Marcey Waters

Marcey Waters

Glen H. Elder, Jr. Distinguished Professor, Co-Chair of Diversity

   Caudill Laboratories 219
  Group Website
  Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Bioorganic Chemistry, Molecular Recognition

Research Synopsis

Our group is an interdisciplinary group, focusing on problems of molecular and biomolecular recognition. Molecular recognition impacts a wide range of fields, including asymmetric catalysis, materials chemistry, and protein folding. Consider, for example, designing a drug to bind to the active site of an enzyme. What features other than shape might contribute to binding? What types of interactions will provide high affinity as well as high selectivity? These are general questions in the field of molecular recognition that we are investigating for applications to biosensing, drug delivery, and de novo protein design. The research interests in our group span a wide range, from mechanistic organic chemistry and molecular recognition to structural biology, and hence involve the use of a variety of techniques. Methods used in our group include organic and solid phase synthesis, combinatorial chemistry, computational chemistry, molecular biology, kinetic and thermodynamic measurements using 1D and 2D NMR, circular dichroism, UV/Vis and fluorescence spectroscopy, analytical ultracentrifugation, and calorimetry. The extent that any one student uses these techniques depends largely on the particular student's research interests.

Professional Background

BA, UCSD, 1992; PhD, The University of Chicago, 1997; NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia University, 1997-1999; NSF Career Award, 2001-2006; Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, 2004-2006; Board of Directors, Mesilla Chemistry Workshop; Advisory Board Member, International Symposia on Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry.

Research Group

News & Publications

Herein we describe the use of dynamic combinatorial chemistry to self-assemble complex coiled coil motifs. We amide-coupled a series of peptides designed to form homodimeric coiled coils with 3,5-dithiobenzoic acid (B) at the N-terminus and then allowed each B-peptide to undergo disulfide exchange.


Here we show that dynamic combinatorial libraries (DCLs) with simple building blocks can be templated with a fluorophore and subsequently used as sensors to form an array that differentially detects each PFAS species and various mixtures thereof.