Santa Clara University

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Korin Wheeler

Office:  Daly Science 107
(408) 554-4310

Personal website:

Degree Information

B. A., New College of Florida, Chemistry
Ph.D., Northwestern University, Bioinorganic Chemistry


Biochemistry I (Chem 141) Syllabus
Biochemistry II (Chem 142)
Bioinorganic Chemistry (Chem 101)
General Chemistry Lab (Chem 11L)


Investigations of the human health and environmental implications of nanoparticles. Specifically, use biochemical and proteomic approaches to understand the interactons of nanoparticles with proteins.

Active Grant:
Research Corp for Science Advancement Cottrell College Science Award, "Characterization of the interactions between azurin and silver nanoparticles", $45,000, 2011-2013.
Recent Publications 

Doku, R.T.; Park, G.*; Wheeler, K.E.; Splan, K.E.  Spectroscopic Characterization of Copper(I) Binding to Apo- and Metal-reconstituted Zinc Finger Peptides. Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, 2013, 1-10. DOI: 10.1007/s00775-013-1012-6

Martinolich, A.J.;* Park, G.;* Nakamoto, M.Y.;* Gate, R.E.;* Wheeler, K.E. Differential impact of silver nanoparticles and their dissolution ions on metalloprotein function. Environmental Science and Technology, 2012, 46 (11), 6355–6362.

Wheeler, K.E.; Erickson, B.K.; Mueller, R.; Singer, S.W.; VerBerkmoes, N.C.; Hwang, M.; Thelen, M.P.; and Hettich, R.L. Metal Affinity enrichment increases the range and depth of proteome identification for extracellular microbial proteins Journal of Proteomics Research 2012, 11 (2), 861‐70.

Goltsman, D.S.; Denef, V.J.; Singer, S.W.; VerBerkmoes, N.C.; Lefsrud, M.; Muller, R.; Wheeler, K.E.; Zemla, A.; Dick, G.J.; Hauser, L.; Land, M.; Shah, M.; Thelen, M.P. Hettich, R.L.; Banfield, J.F. “Comparative proteogenomic analyses of biofilm communities dominated by chemoautotrophic, iron-oxidizing ‘Leptospirillum rubarum’ and Leptospirillum ferrodiazophum populations” Applied and Environmental Microbiology (2009), 02943-08v1 .

Wheeler, K.E.; Cull, D.A.; Nocek, J.M.; Yatsunyak, L.; Rosenzweig, A.C.; Hoffman, B.M. Dynamic Docking of Cytochrome b5 with Myoglobin and α-Hemoglobin:  Heme Neutralization ‘Squares’ and the Properties of the Electron-Transfer-Reactive Configurations, Journal of the American Chemical Society (2007), 129(13):3906-17.

Wheeler, K.E.; Nocek, J.M.; Hoffman, B.M. “NMR Spectroscopy Can Characterize Proteins Encapsulated in a Sol-Gel Matrix”, Journal of the American Chemical Society (2006), 128(46):14782-3.


A brief interview with Dr. Wheeler:

1.  What attracted you to Santa Clara University?

Initially I was drawn to SCU by the strong, hardworking student body. It was encouraging to see a true community based on both student and faculty development and learning.  The commitment to a diverse learning experience was evidenced by the strong research and student involvement in programs outside of the classroom.

2.  Why did you choose to focus on your particular specialty/research project?

I find a ridiculous amount of joy in the simplicity of understanding a protein’s structure and function. More specifically, I’ve had a long interest in the role of metals in biology; one metal atom can make such a huge difference in a protein’s function.  In fact, my first undergraduate research project was in bioinorganic chemistry - one reason I believe so strongly in undergraduate research.

3.  In your opinion, what is the most interesting development in chemistry in the past 10 years?

I have delighted in watching the field of nanoscience progress, from novel approaches to manipulate and view tiny molecular structures to the more recent application-based technologies.  In addition, the latest discoveries in the field of epigenetics are very exciting. Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene function and expression without changing a gene’s sequence - a whole new layer to understanding nature verses nurture!

Printer-friendly format


© 2015 Santa Clara University | Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry|
500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, California 95053-0270 | 408-554-4799  | Fax: 408-554-7811 |
Contact us: