Teaster Baird, Jr.

Teaster Baird 

San Francisco State University 

Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry  

Contact Information:
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
San Francisco State University
San Francisco, CA 94132
Office: 415-405-0935

My research interests revolve around understanding the relationship between the structures of certain proteins, namely metallo-enzymes and proteases, and their functions. Our understanding of how the three dimensional structure of a protein dictates its function is limited. However, by examining known protein structures and making both semi-random and logical changes in the structure of a protein, we can rationalize how certain structural features give rise to certain aspects of its function. In some cases, this understanding can allow one to predictably introduce new functionalities into existing protein scaffolds. Experiments in my laboratory will be focused on designing and introducing metal binding sites into serine proteases to investigate their mechanisms of activation, altering serine protease structure to introduce new catalytic machinery, and examining catalytic and structural zinc binding sites in zinc metallo-proteins to dissect the factors that determine how the metal is used. Techniques used to design, produce and characterize the engineered proteins will include site-directed and random mutagenesis, computer modeling, the incorporation of non-natural amino acids and UV-Vis and fluorescence spectroscopy. 

Baird Lab Website