My research focuses on investigating regulatory mechanisms of eukaryotic gene expression. Currently, my laboratory is focusing on genes that are involved in fungal cell wall metabolism. The fungal cell wall, which is composed of polysaccharides and glycoproteins, is essential for growth and metabolism of the fungus and is an excellent target for antifungal drugs. We have identified several genes that play specific roles in cell wall metabolism in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans including genes that have homologues that have been found to be involved in establishing an
Former Group Pictures
The MERCURY Consortium
Professor Cafiero’s group is a member of the MERCURY Consortium, a group of computational and theoretical chemists at Liberal Arts colleges all around the country. This group has had continuous NSF funding for shared high-performance computing resources for the past ten years.
One of our current projects involves studying the selectivity of cytosolic sulfotransferases (SULTs). These enzymes catalyze the transfer of a sulfuryl moiety (-SO3) from an activated sulfate group, 3’-phosphoadenosine-5’-phosphosulfate (PAPS), to a sulfate acceptor, usually an aliphatic or aryl alcohol. SULTs play a critical role in the regulation of the levels and activities of human neurotransmitters and hormones, as well as the excretion and detoxification of xenobiotics, including drugs and food additives.
Welcome to the Department of Chemistry homepage. Our department views modern chemistry as a broadly diverse science, with roots in physics and mathematics, and applications in biology, geology, neuroscience, medicine, and industry.
About the Department
Each member of the Department has an on-going research program, thus research opportunities for students are available in a wide variety of areas. Students work on computer modeling of drug-protein interactions, synthesis of novel anti-bacterial molecules, analysis of pigments used in cave paintings, studies of the cell walls of fungi, and more. See the Research tab to the left for an in-depth description of each faculty member′s research program.
How many people graduate with a major in chemistry each year?
The Chemistry Department has graduated 120 majors in the last 8 years, and has averaged 18.2 graduates per year for the past 5 years. In addition, the associated Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program has graduated 61 majors in the last 8 years, and averaged 8.4 graduates per year (all statistics compiled in 2013).
Where do our graduates go?
Departmental offices, classrooms, and a full range of laboratories are located in the Berthold S. Kennedy Hall. The department maintains a wide variety of research equipment and instruments, both to permit faculty members to carry out cutting-edge research and to permit students to have hands-on access to sophisticated equipment.