Dr. Walter Patton
Chair of Chemistry and Physics; Associate Professor of Chemistry
Academic Areas of Expertise:
Courses Taught at LVC
BCMB 421: Biochemistry I (primary focus on protein chemistry)
BCMB 422: Biochemistry II (primary focus on metabolism)
BCMB 430: Biochemistry Laboratory
First-Year Seminar I: The Impact of Biotechnology on Society, From Ancient Times to Present
Connective Experience in the Natural Sciences: American Science That Changed the World, For Better or Worse
The study of protein structure and function, especially how those characteristics are impacted by the solution environment.
In the world of proteins, structure equals function. Whether you have a small protein or a large one, the amino acid composition, as well as the specific sequence, all help determine the structure of a protein and its function. But those are not the only things. Whether a protein has a purely structural role in cells (such as the collagen in our skin and bones) or has a more sophisticated job (such as an enzyme that helps a cell produce energy), the structure and function of a protein are also dependent upon the characteristics of the solution in which it exists. We see this at home in our kitchens. When milk gets sour, because bacteria produce acid, the milk proteins curdle and fall out of solution. The amount of water, the pH, the concentration of dissolved molecules and ions, all affect protein structure. Currently, we are using fluorescent probes to investigate how protein structure changes in response to changes in solution environment.
Patton W.A. and Potteiger M.F. (2017) A Capstone Experience for Sustainable Assessment in Science: Biochemistry. Intersection (A quarterly publication of the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (AALHE). Spring 2017 (pp. 20–23).
Pugh R.J., Slee J.B., Farwell S.L.N., Li Y., Barthol T., Patton W.A., and Linda J. Lowe-Krentz (2016) Transmembrane protein 184A is a receptor required for vascular smooth muscle cell responses to heparin. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 291, 5326–5341. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M115.681122
Weilnau J.N., Black S.E., Chehata V.J., Schmidt M.P., Holt K.L., Carl L.M., Straka C.J., Marsh A.L., Patton W.A. and Lappas C.M. (2012) ZnS Nanocrystal Cytotoxicity is Influenced by Capping Agent Chemical Structure and Duration of Time in Suspension. Journal of Applied Toxicology (33; 3) 227–237. DOI:10.1002/jat.2811
Patton W.A. and Marsh A.L. (2016) Resources to enhance academics and learning in chemistry at Lebanon Valley College. 251st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (March 13–17; San Diego, Calif.) CHED # 1900.
Patton W.A. (2015) “Assessment in Academic Departments: Getting Started, Using Findings, and Lessons Learned.” Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania Workshop on Assessment in Colleges and Universities (Aug. 6; Grantville, Pa.).
Patton W.A. (2015) Investigating enzyme assays. 249th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (March 22–26; Denver, Colo.) CHED # 1710.
Patton W.A., Delaney C.L., and Carr R. (2011) Pancreatic lipase: Enzyme biochemistry from the health food store. Session: Classroom of the Future II: Mentoring Students in the Research Laboratory, The Annual Meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (Experimental Biology 2011) (April 9–13; Washington, D.C.). # 8499. FASEB J. 2011; 25:579.4.
Recent Grant Activity
2017–present National Science Foundation—Major Research Instrumentation Award (co-investigator) Acquisition of a circular dichroism spectropolarimeter for research and training of undergraduates at Gettysburg College. (Award # 1725534; Awarded to Shelli Frey, Ph.D., at Gettysburg College) $112,136.
2011–2015 NIH - R15 (Co-Investigator; Co-author Specific Aim #2) A Putative Heparin Receptor In Smooth Muscle Cells. (Award # 2R15HL054269-05; Awarded to Linda Lowe-Krentz Ph.D., Lehigh University) $458,143.