Molly Sheehan


2007  B.S. in Biology with Biochemistry/Neural and Behavioral Science Concentrations

Haverford College

Research Experience

Haverford College, lab of Robert Fairman

2006-2007 Work on design of a beta-hairpin peptide to simulate amyloid intermediate oligomers.


2013 Selected Speaker from Posters at Gordon Conference on Bioenergetics

2012 Young Investigator Award of Gordon Conference on Oxygen Radicals


My research focuses on the design and engineering of oxidoreductases. I have two main projects. The first is on controlling oxygen reactivity in designed proteins. This work has led to the development of synthetic four-helix bundles which can preferentially either bind oxygen stably or release reactive oxygen species. Furthermore, we have been able to design proteins with minimal changes which preferentially produce superoxide and hydrogen peroxide and are developing Fenton-catalysts for the protein-based specific production of hydroxyl radicals.

My second project is to improve the stability of a stable oxygen-binding protein with natural globin-like function by testing the limits of minimalism. My work has demonstrated the ability to design functional hyperthermally and chemically stable proteins. These designs have demonstrated that maintaining highly dynamic qualities of proteins is not antithetical to rigidity or stability. The protein was designed as an oxygen-binding protein with natural functionality from scratch in only 8 amino acids which is stable in apo and holo forms past 95°C and maintains its structure and function for months.