Montana State University
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
224 Chemistry and Biochemistry & Building
Bozeman, MT 59717
My primary responsibility as a postdoctoral research associate in John Peters’ laboratory is to manage the administrative operations of the Biological Electron Transport and Catalysis Energy Frontiers Research Center (BETCy-EFRC). The mission of BETCy-EFRC is to streamline the production of biofuels by gaining a deeper understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of electron transfer in microbial metabolism. John Peters is the Director of BETCy-EFRC and leads the Center’s structural biology research group. The Center is comprised of eleven research groups at seven participating institutions. The highly integrated and collaborative effort could lead to dramatic advances in engineering microbes that can optimally direct electron flow to reduced products that we utilize as biofuels. For more information visit http://eu.montana.edu/betcy-efrc/default.htm.
I am also involved in several ongoing projects in the Peters laboratory as a postdoctoral research associate: 1) Carbon Fixation. Investigating the structural determinants for substrate discrimination in the 2-KPCC enzyme, a carboxylase in the pyridine nucleotide disulfide oxidoreductase family from the soil bacterium Xanthobacter. 2) Coenzyme Biosynthesis. The 2-KPCC enzyme utilizes Coenzyme M as a co-substrate in the carboxylation reaction. Evidence from the Xanthobactergenome suggests the organism manufactures coenzyme M with a unique set of genes, making its biosynthetic pathway different from that previously characterized in Methanogens. 3) Clostridium Virulence. We are studying the molecular mechanism of a novel hydrogenase from Clostridium. This hydrogenase may provide a new target for drug development against this pathogenic microbe.