Chemistry Professor Mishtu Dey wins NSF-SusChEM grant

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Mishtu Dey
Mishtu Dey

University of Iowa Professor Mishtu Dey has received a National Science Foundation grant for her research project, “Molecular and Structural Dissection of Methyl Coenzyme M Reductase for Methane Production.” The grant is part of the NSF’s Sustainable Chemistry, Engineering, and Materials (SusChEM) initiative.

From the abstract: “The objective of this project is to investigate the mechanism of methane formation by MCR and biosynthesis of unusual post-translational modifications (PTMs) present in this globally important metalloenzyme responsible for biological methane production. Here, structural and mechanistic enzymology approaches are used to investigate enzyme-catalyzed C-heteroatom bond activation and biological methylation reactions. The proposed studies may provide important insights into the mechanism of biological methane formation and may illuminate Nature's strategies to carry out unusual PTMs. The knowledge gained from the proposed research offers important insights into how energy-rich molecules, such as methane, are synthesized within the hydrophobic reaction chamber of a buried metalloenzyme active site. The comprehensive structure-function study has applications in bioengineering and bioenergy/biofuel industries.”

Dey is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, part of the UI College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 73 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.