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Division of Natural Sciences & MathematicsDepartment of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Faculty & Staff

Chemistry & Biochemistry

Faculty & Staff

  • Lawrence Berliner

    BERLINER, Lawrence J.

    Professor
    Phone: 303-871-7476
    Email: berliner@du.edu
    http://portfolio.du.edu/lberlin1


    BACKGROUND
    The Berliner group uses unpaired electrons to probe dynamics and distances between selected sites on a protein that are sensitive to it's unique structure and function. This may be substituting a paramagnetic lanthanide for a calcium ion or by covalently adding novel aminoxyl radical probes called spin labels. The spectral analyses, including distance measurements between probes, provides insight on how a protein folds and important conformational changes associated with function. Additionally we use molecules called spin traps to characterize free radicals in-vivo. Some studies are important to health problems ranging from ischemia/heart disease to infection shock. We pioneered development of techniques and instrumentation for live animal applications which are now routine in unique laboratories around the world. We also utilize MRI in these in vivo applications. Current research involves a homologous family of calcium binding proteins that have tumor killing properties in molten globule form. These also form amyloid aggregates and fibrils, which may be excellent models for neurodegenerative disease proteins. The free radical project involves intermediates of a common blood pressure lowering drug that may lead to heart disease. The work includes protein expression and labeling, spectroscopic measurements by magnetic resonance, fluorescence, CD and subsequent data analysis.

  • Bryan Cowen

    COWEN, Bryan

    Assistant Professor
    Phone:303-871-2981
    Email: Bryan.Cowen@du.edu
    http://portfolio.du.edu/bcowen


    BACKGROUND
    The Cowen group’s research program focuses on the development of new synthetic methods for the preparation of small, functional organic compounds. Special emphasis centers on the discovery of unique asymmetric reactions to enable the selective construction of complex chiral molecular architectures. The design of small-molecule catalysts and ligands for both non-metal and metal-mediated transformations are key research activities ongoing in the laboratory. Additionally, the investigation of detailed mechanistic reaction pathways is of paramount importance to the maturation of any new synthetic method. A particular goal of our efforts in chemical synthesis is to produce valuable end products for potential pharmaceutical or material-based applications.

  • Gareth Eaton

    EATON, Gareth R.

    Professor
    Phone: 303-871-2980
    Email: geaton@du.edu
    http://portfolio.du.edu/geaton


    BACKGROUND
    The Eaton group develops new electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) methods and instrumentation to address significant biochemical and chemical problems.  A major current emphasis is on EPR methods to improve sensitivity and solve biomedical problems.  In collaboration with research groups at the University of Chicago and University of Maryland we are developing methods for imaging local oxygen in vivo and methods for in vivo study of the physiology of tumors.  Our team includes chemists, biochemists, physicists, and engineers.   Our instrumentation includes state of the art Bruker BioSpin and locally-constructed spectrometers.   Dissemination to the research community, in addition to over 300 research papers and reviews, includes a book on EPR imaging, a book on quantitative EPR, and major book chapters about electron spin relaxation and rapid scan EPR. 

  • Sandy Eaton

    EATON, Sandra S.

    Professor and Department Chair
    Phone: 303-871-3100
    Email: seaton@du.edu
    http://portfolio.du.edu/seaton


    BACKGROUND
    The Eaton group develops new electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) methods and instrumentation to address significant biochemical and chemical problems.  A major current emphasis is on EPR methods to improve sensitivity and solve biomedical problems.  In collaboration with research groups at the University of Chicago and University of Maryland we are developing methods for imaging local oxygen in vivo and methods for in vivo study of the physiology of tumors.  Our team includes chemists, biochemists, physicists, and engineers.   Our instrumentation includes state of the art Bruker BioSpin and locally-constructed spectrometers.   Dissemination to the research community, in addition to over 300 research papers and reviews, includes a book on EPR imaging, a book on quantitative EPR, and major book chapters about electron spin relaxation and rapid scan EPR.  

