Michael Toney

Michael Toney

Position Title

2469 Chemistry

We are interested in both the fundamental and applied aspects of enzyme catalysis. Enzymes can catalyze reactions by enormous factors. The sources of the great catalytic powers of enzymes are generally understood in qualitative terms. These include close approximation of reacting groups in the enzyme substrate complex, general acid base catalysts and so on. A quantitative understanding of these catalytic tools is not available and is one of the goals of our research program. On the applied side, enzymes are often the target of pharmaceuticals. We explore the mechanisms of enzymes that are promising drug targets with the ultimate goal of developing lead compounds for pharmaceutical development.

A second focus of the lab is the bottom-up development of highly ordered, protein-based nanomaterials. Current work focuses on the engineering of beta-solenoid proteins to form predictable, designed structures for use as scaffolds for peptides, enzymes, inorganic nanoparticles, and antigen binders.

Education, Awards and Professional Highlights

  • Ph.D. in Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley (1990)
  • B.S. in Chemistry, University of Alabama (1985)