Dave Benson, Ph.D.
Office: DeVries Hall 229
Phone: (616) 526-7699
Fax: (616) 526-6501
(Calvin Portal login required)
- B.A., Goshen College, 1990
- Ph.D.,University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Inorganic Chemistry, 1997
- Associate Professor of Chemistry, Calvin College, 2008-present
- Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Wayne State University, 2001-2008
- NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Duke Univesity Medical Center, 1997-2001
- Chem 201: Analytical Chemistry
- Chem 329: Instrumental Methods
- Engr 106 & 106L: Engineering Chemistry & Materials Science & Laboratory
Our research interests are fosused on applying chemical rules to extend the function of proteins and nucleic acids.
One way is to attach nanometer-diameter semiconductors (quantum dots) to proteins, where protein-ligand interactions control the fluorescence intensity of the quantum dot. We are currently examining the fluorescence properties of single protein-quantum dot assemblies using fluorescence microscopy. Our ultimate goal o this work is to generate fluorescent sensors to detect fluxes of molecules withing living cells.
A second interest is to introduce novel metal binding sites into proteins of known structure. This work has generated novel analytical tools [cytosolic Pb(2+) ion sensors] and enzyme mimicks [superoxide dismutase]. We are currently refining the Pb(2+) ion sensor proteins for improved sensitivity and selectivity in biological media.