Nicola Pohl, PhD

Nicola Pohl, PhD

email: npohl@indiana.edu
phone: 812-855-0298

Title(s)

Professor and Joan & Marvin Carmack Chair, Associate Dean of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, Chemistry, Indiana University

Office

Simon Hall 120A
Indiana University
212 S. Hawthorne Drive
Bloomington, IN 47405-7003

Information

Education

1991 B.A. degree from Harvard College

1997 Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison

2000 NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Stanford University

Research interests: The Pohl research group is finding new ways to make and analyze sugars to dissect their important roles in plant, animal, and human biology and in biomass production. One major long-term goal is to rationally design therapeutic interventions such as vaccines based on a deeper knowledge of these carbohydrate interactions. Most recently, we have created the first automated solution-phase method to readily synthesize oligosaccharides using methodologies that we are applying to other biologically active molecules. This automated method circumvents key problems encountered with the solid-phase approaches that allowed commercial automated synthesis of other biopolymers like DNA and peptides. We have also discovered that the same fluorocarbon tag that facilitates our automated synthesis can be used to directly surface-pattern these tagged molecules to form carbohydrate microarrays for screening against carbohydrate-binding proteins. In addition, the group has found several extremely heat-stable enzymes analyzed by mass-spectrometry-based assays to make carbohydrate structures.

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