Members of the laboratory of Prof. Scott Silverman have identified synthetic DNA enzymes that cleave amide bonds, which are fundamental components of proteins. These DNA enzymes were identified by in vitro selection, using modified DNA nucleotides that have protein-like functional groups.
Scott K. Silverman
Professor Silverman received the B.S. degree in chemistry from UCLA in 1991. He obtained the Ph.D. degree in chemistry from Caltech in 1997, working with Dennis Dougherty on physical organic chemistry and molecular neurobiology, and he performed postdoctoral research with Thomas Cech at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 2000, working in the areas of chemical biology and organic chemistry.
- DNA as an enzyme; DNA as a catalyst
The Silverman lab is a group of researchers who are interested in identifying, characterizing, and applying DNA as a catalyst. We use techniques and concepts from chemical biology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, and other disciplines to design our experiments and interpret our results. We have many projects that are suitable for undergraduate research students. Please see www.scs.illinois.edu/silverman/ for more information about research in the Silverman lab.
Distinctions / Awards
- Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry (2012)
- UIUC Campus Award for Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research (2011)
- LAS Professorial Scholar Award, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Illinois (2010)
- Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry, American Chemical Society, Division of Biological Chemistry (2009)
- Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2007)
- Fellow, UIUC Center for Advanced Study (2004)
In The News
Led by Professor Scott Silverman, Illinois chemists have used DNA to do a protein’s job, creating opportunities for DNA to find work in more areas of biology, chemistry and medicine than ever before.
Dr. Scott Silverman has been chosen to receive the Campus Award for Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Better tools for manipulating DNA in the laboratory may soon be possible with newly discovered deoxyribozymes (catalytic DNA) capable of cleaving single-stranded DNA, researchers at the University of Illinois say.
Scott Silverman, a chemistry professor at Illinois who has done pioneering work with DNA enzymes, hopes that "by capturing Darwinian evolution in new molecules, we might be able to better understand the basic principles of biological evolution," much of which is still somewhat mysterious at the m