Professor Mei Hong to join the department

March 5, 2014

Mei Hong, currently the John D. Corbett Professor of Chemistry at Iowa State University, will join the department on July 1, 2014 as Professor of Chemistry.

The long-term objective of Professor Hong's research is to elucidate the structure, dynamics, and mechanism of membrane proteins and other biological macromolecules using advanced multidimensional solid-state NMR spectroscopy. Phospholipid membranes and proteins embedded in them are universal components of cells and play key roles in many cellular functions.

The Hong lab is particularly interested in how the structure and dynamics of membrane peptides and proteins underlie their abilities to 1) conduct ions across the lipid bilayer, 2) catalyze fusion of virus envelopes and cell membranes, and 3) disrupt microbial cell membranes during immune defense.

The lab is also studying the structure of the polysaccharide-rich plant cell walls in order to understand how cellulose and matrix polysaccharides form the 3D architecture that both provides mechanical strength to plant cells and allows plant cells to grow.