Loyola University Chicago

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry


Professor Moran Awarded NSF Grant

The Moran group was awarded a grant from the Chemistry of Life Processes program of the Chemistry Division of the National Science Foundation. The award of $567,000 for three years was provided to study the mechanism of a most unusual enzyme, dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD). In addition to exceedingly odd cofactor arrangements and a rather cryptic mechanism, DPD is a target for inhibition as its activity undermines the efficacy of one of the most-commonly used chemotherapeutics. This funding was the result of relentless investigation by postdoctoral researcher Brett Beaupre and PhD candidate Dariush Forouzesh working in collaboration with Dr. Dali Liu and his recently graduated student, Dr. Arseniy Butrin.

The Moran laboratory studies how enzymes catalyze reactions and seek to understand the mechanisms that underly the chemistry. The primary methodology used is to observe the reactions in as they occur (in real time) using methods that are collectively known as transient state kinetic methods. These data are compiled and analyzed using numerical integration and/or singular value decomposition deconvolution to reveal the fleeting chemical states that form and decay during the course of a single catalytic process.