Skip to content

Elizabeth DeGaetano, Bioinorganic Chemistry

Liz DeGaetano

Hello! My name is Liz DeGaetano, and I am one of the graduate mentors for the SEPA program this year. I went to undergrad at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. I am continuing my education and training at Dartmouth College where I am a third-year Ph.D. student in the Chemistry department studying bioinorganic chemistry. Bioinorganic chemistry is a small field that focuses on inorganic chemistry and biochemistry, basically this field looks at metals and proteins! The lab I work in looks at transition metals binding to different proteins and enzymes using a method called isothermal titration calorimetry, which lets us learn about the heat produced from reaction and how tightly two molecules bind together. My research progress focuses on heavy transitions metals, like mercury, binding to enzymes in the mercury detoxification pathway found in microbes, which is a fancy way of saying I study metals binding to enzymes that make mercury less toxic. I want to learn how tightly mercury and other heavy metals bind to these enzymes and the heat and disorder produced to learn more about how these enzymes work. Outside of the lab, I enjoy reading books, listening to music and podcasts, playing mini golf, baking, and spending time with my friends and family, especially childhood dog!