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Dr. Frato’s research group is
focused on the unique structure and reactivity of proteins with metals at their
active site, particularly heme-containing enzymes. We are currently studying a
class of heme peroxidases from marine diatoms that may be involved in
templating the silica frustule, a beautiful, intricate and species-specific
cell wall structure. Dr. Frato’s group uses a combination of bioinorganic
chemistry and biophysical methods to investigate the substrates, mechanisms,
and biological roles of these heme peroxidases.
Dr. Frato’s teaching interests are
general chemistry and biochemistry.
A native of northeast Ohio, Dr.
Frato graduated from The College of Wooster in 2004 with a double major in
biology and physics. Her independent study thesis was titled “Experimental
Studies of Signal Noise in Gene Regulation in the Inducible Antibiotic
Resistance Pathway of E. coli”. Ever since, she has been deeply
interested in interdisciplinary research at the interface of biology,
chemistry, and physics. She subsequently earned a PhD in the Program in
Molecular Biophysics at Johns Hopkins University, where she worked with
Professor Robert Schleif to develop a method to quantify extremely weak
protein-protein interactions, specifically those between the two domains of the
bacterial regulatory protein AraC.
In 2010 Dr. Frato moved to Boston
University as a Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow in Chemistry. At BU she was
involved in lecture and discussions for General and Quantitative Analytical
Chemistry. In addition, she conducted research on redox active enzymes with
Professor Sean Elliott. Her work focused on using direct electrochemical
methods to elucidate the mechanism of bacterial diheme peroxidases. In
2012-2013 she was awarded a fellowship for Cross-disciplinary Training in
Nanotechnology for Cancer at BU to study human thioredoxin reductase. She
joined the faculty of Seattle University as an assistant professor in 2013.
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