The research in our laboratory is interdisciplinary and directed at investigating structure and dynamics of biopolymers, and of inorganic materials in the solid state. Our major experimental tool is NMR spectroscopy, combined with computational, and biochemical methods to gain understanding on the molecular mechanisms underlying chemical reactivity of metalloproteins and on the principles governing protein-protein interactions. Biomolecular solid-state NMR spectroscopy is a new and rapidly emerging field. A wealth of information about geometric and electronic structure available from solid-state NMR spectra drives the applications of solid-state NMR to biological systems. In the case of noncrystalline and insoluble biopolymers solids NMR may be the only tool yielding structural information at the atomic-level detail. We are pursuing both development and applications of solid-state NMR methods for direct detection of diamagnetic transition metals in proteins, and for high-resolution structural analysis of uniformly and differentially enriched biopolymers.
Current projects include
- studies of vanadium environments in vanadium haloperoxidases, in inorganic coordination complexes, and in vanadium polyoxoanionic materials by 51V solid-state NMR spectroscopy;
- analysis of geometry of paramagnetic sites in polyoxoanions by 31P solid-state NMR spectroscopy;
- structural and dynamics investigations of proteins and protein assemblies by multidimensional solid-state NMR spectroscopy.
Dr. Polenova received her Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Columbia University in 1997. Her undergraduate degree in Chemistry with specialization in chemical enzymology is from Moscow State University (Moscow, Russia). Dr. Polenova’s graduate work focused on solution and solid-state NMR spectroscopy for structural studies of biopolymers. She pursued her postdoctoral studies at Columbia University. Prior to her appointment at the University of Delaware, Dr. Polenova was an Assistant Professor at the City University of New York-Hunter College. Dr. Polenova joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Delaware in 2003. Dr. Polenova holds a diploma with excellence from Moscow State University; she is a recipient of a Lomonosov award (Moscow State University, 1992), Miller Award for Outstanding Teaching (Columbia University, 1994), an ACS-PRF award (2003), and an NSF Early Career Development Award (2003).