Department of Chemistry

PhD, Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1989

Research Interests

Molecular recognition and catalysis in the context of proteins, and the process of protein prenylation, a key modification that occurs on proteins involved in cellular signaling.


In his research, Mark Distefano uses a combination of organic synthesis, protein purification, enzymology and biophysical techniques. Primarily, the Distefano group utilizes organic chemistry to provide insight into mechanism and function in biological systems. Several projects are currently being investigated including (1) mechanism and function of protein prenylation (2) rubber biosynthesis (3) illudin biosynthesis (4) protein-based catalyst design and (5) development of methods for selective protein modification.