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Kaar, Joel L. Associate Professor


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research overview

  • My research is broadly focused at the intersection of protein engineering, biocatalysis, and materials. We are specifically interested in how the convergence of these areas can lead to new opportunities to discover enzymes with improved properties and impart materials with biological function. Such opportunities have enabled the repertoire of synthetically important reactions catalyzed by enzymes to be significantly expanded. Additionally, through understanding and controlling the interaction of proteins with materials, it is feasible to design materials that sense and destroy toxic chemicals, resist fouling and self-repair, improve tissue engineering, and meld seamlessly with the body. A major element of this research, which is highly multi-disciplinary, is to address fundamental questions about the function and fate of proteins in non-native and harsh conditions. These questions are addressed using an amalgamation of biochemical, biophysical, and structural determination techniques.


  • Biocatalysis, Nonaqueous enzymology, Protein structure and function at material interfaces, Protein engineering, Biofuels, Tissue engineering, Bioremediation


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