Ann E. McDermott

Columbia University


Primary Section: 29, Biophysics and Computational Biology
Secondary Section: 14, Chemistry
Membership Type: Member (elected 2006)

Research Interests

Ann McDermott's research group studies the mechanisms of several enzymes, principally through solid-state NMR spectroscopy. She has studied the opening of the active site flexible loop of the glycolytic enzyme, Triosephosphate isomerase, and its coupling to the appearance of product, using a range of biophysical probes. The compressed "non-bonded" interactions of the pre-reactive substrate on the active site of this enzyme, and the conformational dynamics, have been experimentally probed at high resolution. Analogous studies are underway for bacterial Cytochrome P450, where conformational flexibility impacts the range of chemistry carried out by the enzyme. These studies involve recent advances in high-resolution solid-state NMR spectra of uniformly or selectively isotopically enriched proteins wherein site-specific assignments allow for efficient structural, dynamic and mechanistic studies. She also studies the photosynthetic reaction center, and demonstrated for the first time a coherent, quantum mechanical photochemical mechanism for enhancement of NMR detection sensitivity by three orders of magnitude involving the primary players of electron transfer.

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