Thomas Pochapsky, PhD
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Brandeis University
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Thomas Pochapsky received his B. Sc. in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh in 1977. He worked for several years in the coal liquefaction industry, until beginning his graduate research in 1981 with Dr. William Pirkle in the School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Illinois. While in Dr. Pirkle's lab, he developed a new class of chromatographic stationary phases for the separation of enantiomers. He also became interested in NMR as a structural tool for examining weak complexes and protein structures in solution, and upon receiving his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1986, took a post-doctoral position with Stephen Sligar in the department of Biochemistry at Illinois. While applying NMR methods to novel proteins in the Sligar lab, he learned biophysics and molecular biology. After a second post-doctoral position with Dr. Peter Wright at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA, he took a position as assistant professor of organic chemistry at Brandeis University in January, 1989. He was promoted to associate professor in 1994 and to full professor in 1999. He has served on numerous NIH review panels, including a term as a regular member of the Metallobiochemistry study section. He has served as an expert witness in cases before the U.S. District Court in Delaware and the High Court of Justice in London. He is a member of the scientific advisor board of GrenPharma LLC, which is developing novel drugs for treatment of Alzheimers disease. With his wife, Susan, he recently published a textbook for a graduate course in NMR. Besides work on the Parkinson's disease protein α-synuclein, his current research includes the development of NMR methods for paramagnetic enzymes, applications of mass spectrometry to characterization of enzyme function, and structure/dynamics of cytochromes P450.