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Faculty: Dr. Dave Benson

dave bensonDave Benson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Office: DeVries Hall 229
Phone: (616) 526-7699
Fax: (616) 526-6501

Weekly Schedule
(Calvin Portal login required)


Detailed Research Plans


  • B.A., Goshen College, 1990
  • Ph.D.,University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Inorganic Chemistry, 1997

Professional History

  • 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

Research Interests

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.


Minor in Biochemistry

Minor in Chemistry


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