Dr. Renee Henry
Postdoctoral appointment: University of Kansas and University of California at Irvine
Ph.D.: University of Colorado at Boulder in Inorganic Chemistry (Bioinorganic)
B.S.: University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in Chemistry (Biochemistry)
Office: Science and Engineering B-423
Telephone: 719-255-3229 Fax: 719-255-3047
Department of Chemistry Street Address: SB1 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Research interests: Recently several areas of Chemistry and Biochemistry have been working towards new goals: creating new catalysts that are environmentally benign, perform specific transformations, and bind/sequester small molecules and environmental toxins. To gain insight, I have been looking at enzymes and proteins, specifically metalloenzymes and metalloenzymes, that perform the items mentioned above. Through recent advancements in x-ray crystallography of enzymes, it was found that amino acid residues are in close proximity to the metal active site. These amino acids can donate protons to substrates, stabilize reactive intermediates through hydrogen bonding, shuttle protons into and out of the active site, store small molecules and metal ions (secondary coordination sphere). As a bio-inorganic chemist I try to recreate the metalloenzyme/proteins functions by synthesizing metal complexes that contain moieties observed in the metalloenzyme/protein. By studying these "small" metal complexes reactivity towards substrates; insights are gained in the function of the original enzyme as well as ways to creating better catalysts and how to bind/sequester toxins.