Karen Brewer, Chair
(315) 859-4726

Chemistry Department
Hamilton College
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

Timothy Elgren, Bio-Inorganic Chemistry

Professor Emeritus

Professor Elgren is now Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Oberlin College
Email: telgren@oberlin.edu

At Hamilton from 1993 until 2014


B.A. Hamline University
Ph.D. Dartmouth College



Research in my lab continues to focus on sol-gel encapsulation of metalloenzymes.  We seek to use these optically transparent materials as a novel approach to studying enzyme mechanism.  In many instances, the enzyme remains active and hydrated within the pores of the gel.  These catalytically active biomaterials have great potential as robust heterogeneous catalysts.  The porous nature of the protein:sol-gel material allows diffusion of substrate and product to and from the encapsulated enzyme.  Turnover rates in this environment no longer follow standard enzyme saturation kinetics.  Instead, the rate of enzyme turnover is governed by mass transport of the substrate (and product) through the porous network.  These slow rates have allowed us to investigate intermediates that occur during enzyme turnover.  In addition to the mechanistic studies, we are synthesizing sol-gel materials that will better facilitate electron transfer with the encapsulated enzyme. 


National Center for Science and Civic Engagement (SENCER) “Chemistry and Civic Engagement: The Study of Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Products” (PI for partnership grant with the Green Science Policy Institute)  2013-15.

Clare Boothe Luce Award “Undergraduate Research Awards for Women in Science”  2012-15

American Council on Education Fellow 2011-12

National Science Foundation: Research at Undergraduate Institutions
“Mechanistic Studies of Encapsulated Enzymes” July 2006

National Science Foundation: Major Research Instrumentation
"Acquisition of a Raman Microscope" September 2004

Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society: Sabbatical Grant
"Characterization of Intermediates in the Catalytic Cycle of Amine Oxidases" June 2004

Cottrell College Science Award: Research Corporation
"Characterization of Sol-Gel Encapsulated Amine Oxidase and Chloroperoxidase" June 2004

Merck/American Association for the Advancement of Science: Undergraduate Science Research Program
"Collaborative Projects at the Interface of Biology and Chemistry" June 2004

Camille and Henry Dreyfus Special Grant Program in Chemical Sciences 2002
"An integrative, investigative, advanced chemistry laboratory course" Spring 2001.

National Science Foundation: Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement
"Calorimetry and Capillary Electrophoresis in the Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory"  June 1999

The John R. Hatch Excellence in Teaching Award, Hamilton College May 1998

Hamilton College Class of 1966 Career Development Award
"Investigative Laboratories for Biochemistry" Summer 1998

National Institutes of Health: Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke
"Neurocuprein: A Novel Copper Protein" May 1997

Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society
"Neurocuprein: A Novel Type II Copper Protein" December 1996

Camille and Henry Dreyfus Special Grant Program in Chemical Sciences
"Application of Biophysical Chemistry: An Undergraduate Laboratory" Spring 1994


(* indicates Hamilton College Undergraduate Co-Authors)

Martinez, Salette; Kuhn, Misty L.; Russell, James T.;* Holz, Richard C.; Elgren, Timothy E. “Acrylamide Production using Encapsulated Nitrile Hydratase from Pseudonocardia thermophila in a Sol-Gel Matrix” Journal of Molecular Catalysis B: Enzymatic 100 (2014) 19-24.

Kinnel, Robin B.; Van Wynsberghe, Adam W.; Rosenstein, Ian J.; Shields, George C.; Brewer, Karen S.; Cotton, Myriam L.; Borton, Charles J.; Senior, SueAnn Z.; Rahn, Gregory S. and Elgren, Timothy E. “A Departmental Focus on High Impact Undergraduate Research Experiences” in American Chemical Society Symposium Series – Developing and Sustaining a Successful Undergraduate Research Program; ACS: Washington, DC, vol 1156, 2013, pp 5-22.

Zadvorny, Oleg A.; Lucon, Janice E.; Gerlach, Robin; Zorin, Nikolay A.; Douglas, Trevor; Elgren, Timothy E.; Peters, John W. "Photo-Induced Hydrogen Production by [NiFe]-Hydrogenase from T. roseoperisicina Covalently Linked to a Ru(II) Photosensitizer" Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry 106 (2012) 151-155.

Zadvorny, Oleg A.; Barrows, Amy M.;* Zorin, Nikolay; Peters, John W.; Elgren, Timothy E. “High Level of Hydrogen Production Activity Achieved for Hydrogenase Encapsulated in Sol-Gel Material Doped with Carbon Nanotubes” Journal of Materials Chemistry 20 (2010) 1065-1067.

Karukstis, Kerry, and Elgren, Timothy (co-editors) Developing and Sustaining a Research-Supportive Curriculum: A Compendium of Successful Practices. Washington, DC: Council on Undergraduate Research, 2007.

Elgren, Timothy E.; Zadvorny, Oleg A.; Brecht, Eric; Douglas, Trevor; Zorin, Nikolay A.; Maroney, Michael J.; Peters, John W. “Immobilization of Active Hydrogenase Enzymes by Encapsulation in Polymeric Porous Gels” Nano Letters 5, (2005) 2085-2087.

Pierce, Brad S.; Elgren, Timothy E. and Hendrich, Michael P. "Mechanistic Implications for the Formation of the Diiron Clusters in Ribonucleotide Reductase Provided by Quantitative EPR Spectroscopy", Journal of the American Chemical Society 125 (2003) 8748-8759.

Senior, SueAnn Z.; Mans, Laura;* VanGuilder, Heather D.;* Kelly, Kimberly A.;* Hendrich, Michael P. and Elgren, Timothy E. "Catecholase Activity Associated with Copper-S100B" Biochemistry 42 (2003) 4392-4397.

Smith, Kevyn; Silvernail, Nathan; Rodgers, Kenton R. Elgren, Timothy E.; Castro, Mauro* and Parker, Robert* "Sol-gel Encapsulated Horseradish Peroxidase: A Catalytic Material for Peroxidation" Journal of the American Chemical Society 124 (2002) 4247-4252.

Marcoline, Anne T.* and Elgren, Timothy E. "A Thermodynamic Study of Azide Binding to Myoglobin" Journal of Chemical Education 75 (1998) 1622-1623.

Elgren, Timothy E. "Consideration of Lewis Acidity in the Context of Heme Biochemistry: A Molecular Visualization Exercise" Chemical Educator 3:3 (1998) 1-11.

Elgren, Timothy E.; Orville, Allen M.; Kelly; Kimberly A.;* Lipscomb, John D.; Ohlendorf, Douglas H. and Que, Lawrence Jr. "Crystal Structure and Resonance Raman Studies of Protocatechuate 3,4-Dioxygenase Complexed with 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetate" Biochemistry 36 (1997) 11504-11513.

Stemmler, Timothy L.; Sossong, Thomas R.; Goldstein, Jonathan I.;* Ash, David A.; Elgren, Timothy E.; Kurtz, Donald M., Jr. and Penner-Hahn, James E., "Comparison of the Dinuclear Mn Core Solution Structure of Mn Catalase, Arginase and Mn Substituted Forms of Ribonucleotide Reductase and Hemerythrin" Biochemistry 36 (1997) 9847-9858.


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