Faculty and Staff

Katherine Frato, Ph.D.


Associate Professor

Phone: 206.296.2219

Building/Room: SINE 502-01

Teaching and Research Interests

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.

CV & Website

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