George H. Reed

Emeritus Professor 2013-present
Professor 1985-2012 (also Enzyme Institute)


B.S.: Purdue University
Ph.D.: University of Wisconsin-Madison


Activation of enzymic reactions by metal ions; biophysical applications of spectroscopy

The research activities in our laboratory are concentrated in the area of mechanistic enzymology. Within this area there is an emphasis on understanding the various means by which inorganic cations serve as obligatory activators of enzyme catalyzed reactions. Enzymes exploit the electronic charge and coordination properties of metal ions to promote reactions of substrate molecules. Insight into the roles of metal ions in the chemical activation of substrates comes from an elucidation of the structures of enzymic complexes with natural substrates, substrate analogues, specific inhibitors, and modified forms of the enzyme. We are using various forms of spectroscopy as well as X-ray crystallography to solve structures of enzyme substrate complexes. We are also interested in detecting and characterizing free radical intermediates in enzymic reactions.

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