University of Minnesota
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Distefano named regional editor of Bio-Organic Chemistry

Professor Mark Distefano is one of three regional editors for Bio-Organic Chemistry, which publishes research that provides mechanistic insight inspired by biology and that uses the principles and techniques of organic and physical organic chemistry. Research articles deal with topics such as enzymology and biocatalysis, including the study of ribozymes and catalytic antibodies, closely-relevant enzyme models,biosynthesis and combinatorial biosynthesis, and biomimetic synthesis. Distefano works with two other regional editors, Timothy D.H. Bugg from the University of Warwick, and Hiroaki Suga from the University of Tokyo.

Distefano is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor. His research group is interested in understanding how proteins accelerate chemical reactions and how proteins recognize other molecules with high specificity. This information is useful for drug design and biotechnology applications. Two key areas that his researchers currently are studying include the enzymology of protein prenylation reactions and protein engineering based on adipocyte lipid binding protein. They use a combination of organic chemistry, biochemistry and recombinant DNA methods to study these problems.