Research Focus

The Laboratory of Molecular Biochemistry is devoted to the study of enzymatic catalysis. Our work pursues three lines of inquiry: the determination of the chemical mechanism of; the glutamate dehydrogenase reaction; the energetics of this reaction; and the relationship of the observed energetics to the resolved mechanistic features. Our mechanistic component relies heavily on following the time courses of optically identified and resolved intermediate complexes using newly developed transient-state approaches (including the detection of proton release steps and the use of time and signal dependent transient-state kinetic isotope effects. The energetic component of our work involves a variety of calorimetric approaches. The third component aims at the creation of a viable theory capable of integrating kinetic, chemical, and thermodynamic observations into a unified picture of the operation of a biological molecular machine.