Dr. Derrick Kolling
Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry

 

 

 

 

Education
B.S. (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology), The Pennsylvania State University
Ph.D. (Biophysics and Computational Biology), University of Illinois at Urbana

 

Research
Dr. Kolling's research interests involve two areas of photosynthesis that can be applied to alternative energy production. The first area is studying the chemistry of photosynthetic water oxidation. This is approached by observing the light-dependent assembly of the catalyst responsible for this water oxidation; this catalyst is a manganese-oxo cube, which cycles through five physiologically relevant oxidation states.  The lab uses oxygen electrodes, fluorometry, and EPR spectroscopy to identify and characterize the various intermediates of the assembly. This provides information about the assembly mechanism and further, clues about how the catalyst works once it is assembled. Understanding the chemistry of water oxidation will allow researchers to build an abiotic catalyst that can extract electrons from water by using light energy. The second area of study involves producing biodiesel from algae. Students are using gas chromatography linked to a mass spectrometer to map the metabolic pathways in algae under specific environmental conditions, such as elevated carbon dioxide and nitrogen depletion. Understanding what conditions result in elevated production of fatty acids (the precursor to biodiesel) and the mechanism by which these fatty acids are produced will allow researchers to genetically engineer algae to constitutively produce high levels of fatty acids.

 

Teaching
Dr. Kolling currently teaches two sections of Introduction to Biochemistry Lab.  In the fall, he will teach Introduction to Biochemistry and a special topics course: Chemistry of Biofuels.

 

Service
Dr. Kolling is a member of the American Chemical Society and the International EPR (ESR) Society (electron paramagnetic resonance, also known as electron spin resonance).

 

Contact Info
Telephone: (304) 696-2307
Email: kolling@marshall.edu

 

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