Faculty & Staff

Headshot of Dr.Dominique  Williams

Dr. Dominique Williams

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry
Curriculum Vitae

  • Profile

    My research focus lies at the interface of biochemistry and inorganic chemistry. A primary goal is to design and investigate small, synthetic metallo-complexes as catalytic mimics of specific biological processes of natural enzymes, specifically hydrolases. Metal ions and complexes have been used in many synthetic approaches to assist in the cleavage and transformation of biomolecules. However, the physical and chemical properties of enzymes, such as catalytic rate enhancement and substrate specificity, are difficult to mimic in synthetic, non-enzymatic catalytic systems My lab approach to overcome this limitation is to use metal ions that are capable of forming catalytically active mononuclear and/or polynuclear hydroxo species in aqueous solution. Further, complex formation between the metal ion and a ligand can eliminate certain confinements of the metal ion in aqueous solution, enhance and tune the reaction kinetics, and provide selectivity for the catalytic process.

    The overall goal of my current projects is to design phosphate ester-specific hydrolytic catalysts for the degradation of pesticides, nucleic acids, and bacterial specific nucleotides. The findings of these studies could lead to novel strategies to prevent or alleviate harmful bacterial biofilms, aid in the detoxification of dangerous pesticides, and provide invaluable insight into metal-assisted phosphate ester bond hydrolysis. In addition, the nucleic acid project could lead to a greater understanding of targeted DNA therapy and possible applications in cancer diagnosis. The interdisciplinary nature of these projects enables students to develop skills and knowledge in bioinorganic, analytical, and biochemistry, and the findings of these studies will contribute valuable knowledge to the scientific field.

    *Laboratory should be set up Spring 2019, so please contact me after Fall 2018 if you’re interested in research opportunities in my lab.

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    • Awards

      Gordon Research Conference Carl Storm Travel Award February 2017

      ACS Postdoc to PUI Professor Workshop Attendee March 2016

      Worcester Polytechnic Institute STEM Faculty Launch Program September 2015

      Younger Chemists Committee Leadership Development Award December 2013

      American Chemical Society Division of Inorganic Chemistry Travel Award July 2013

      Graduate Award for Outstanding Professional Service May 2013

    • Presentations

      255th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition, New Orleans, LA, March 22, 2018, “A Biological On/OFF Switch for Bacterial Biofilm Formation”, Talk

      Nitric Oxide Gordon Research Seminar 2017, Ventura, CA, February 19, 2017, “Nitric Oxide Regulation of Cyclic di-GMP Signaling and Biofilm Formation in Agrobacterium vitis”, Talk

      SUNY Old Westbury College Senior Seminar, Old Westbury, NY, November 3, 2016, “A Biological On/OFF Switch for Bacterial Biofilm Formation”, Old Westbury, Invited Talk

      Stony Brook Postdoctoral Association Annual Spotlight, Stony Brook, NY, September 17, 2015, “Nitric oxide to the Rescue: A Small Molecule vs. the Bacterial Invasion”, Talk

      65th Southeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Atlanta, GA, November 15, 2013, “Phosphate Ester Hydrolysis of Phosphatidylcholine in Aqueous Solutions of Cerium(IV) and Bis-tris Propane”, Talk

      246 American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition, Indianapolis, In, September 8, 2013, “Synthetic Cerium(IV)-based Catalysts as Mimics of Natural Hydrolases”, Talk

  • Selected Publications
    Journal Articles

    Williams, E. D., Grant, B. K., Metal-Assisted Hydrolysis Reactions Involving Lipids: A Review. Frontiers in Chemistry 2019, 7:14, https://doi.org/10.3389/fchem.2019.00014

    Williams, E. D., Boon, M. E., Towards Understanding the Molecular Basis of NO-regulated Group Behaviors in Pathogenic Bacteria. J Innate Immun. 2019, 11, 205-215,  https://doi.org/10.1159/000494740

    Safiarian, S. M., Sawoo, S., Mapp, T. C., Williams, E. D., Gude, L., Fernández, M-J., Lorente, A., Grant, B. K., Aminomethylanthracene Dyes as High Ionic Strength DNA Photocleaving Agents: Two Rings Are Better than One ChemistrySelect 2018, 3, 4897-4910

    Williams, E. D., Nisbett, L-M., Boon, M. E., Bacterial Heme-based Sensors of Nitric OxideAntioxidants and Redox Signaling 2017

    Williams, E. D., Kassai, M., Gude, L., Fernández, M., Lorente, A., Grant, K. B., An Unlikely DNA Cleaving Agent: A Photoactive Tri-nuclear Cu(II) Based on Hexaazatriphenylene. J. Inorg. Biochem. 2017, 168, 55-66

    Abreu-Sepulveda, M.*; Williams, E. D.*; Huq, A.; Dhital, C.; Li, Y.; Paranthaman, M. P.; Zaghib, K.; Manivannan, A., Synthesis and Characterization of Substituted Garnet and Perovskite-based Lithium-ion Conducting Solid Electrolytes Ionics  2016, 22, 317-325 (*coauthor)

    Williams, E. D., Basnet, K., Grant, B. K., Tuning Cerium(IV)-assisted Hydrolysis of Phosphatidylcholine Liposomes under Mildly Acidic Neutral Conditions. Chem. Bio. Chem. 2015, 16, 1474-1482

    Book Chapters

    Williams, E. D., Fischer, J., Heckler, I., Boon, M. E. 2018. Heme-based Sensors of Nitric Oxide. In: Shigetoshi Aono ed., Gas Sensing in Cells. Metallobiology series of RSC, Croydon (UK) p. 15-46