  • Peter Harrington

    HARRINGTON, Peter

    Lecturer
    Phone: 303-871-2951
    Email: peter.harrington@du.edu
     


    BACKGROUND
    I am currently lecturing in organic chemistry and supervising the organic chemistry labs. My primary research focus is synthetic organic chemistry of pharmaceutically relevant small molecules. My secondary research focus is the development of new synthetic methodology in heterocyclic and organometallic chemistry. I work as a consultant for the pharmaceutical industry with a specialization in the transition ("scale-up") of a synthesis process from milligrams to kilograms in the lab and from kilograms to metric tons in the manufacturing plant. You can read more about my past research in pharmaceutical manufacturing and read excerpts from my recently released book Pharmaceutical Process Chemistry for Synthesis (John Wiley & Sons, 2011) at my website (www.betterpharmaprocesses.com).

  • Alex Huffman

    HUFFMAN,Alex

    Assistant Professor
    Phone: 303-871-4404
    Email: alex.huffman@du.edu
    http://tinyurl.com/HuffmanLabDU


    BACKGROUND
    My research focuses on atmospheric aerosols (small particles suspended in air), including their roles in various environmental processes and human health concerns. We deploy instrumentation to field sites for in-situ ambient monitoring and also work to develop and characterize new analytical techniques. Several of my current projects revolve around the detection of biological aerosols (e.g. fungal spores, bacteria, pollen) with the goal of understanding how these particles may contribute to cloud formation and climate cycles.

  • Michelle Knowles

    KNOWLES, Michelle

    Assistant Professor
    Phone: 303-871-6698
    Email: michelle.knowles@du.edu
    http://portfolio.du.edu/mknowle6


    BACKGROUND
    The goal of our research is to understand the molecular mechanism of membrane proteins. We use biophysical techniques, such as imaging and spectroscopy, to temporally map proteins on the plasma membrane of living cells and model membrane systems. We are particularly interested in proteins that facilitate the fusion of intracellular vesicles with the plasma membrane and proteins that regulate the flow of chemicals across the plasma membrane.

  • Andrei Kutateladze

    KUTATELADZE, Andrei G.

    Professor
    Phone: 303-871-2995
    Email: akutatel@du.edu
    http://kgroup.du.edu


    BACKGROUND
    The K-groups interests are in applied and theoretical organic photochemistry. We discover and study new photochemical reactions, pursuing a better understanding of the nature and reactivity of excited states. This knowledge is employed to develop practical applications ranging from expeditious synthesis of complex molecular scaffolds to designing new assays for high throughput bioanalytical applications and combinatorial screening, useful for the thriving field of chemical biology. We continue to develop innovative methodologies for detection and photochemical pre-amplification of molecular recognition events, both in solution and on a chip. These techniques are being applied to medicinal chemistry, helping identification of novel drug candidates and lead compounds. Organic photochemistry is an exciting and growing area, offering opportunities in many fields, including chemistry, biochemistry, and chemical biology!

  • Brian Majestic

    MAJESTIC, Brian

    Assistant Professor
    Phone: 303-871-2986
    Email: brian.majestic@du.edu

    BACKGROUND
    The research interests in the Majestic lab focus around atmospheric particulate matter (PM). We are presently interested in understanding transformations of transition metals in atmospheric systems. Currently, we are studying oxidation state and speciation changes of iron as it is processed in cloud water and upon interaction with “urban” gases, such as sulfur dioxide. In addition, we are interested in better quantifying human exposure of atmospheric metals. Therefore, we are involved in field studies in and around the Denver area, the American Southwest, and China. The work done in our lab has implications near and far: on how we understand the human health effects of atmospheric metals to providing insights into the global iron cycle. Our primary tools of measurement include inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and long pathlength UV-vis spectrophotometry.

