Author: Kara Morley
Categories: Academics|Chemistry

Dr. Paul Martino, professor of biochemistry at Houghton College, will give a faculty lecture on Tuesday, February 6. His talk, titled “Unraveling Protein Aggregation – Alzheimer’s Research” will take place from 4:25 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Willard J. Houghton Library, room 323.

Martino will focus on Alzheimer’s disease – what it is, what is known about it, and how treatments might work. Additionally, he will discuss the related findings of Houghton students who have worked in his lab or are currently working there.

Martino was inspired to begin Alzheimer’s research in 2006 after reading a paper by F.M. Richards, a biochemist who used ‘footprinting,’ a technique used to study large molecules that bind each other. After reading this article, Martino recalled a lecture he had heard by 2002 Nobel Prize winner John Fenn. Fenn, also a chemist, was known for his work on electrospray ionization, which is a ’soft’ way of removing solvent from a protein structure.

“So the wheels started turning,” remarks Martino, as he began to think about how he could combine the research of these two scientists. This, he says, was the start of his research on Alzheimer’s disease.

Martino joined the Houghton faculty in 2016. He is also a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Society of Mass Spectrometry.