The Hunsicker-Wang lab explores the relationship between protein structure and function. Researchers study metalloproteins from a unique bacterium, Thermus thermophilus. These proteins have high stability and make them amenable for structural studies using X-ray crystallography. The proteins that are studied are involved directly or indirectly in the respiration process. The lab uses a combination of mutagenesis, chemical modification, and spectroscopic and structural tools to study these proteins.
Undergraduate research is a transformative experience. It is where a student can learn that the process of finding the answer to a chemical or biochemical question can be as important as determining the answer itself. It can also crystallize a student’s desire to enter a career since they can experience firsthand what it is like to be a chemist or biochemist.