CU to present seminar by chemistry professor Dr. Eugene Mueller

Sept. 13, 2010
For Immediate Release

By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University will host Dr. Eugene Mueller, the Charles L. Bloch Professor of Chemistry at the University of Louisville, at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24 in the Shely Science Center room 220, at 110 University Drive, Campbellsville.

Mueller is the Division of Natural Sciences’ first guest seminar of the 2010-2011 academic year. He will speak on “What Do Pseudouridine Synthases Do to 5-FlouroU?”

  Dr. Eugene Mueller
 Dr. Eugene Mueller

“We are delighted to open up this year’s seminar offerings with a scholar such as Dr. Mueller,” Dr. Chris Mullins, assistant professor of chemistry, said.

Mueller has been a professor at U of L since 2007. He is a native of Illinois where he received a bachelor of science degree at the University of Illinois. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University in 1992.

From there he did successive postdoctoral stints at the California Institute of Technology with John Bercaw, and MIT with JoAnne Stubbe. He began his independent career in 1995 at the University of Delaware, where he remained until joining the faculty at U of L.

He has served as co-chair for the Gordon Research Conference on “Enzymes, Coenzymes, and Metabolic Pathways.” His research has integrated chemistry and biology to investigate a wide range of problems.

Mueller’s abstract includes: “Pseudouridine (Y) is the most abundant of the 100-odd known chemical modifications of RNA, and Y is formed in specific locations in particular RNA molecules by the isomerization of uridine residues. The absence of some Y has profound physiological effects. The pseuoduridine synthases (Y synthases) are responsible for this reaction, and they fall into five families that share very limited sequence similarity but have the same overall fold and active site architecture, including an essential Asp that likely serves as both a nucleophile and a general base during the reaction. The mechanism by which the Y synthases operate remains unknown, and investigations using the substrate analog (and anticancer drug) 5-fluorouridine as a mechanistic probe will be presented and the results interpreted.”

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with over 3,000 students offering 45 undergraduate programs, 16 master’s degrees and five postgraduate areas. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.