Adam R. Offenbacher, Ph.D.

Associate Professor,
Quantum Biochemistry

Office: SZ-579
Phone: 252-737-5422
Lab Website

  • NIH F32 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley (2015-2017)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley (2013-2015)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgia Institute of Technology (2011-2013)
  • Ph.D., Chemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology (2005-2011)
  • B.S.,Biochemistry, Ohio Northern University (2001-2005)

Research Overview

Research in the Offenbacher lab is centered on elucidating the molecular underpinnings of biological catalysis. These research projects focus on identifying and describing productive protein (thermal and conformational) motions as it relates to enzyme proficiency and/or chemical steps (i.e., bond cleavage). These protein motions may be relevant for allosteric regulation of enzyme function and/or may represent the thermal activation barrier of catalysis as in the case of quantum mechanical hydrogen tunneling processes. Resolving these details will enrich our understanding of the origins of the enormous catalytic proficiencies of natural enzymes and yield blueprints for future biological catalyst design.

The projects combine interdisciplinary study across fields including enzymology, chemical, molecular and structural biology, and biophysical chemistry.  A focus is centered on training and engaging students in practical laboratory investigations, relevant to modern biochemistry, using various biochemical and structural/biophysical techniques(e.g. protein expression and purification; enzyme kinetics; site-directed mutagenesis; hydrogen deuterium exchange mass spectrometry, HDXMS; vibrational,fluorescence, and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy).

We are also integrating our research interests in Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) laboratories. Currently, we are offering CURE opportunities in Biological Chemistry (CHEM 3771). For more information about CUREs, follow this link:

Selected Publications (Undergraduates underlined)

Jose Pinelo, Pragya Manandhar, Grega Popovic, Katherine Ray, Mehmet Tasdelen, Quoc Nguyn, Anthony Iavarone, Adam Offenbacher, Nathan Hudson, and Mehmet Sen. Systemic mapping of the conformational landscape and dynamism of soluble fibrinogen. J. Thromb. Haemost. 202321, 1529-1543In Press. 

Amada Ohler, Hanna Long, Kei Ohgo, Kristin Tyson, David Murray, Amanda Davis, Chris Whittington, Eli Hvastkovs, Liam Duffy, Alice Haddy, Andrew Sargent, William Allen, and Adam Offenbacher. Synthesis of redox-active fluorinated 5-hydroxytryptophans as molecular reporters for biological electron transfer. Chem. Commun. 2021, 57, 3107-3110.

Adam R. Offenbacher and Theodore Holman. Fatty acid allosteric regulation of C-H activation in plant and animal lipoxygenases. Molecules (invited review) 2020, 25, 3374: 1-23

Kristin J. Tyson, Amanda N. Davis, Jessica L. Norris, Libero J. Bartolotti, Eli G. Hvastkovs, and Adam R. Offenbacher. Impact of local electrostatics on the redox properties of tryptophan radicals in azurin: Implications for redox-active tryptophans in proton-coupled electron transfer. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2020, 11, 2408-2413.

Anastasiia Kostenko, Katherine Ray, Anthony T. Iavarone, and Adam R. Offenbacher. Kinetic characterization of the C-H activation step for the lipoxygenase from the pathogenic fungus Magnaporthe oryzae: Impact of N-linked glycosylation. Biochemistry, 2019 58, 3193-320

Judith P. Klinman and Adam R. Offenbacher. Understanding biological hydrogen transfer through the lens of temperature dependent kinetic isotope effects. Acc Chem Res. 2018 51,1966-1974.


Complete List of Publications