04/09/19 - 9:45 AM to 10:45 AM
Kolthoff Lectureship #2: Professor Suzanne Walker
Izaak M. Kolthoff Lectureship in Chemistry
Professor Walker's lab works in two major areas.
- developing a comprehensive understanding of the bacterial cell envelope – how it is assembled, how it changes in response to stress, and what its key vulnerabilities are – and to exploit this understanding to identify small molecules that inhibit cell envelope targets. The goal is to contribute new knowledge, innovative methods, and compounds for use to combat antibiotic resistance. Pathogens of primary interest include MRSA and Streptococcus pneumoniae.
- elucidating the chemistry of O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) and to develop genetic methods and small molecules to manipulate OGT in mammalian cells. The goal is to use separation-of-function mutants and selective inhibitors to deconvolute OGT’s complex biology and assess its potential as a therapeutic target.
Approaches including biochemistry (pathway reconstitution, target characterization, compound mechanism of action), genetics (evaluation of cellular function), high throughput screening (inhibitor discovery), systems biology (genome-wide perturbation analysis of antimicrobial compounds; other –omics approaches applied to small molecules).
Kolthoff Lectureship in Chemistry
Izaak Maurits Kolthoff was born on February 11, 1894, in Almelo, Holland. He died on March 4, 1993, in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1911, he entered the University of Utrecht, Holland. He published his first paper on acid titrations in 1915. On the basis of his world-renowned reputation, he was invited to join the faculty of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Chemistry in 1927. By the time of his retirement from the University in 1962, he had published approximately 800 papers. He continued to publish approximately 150 more papers until his health failed. His research, covering approximately a dozen areas of chemistry, was recognized by many medals and memberships in learned societies throughout the world, including the National Academy of Sciences and the Nichols Medal of the American Chemical Society. Best known to the general public is his work on synthetic rubber. During World War II, the government established a comprehensive research program at major industrial companies and several universities, including Minnesota. Kolthoff quickly assembled a large research group and made major contributions to the program. Many of Kolthoff’s graduate students went on to successful careers in industry and academic life and, in turn, trained many more. In 1982, it was estimated that approximately 1,100 Ph.D. holders could trace their scientific roots to Kolthoff. When the American Chemical Society inaugurated an award for excellence in 1983, he was the first recipient.