  • Martin Margittai

    MARGITTAI, Martin

    Associate Professor
    Phone: 303-871-4135
    Email: martin.margittai@du.edu

    BACKGROUND
    The folding of proteins into correct three-dimensional structures and the control over their intermolecular interactions is of central importance to the proper functioning of cells. A complex machinery has evolved that assists in folding and ensures proper protein contacts. Malfunctioning of this machinery can lead to protein misfolding and result in fatal human diseases including Parkinson's disease and Type II diabetes. A characteristic feature of most misfolding diseases is the deposition of proteins into fibrillar inclusions and plaques. Research in our lab focuses on the misfolding of the microtubule associated protein tau. Tau fibrils are found in numerous neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer?s disease and progressive supranuclear palsy. The formation of fibrils is a multistep process starting from monomeric disordered tau. The conformational changes leading to oligomers and the progression into mature fibrils are only poorly understood. Our lab uses a broad range of biophysical approaches to obtain structural insights into the misfolding of tau. We are furthermore interested in elucidating the cellular mechanisms that control tau function and prevent fibril formation. A detailed molecular understanding of the tau structures involved, their conformational transitions, and cellular control appears to be an important prerequisite towards developing new drugs that intervenein the aggregation process.

  • Joe Meredith

    MEREDITH, Joe

    Lecturer
    Phone: 303-871-2985
    Email: joseph.meredith@du.edu

    BACKGROUND
    I teach the three-quarter sequence Science of Contemporary Issues.  This class is a course for non-science majors that explores the world around us, from the atmosphere and the oceans to the products on the shelves at your local grocery store.

  • Brian Michel

    MICHEL, Brian W.

    Assistant Professor
    Phone 303-871-2595 
    Email: brian.michel@du.edu 
    https://portfolio.du.edu/Brian.michel/page/51802


    BACKGROUND 
    We are an organic synthesis group that utilizes mechanistic insight to solve problems in catalysis and small molecule probe design. We are currently  focused on developing new catalytic reactions involving transition metals. Additionally, we are interested in developing probes for the detection of biologically relevant small molecule analytes.

  • Keith Miller

    MILLER, Keith E.

    Associate Professor
    Phone: 303-871-7721
    Email: kmiller3@du.edu
    http://portfolio.du.edu/kmiller3


    BACKGROUND
    The research interests of the Miller group are very interdisciplinary in nature. They can be broadly defined in three major areas: 1) fundamental and applied research in separation sciences with applications focused in environmental contaminants, 2) research in water treatment technology focused in novel sorbent preparation and wet-oxidation for the removal of chemicals of concern from wastewaters (agricultural, industrial and municipal), and 3) development of analytical techniques for the analysis of food contaminants.

  • Debbie Mitchell

    MITCHELL, Debbie

    Adjunct Professor
    Phone: 303-871-2533
    Email: deborah.g.mitchell@gmail.com

  • Verl Murugaverl

    MURUGAVERL, Balsingham

    Senior Lecturer
    Phone: 303-871-2941
    Email: bmurugav@du.edu
    http://portfolio.du.edu/bmurugav


    BACKGROUND
    I teach a variety of courses from freshman to graduate level while being the director of undergraduate laboratories. I also volunteer as the manager of the mass spectrometry facilities. My research interests are applied in nature, like to find solutions to immediate real life scientific problems. One of my current researches involves the development of superior chlorine resistant reverse osmosis membrane for water purification. "Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink", can apply as much to countries and societies without fresh water supply to military operations. Development of advanced membranes with chlorine resistance along with enhanced water flux and salt rejection requires more comprehensive understanding of the molecular level mechanisms of structure property relationships. This involves; synthesis of novel monomers and polymers, use of state-of the- art characterization techniques and field testing. Our systematic approach for this problem has guided us to the creation of a newer polyamide RO membrane with superior chlorine resistance and RO properties. A patent has been granted for this invention.

