel NO-sensing protein in bacteria: NosP. Biochemistry (DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.8b00451).
  • Williams, D.E.; Boon, E.M.* (2018) Towards understanding the molecular basis of NO-regulated group behaviors in pathogenic bacteria. Journal of Innate Immunology, in press.
  • Hossain, S.; Heckler, I.; Boon, E.M.* (2018) Discovery of a nitric oxide responsive quorum sensing circuit in Vibrio cholera. American Chemical Society Chemical Biology,  13, 1964–1969 (DOI: 10.1021/acschembio.8b00360).
  • Williams, D.E.; Nisbett, L.M.; Bacon, B.A.; Boon, E.M.* (2017) Bacterial heme-based sensors of nitric oxide. Forum issue themed “Metallocofactors in Sensing,” Booker, S.J., ed. In Antioxidants and Redox Signaling. ( DOI: 10.1089/ars.2017.7235).
  • Hossain, S.; Nisbett, L.M.; Boon, E.M.* (2017) Discovery of two bacterial nitric oxide- responsive proteins and their roles in bacterial biofilm regulation. Accounts of Chemical Research, 50, 1633-1639 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.accounts.7b00095). PMCID: PMC5654536.
  • Bacon, B.A.; Nisbett, L.M.; Boon, E.M.* (2017) Bacterial haemoprotein sensors of NO: H-NOX and NosP. Themed issue “Metals and Antimicrobials,” Poole, R., ed. Advances in Microbial Physiology, 70, 1-36 (DOI: 10.1016/bs.ampbs.2017.01.004). PMCID: PMC5659832
  • Hossain, S.; Boon, E.M.* (2017) NosP: Discovery of a novel nitric oxide binding protein and nitric oxide-responsive signaling pathway in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. American Chemical Society Infectious Diseases, 3, 454-461 (DOI: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.7b00027).  PMCID: PMC5468770; **Cited by the Faculty of 1000 (; **ACS Editor’s choice selection; **Featured on the cover; **3 rd most read article in 2017.