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Elizabeth Boon

Elizabeth Boon, Associate Professor

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
Email: elizabeth.boon@stonybrook.edu

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


For complete publication list, click here.

Representative Publications

Henares, B.M.; Higgins, K.E.; Boon, E.M.* (2012) Discovery of a nitric oxide-responsive quorum sensing circuit in Vibrio harveyi. ACS Chemical Biology, 1331-1336 (DOI: 10.1021/cb300215t). ***Featured in Chemical & Engineering News and the ACS Chemical Biology podcast (volume 7, episode 8).

Arora, D.P.; Boon, E.M.* (2012) Nitric oxide regulated two-component signaling in Pseudoalteromonas atlantica. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 421, 521-526 (DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.04.037).

Liu, N.; Xu, Y.; Hossain, S.; Huang, N.; Coursolle, D.; Gralnick, J.; Boon, E.M.* (2012) Nitric oxide regulation of cyclic di-GMP synthesis and hydrolysis in Shewanella woodyi. Biochemistry, 51, 2087-2099 (DOI: 10.1021/bi201753f). ***Cited by the Faculty of 1000 ( http://f1000.com/714897822).

Dai, Z.; Farquhar, E.R.; Arora, D.P.; Boon, E.M.* (2012) Is histidine dissociation a critical component of the NO/H-NOX signaling mechanism? Insights from X-ray absorbance spectroscopy. Dalton Transactions, 41, 7984-7993 (DOI: 10.1039/C2DT30147D). ***This was included in a special issue highlighting the work of young scientists.

Muralidharan, S.; Boon, E.M.* (2012) Heme flattening is sufficient for signal transduction in the H-NOX family. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 134, 2044-2046 (DOI: 10.1021/ja211576b).

Dai, Z.; Boon, E.M.* (2011) Probing the local electronic and geometric properties of the heme iron center in an O2-binding Heme-Nitric oxide and/or Oxygen binding domain. Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, 105, 784-792 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2011.03.002).

Dai, Z.; Boon, E.M.* (2010) Sensitive and selective detection of cyanide using an H-NOX domain. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 132, 11496-11503 (DOI: 10.1021/ja101674z).

Liu, N.; Pak, T.; Boon, E.M.* (2010) Characterization of a di-guanylate cyclase from Shewanella woodyi with cyclase and phosphodiesterase activities. Molecular BioSystems, 6, 1561-1564 (DOI: 10.1039/c002246b). **This was included in a special issue highlighting the work of emerging investigators.

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