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
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.