Karen Allen

Chair, Chemistry Professor, Chemistry

  • Title Chair, Chemistry
    Professor, Chemistry
  • Office SCI 394A
  • Phone 617-358-5544
  • Education B.S., cum laude in Biology, Tufts University, 1984
    Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Brandeis University, 1989

Karen Allen’s group investigates the structure and function of proteins using a combination of X-ray diffraction and enzyme kinetic studies. These investigations guide the design of specialized molecules and enzymes which aid in drug discovery as well as the development of tools to assist in protein studies.

Research Areas

  • Structure/Function/Catalytic studies investigate the properties of specific enzymes in the haloalkanoic acid dehalogenase (HAD) superfamily. The research on the HAD superfamily helps further our knowledge of enzyme evolution, functions and specificity. 
  • Drug discovery includes the development of an inhibitor against the neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which has a high risk of being used in biological weaponry. 
  • Tool discovery includes the development of Lanthanide Binding Tags. These tags help in the study of proteins while having minimal impact on both the structure and function of the protein.

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Allen Group

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