  • Michael Swanson

    SWANSON, Mike

    Adjunct Professor
    Phone: 303-724-6355
    Email: mike.swanson@du.edu
    http://portfolio.du.edu/Mike.Swanson


    BACKGROUND
    Dr. Swanson is an adjunct instructor and a former DU graduate student, where he studied mitochondrial proteins involved in fatty acid metabolism using EPR spectroscopy in the Eaton Lab.  He has been instructing General Chemistry since the Fall of 2012.  Dr. Swanson also works as a postdoctoral research associate in the Van Hove Lab at The University of Colorado, Denver.  His research is currently focused on the mechanisms and interactions of mitochondrial proteins of the glycine cleavage enzyme system and iron-sulfur biogenesis / lipoate biosynthesis pathways.  This Winter Quarter, he will be instructing Biochemistry, Membranes and Metabolism.

  • Todd Wells

    WELLS, Todd

    Lecturer
    Phone: 303-871-2439
    Email: towells@du.edu

Staff

  • Gary Bishop

    BISHOP, Gary A.

    Research Associate
    Phone: 303-871-2584
    Email: gbishop@du.edu
     

    BACKGROUND
    Donald Stedman and Gary Bishop work together at the leading edge of technology which they invented, and patented, to measure the emissions of motor vehicles as they drive by. The remote sensing system monitors various vehicle emissions in a realistic on-road situation, at a rate of 5,000 readings per day. On-road remote sensing generates large data bases of emissions measurements which we use toinvestigate the effectiveness of the various government programs that attempt to reduce motor vehicle emissions. We have monitored over three million motor vehicles in twenty countries, and the list continues to expand.

  • Darrel Hundley

    HUNDLEY, Darrel

    Budget & Office Manager
    Phone: 303-871-2436
    Email: dhundley@du.edu

  • Chris Stutzman

    STUTZMAN, Christine

    Office Assistant
    Phone: 303-871-2435
    Email: cstutzma@du.edu

Emeritus Faculty

      • Dwight Smith

        SMITH, Dwight M.M

        Research Professor and Chancellor Emeritus
        Phone: 303-871-2938
        Email: dwismith@du.edu


        BACKGROUND
        Professor Smith’s research is directed toward several aspects of fossil fuel combustion. Much of that work has resulted in an extensive body of knowledge on the chemical and physical properties (structure and reactivity) of particulate black carbon (BC) emissions. That knowledge underpins collaborative research with the Webb Waring Institute (UCDHSC) on the mechanisms of oxidative stress and inflammation created by carbonaceous particle inhalation. Other aspects of the combustion-related research include the effects of designed fossil fuel additives on emissions and fuel efficiency.

      • Donald Stedman

        STEDMAN, Donald H.

        Professor and Brainerd F. Phillipson Chair Emeritus
        Phone: 303-871-2850
        Email: dstedman@du.edu
        http://www.sign.du.edu


        BACKGROUND
        Donald Stedman and Gary Bishop work together at the leading edge of technology which they invented, and patented, to measure the emissions of motor vehicles as they drive by. The remote sensing system monitors various vehicle emissions in a realistic on-road situation, at a rate of 5,000 readings per day. On-road remote sensing generates large data bases of emissions measurements which we use to investigate the effectiveness of the various government programs that attempt to reduce motor vehicle emissions. We have monitored over three million motor vehicles in twenty countries, and the list continues to expand.

      • Andrew Ternay

        TERNAY, Andrew L.

        Research Professor Emeritus
        Phone: 303-871-2986
        Email: aternay@du.edu


        BACKGROUND
        Worked with Petr Kikilo on medical countermeasures to chemical, biological and nuclear weapons (WMDs). The issues examined include, but are not limited to, cyanide poisoning and botulism. Educational materials for the medical community include chapters in Chemical Warfare Agents. 2nd Ed, CRC Press, 2008 (Ch 1: "Brief History and Use of Chemical Warfare Agents in Warfare and Terrorism" and "Chemistry of Chemical Warfare Agents"). The book "The Language of Nightmares" (2003) has been written to educate a range of less-technically trained individuals, including media representatives, educators, nurses, politicians, and law enforcement about some of the terms associated with terrorims and WMDs.