Brian J. Bahnson

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

University of Delaware

312 Drake Hall
Newark DE 19716-2522

Phone: (302) 831-0786
Fax: (302) 831-6335

  • Ph.D., Chemistry, Brown University, 1991
    B.S. Chemistry, B.S. Biochemistry, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1986

Research Overview:

Dr. Bahnson and his research team are pursuing the structural determination of the mechanisms of several classes of enzymes with a range of project goals such as: developing structural mimics of interfacially bound membrane proteins, engineering organophosphate hydrolysis activity in enzymes,  exploring protein motions linked to catalysis, enzyme-substrate complexes of enzymes, and structurally aided design of enzyme inhibitors. This work entails solving de novo structures of medically significant enzymes and taking the new structures a step further in a quest to elucidate each enzyme’s mechanism.

This research is aimed at providing insights into general questions: how do precise interactions of all the active site side chains, metal ions, bound water molecules and intermediates contribute to catalysis? what does the transition state look like for a chemical step between two observable enzyme-intermediate structures? and how do evolved ordered motions of the entire enzyme play a part in catalysis?

After earning his Ph.D. from Brown University, Dr. Bahnson served as a NIH post doctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. He then ventured into the field of structural biology during a second post doctoral fellowship at Brandeis University before coming to the University of Delaware in 1998.