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William Walkenhorst

Associate Professor of 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, and surface type on the activity of membrane active 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 Biochemistry, Journal of Molecular Biology, Protein Science, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Analytical Chemistry, and Protein Engineering.

Recent Publications

  • Rathinakumar, R., Walkenhorst, W.F., and Wimley, W.C., “Broad-Spectrum Antimicrobial Peptides by Rational Combinatorial Design and High-Throughput Screening: The Importance of Interfacial Activity. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009 131: 7609–17.
  • Walkenhorst, W.F., Merzlyakov, M., Hristova, K., and Wimley, W.C., “Polar Residues in Transmembrane Helices Can Decrease Electrophoretic Mobility in Polyacrylamide Gels Without Causing Helix Dimerization. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 1788: 1321-31.
  • 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