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Department of Chemistry

Biological Chemistry


The Penn State Department of Chemistry has a rich history of research in biological chemistry.  Faculty are engaged in cutting edge research in bioinorganic, biophysical, and computational biology. Researchers have a breadth of interests that range from solving structures of biomolecules to elucidating the mechanism of novel enzymes to looking at protein and RNA folding on a genome-wide scale. Research has applications to numerous organisms, biological pathways, and human diseases.



Stephen Benkovic Evan Pugh Professor and Eberly Chair in Chemistry
Cellular metabolism and gene replication

Philip Bevilacqua Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
RNA chemistry and biology

Amie Boal Associate Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Structural Biology and Mechanism of Metalloproteins

David Boehr Associate Professor of Chemistry
The role of protein structural dynamics in enzyme function and regulation

J. Martin Bollinger Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Mechanisms of redox metalloenzymes and metallocofactor assembly

Squire Booker Evan Pugh University Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Biochemistry; enzymology; protein chemistry

Joseph Cotruvo Louis Martarano Career Development Professor of Chemistry
Chemical biology of metal ion and redox homeostasis

Paul Cremer J. Lloyd Huck Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Biological interfaces, nanomaterials, spectroscopy, and microfluidics

Mark Hedglin Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Mechanisms of genome replication

Christine Keating Professor of Chemistry
Bioinspired materials chemistry. Experimental model systems for membraneless organelles and protocells

Carsten Krebs Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Spectroscopic and kinetic studies on the mechanisms of iron-containing enzymes

Tae-Hee Lee Professor of Chemistry
Single molecule biophysics, biochemistry and enzymology

William Noid Professor of Chemistry
Theories of statistical mechanics applied to investigate structural biology

Edward O'Brien Associate Professor of Chemistry and of the Institute for CyberScience
Theory and computation of molecular and cellular processes

Ayusman Sen Verne M. Willaman Professor of Chemistry
Autonomous motion and transport in biological systems

Scott Showalter Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Biophysical chemistry, macromolecular structure and dynamics by NMR

Alexey Silakov Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Metalloezymology and Structural biology

Xin Zhang Paul Berg Early Career Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and of Molecular Biology
Biochemistry of intracellular protein aggregation in stressed proteome and neurodenegeration

Ruobo Zhou Assistant Professor of Chemistry 
Super-resolution fluorescence imaging, single-molecule detection, spatiotemporal organizations of biomolecules, liquid-liquid phase separation in biology, neurobiology, RNA biology.

Courtesy Faculty

John Golbeck Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Research in photosynthesis

Manuel Llinas Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Malaria parasite metabolism and biochemistry

Denise Okafor Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Structural mechanisms of signaling and regulation in protein complexes 

Emily Weinert Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Bacterial oxygen sensing and atypical cyclic nucleotides