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William Walkenhorst

Professor of Chemistry; Renan Bu and Monica LeDee Distinguished Professorship in Chemistry; Interim Director of Forensic Chemistry

William Walkenhorst
William Walkenhorst

Dr. Walkenhorst is a physical biochemist whose research involves studying the structure, function, and stability of peptides and proteins in solution.  He uses chemical, biological, and instrumental techniques to study several classes of proteins.  His most recent project involves studying the effect of environmental factors such as pH, ionic strength, toxic ions, and surface type on the activity of a new class of membrane active antibiotics called antimicrobial peptides.  He conducts research with undergraduate students interested in careers in biochemistry and medicine.  Dr. Walkenhorst is a founding member of the New Orleans Protein Folding Intergroup (NOProFIG) which began in January 1999 and meets every two weeks to discuss research results of local researchers in related fields.

Dr. Walkenhorst's work has been published in journals such as Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Biochemica Biophysica Acta: Biomembranes, Biochemistry, Journal of Molecular Biology, Protein Science, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Analytical Chemistry, and Protein Engineering.


Recent Publications

  • William F. Walkenhorst, *Justine N. Sundrud, and *Joshua M. Laviolette, “Additivity and Synergy Between an Antimicrobial Peptide and Inhibitory Ions”. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (Biomembranes – Special Issue: Interfacially Active Peptides) 1838: 2234-42 (2014).
  • William F. Walkenhorst, *J. Wolfgang Klein, *Phuong Vo, and William C. Wimley, “The pH Dependence of Microbe Sterilization by Cationic Antimicrobial Peptides: Not Just the Usual Suspects”. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 57: 3312-20 (2013).
  • Walkenhorst, W.F., *Edwards, J.A., Markley, J.L., and Roder, H. “Early Formation of a Beta Hairpin during Folding of Staphylococcal Nuclease H124L as Detected by Pulsed Hydrogen Exchange”, Protein Science 11:82-91 (2002).
  • Bishop, C.M., Walkenhorst, W.F., and Wimley, W.C. “Folding of Beta-Sheets in Membranes: Specificity and Promiscuity in Peptide Model Systems”, J. Mol. Biol. 309: 975-988 (2001).
  • Green, G.R., *Ferlita, R.R., Walkenhorst, W.F., and Poccia, D.L. “Linker DNA Destabilizes Condensed Chromatin”, J. Biochem. Cell Biol. 79: 349-363 (2001).


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1993; B.S. Bradley University, 1983

Areas of Expertise

Biochemistry,Protein Structure, Protein Folding, and Antimicrobial Peptides.