Graham Sustainability Institute

James Penner-Hahn

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George A Lindsay Collegiate Professor of Chemistry and Biophysics, Director Academic Program, Department of International Partnerships, Professor of Biophysics and Professor of Chemistry, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Literature, Science, & Arts
  • Biophysics
  • Literature, Science, & Arts
  • Chemistry

James Penner-Hahn's ultimate goal is to understand, in detail, how plants make oxygen because virtually all of the O2 in the atmosphere is produced by the photosynthetic oxygen evolving complex, a Mn/Ca/Cl cluster that catalyzes the oxidation of H2O to O2. High Zn levels (ca. 1 mM) have been found in fish and frog eggs, and recently his team's research has shown that the chemical environment of this Zn changes following fertilization. He is now using spectroscopy, microscopy, and biochemistry to characterize this Zn, and developing analytic methods for tracking the distribution of the Zn through cells during development.