Welcome to the Harris Lab

Our group is broadly interested in mechanistic enzymology with emphasis on the substrate specificity, catalytic mechanisms, and inhibition of ribozymes and ribonucleases.  We are using high-throughput biochemical methods, structural biology, molecular modeling, and rapid kinetic approaches to investigate the substrate specificity of a widespread and essential RNA processing enzyme, ribonuclease P, in order to understand its multiple roles in RNA processing and regulation.  We are employing the tools of physical biochemistry to determine the transition states of RNases and ribozymes to test models of chemical mechanism, and identify catalytic interactions.  Allosteric regulation is a hallmark of biological catalysis, and our group is investigating the dynamic network of interactions that regulates the specificity and activity of human ribonucleotide reductase, a critical target for cancer chemotherapy.  Our research is conducted in close collaboration with multiple research groups that are expert in computation and modeling, so that we may work together to synergistically apply of structure, computation, and experiment to understand the chemistry of life.