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MARY GRACE I. GALINATO

Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
Mary Grace I. GalinatoDr. Galinato is a biophysical chemist, and teaches general and physical chemistry. She combines chemistry, biology, and physics to understand the mechanistic and structural nature of enzymes involved in different physiological functions that are present in bacteria, plants, and animals. Her general research interests involve the characterization of proteins containing co-factors (e.g. heme and carotenoids) through the use of different spectroscopic methods (e.g. UV-Vis, IR, Raman, fluorescence, circular dichroism). Her research thrusts are divided into two main areas: 1) the elucidation of the vibrational and electronic properties of modified heme proteins using diatomic molecules as a probe; and 2) the development of water-soluble bio-inspired engineered catalysts. The design of enhanced biocatalysts will entail the use of readily available enzymes such as myoglobin, the oxygen-storage unit in the human body; and xylanase, the biomolecule that hydrolyzes the major component of cellulose in the plant cell wall. The former naturally contains heme, while the latter does not, but is shown to bind heme and carry out different chemical reactions. The electronic properties and reactivity of these heme enzymes will be monitored using CO and NO as a probe. These diatomic molecules are crucial for blood pressure control, nerve signal transduction, anti-inflammatory & anti-tumor effects, among others. However, they have also been implicated in different diseases, among which include septic shock, multiple sclerosis, HIV-associated dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.

Department of Chemistry
School of Science
Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
4205 College Drive
Erie, PA 16563-0203
Hammermill 32
Office: 814.898.6004
Fax: 814.898.6213
Email: mig11@psu.edu
Penn State Erie, The Behrend College