Lab Members:

Professor Torelli, Ph.D.

Throughout my life, curiosity has been my driving force. It fuels my love of problem solving and attraction to the sciences. With a broad education spanning biology, chemistry, and computer science, I utilize an effective multi-disciplinary approach with an appreciation for collaboration and outside-the-box thinking. The greater the challenge and need for creative problem solving, the greater my curiosity and determination to find solutions. Every day presents the opportunity to be curious and I strive to motivate others (from students and colleagues, to citizen-scientists and my own young children) to use their curiosities to explore, communicate and seek innovative solutions to real-world problems.

My scientific roots start at a young age and led me to study Biology and Computer Science at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I followed and combined these interests during my graduate work with Joseph E. Wedekind at the University of Rochester, where my work focused on studying principles of catalysis and molecular recognition employed by small non-coding RNA molecules. Many of my favorite scientific accomplishments during this time resulted in captivating new questions, and I decided that learning how to answer them would require additional perspective. I therefore started postdoctoral work with Steven E. Ealick at Cornell University studying protein enzymes with the goal of elucidating the structural and chemical principles behind their function.

More recently, I joined the Department of Chemistry at Bowling Green State University in the Fall of 2011. My work now has expanded to include not only extensions of my research interests into biomolecular structure:function, but also significant teaching and community outreach and engagement. Curiosity, and the meaningful endeavor to excite others with the same can be seen behind each of these areas, and I invite you to read more at the links above.

Students interested in undergraduate or graduate research in the Torelli lab should contact me directly by e-mail.
My e-mail address is: torelli AT

Graduate Students:

Mary Bauman joined the Torelli lab in the fall of 2011. Her current project involves characterizing functionally-analogous components of iron-sulfur cluster biosynthetic pathways in bacteria.

Hayfa Almutairi, Geethamala Jayawardhana and Poorna Roy joined our group in December 2013.

Michael Otten joined our group in December 2014.

Undergraduate Students:

Benjamin Quaintance worked with us during the spring and summer of 2012. His project entailed creating targeted site-specific mutations in an iron-sulfur cluster biosynthesis protein, and purifying the wild-type and mutant proteins. He also pursued crystallization experiments with the purified proteins. Benjamin was funded by a SETGO fellowship awared through BGSU.

Anastasia Tikhomirova spent the 2012 summer working in our lab while a student in Chemistry at St. Petersburg State University. She worked on projects related to generating mutations in selected protein constructs using error-prone PCR before returning to Russia in September.

Lisa Ade spent the summer of 2013 purifying a protein containing an oxygen-sensitive iron-sulfur cluster that is believed to regulate transitions between aerobic and anaerobic metabolism in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Lisa will be continuing her studies during the Fall 2013 semester. Her summer research was funded by a SETGO fellowship awarded through BGSU.

Tyler Johnston is a Pre-Med major with minors in Chemistry and Biology. His research project during the summer of 2013 entailed genomic cloning, mutagenesis using error-prone PCR and creating constructs for protein overexpression. Tyler was also a SETGO scholar and will be continuing his work during the 2013-2014 academic year.

Nate Johnson joined us in the fall of 2013 and continued through the summer of 2014 to clone the coding sequences for Fe-S cluster biosynthesis proteins from a Gram positive bacterium. He succeeded in cloning multiple genes, purified the proteins and obtained preliminary crystals (needles) of one protein, a PLP-dependent cysteine desulfurase. Nate graduated at the end of the 2014 summer term and has since accepted a biochemistry position with company in Columbus.