Dr. Jonathan Dattelbaum

Professor of Chemistry
Program Coordinator, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


My research focuses on the design of fluorescent protein biosensors. Nature has provided a vast array of proteins which bind efficiently to molecules which my research group is interested in detecting. One of the goals of my group is to design a biosensor for glucose. The constructed optical biosensor may be used to measure glucose concentrations in complex media such as blood serum. A second main project in my lab, and in collaboration with Sabatino D'Auria (Institute for Protein Biochemistry, Naples, Italy), involves the characterization of an arginine binding protein from Thermotoga maritima. Finally, my lab collaborates with Dr. Malcolm Hill (UR Biology) on a chemical ecology project. Our goals are to isolate and characterize secondary metabolites from the symbiotic microbes associated with the Chesapeake Bay sponges, Clathria prolifera and Halichondria bowerbanki. We are interested in linking the biosynthetic genes and pathways with the corresponding microbial pigments in these organisms.



* denotes student coauthor

Ruggiero A, Dattelbaum JD, Staiano M, Berisio R, D’Auria S, and Vitagliano L. (2014) A loose domain swapping organization confers a remarkable stability to the dimeric structure of the Arginine Binding Protein from Thermotoga maritima, PLoS One, in press.

*Deacon LJ, *Billones H, Galyean AA, Donaldson T, Pennacchio A, Iozzino L, D’Auria S, Dattelbaum JD. (2014) Tryptophan-scanning mutagenesis of the ligand binding pocket in Thermotoga maritima arginine-binding protein. Biochimie, 99: 208-214.

*Hillyer M, *Cerel A, *Finch L, Dattelbaum JD, and M.C. Leopold. (2014) Multi-Technique Quantitative Analysis and Socioeconomic Considerations of Lead, Cadmium, and Arsenic in Children’s Toys and Toy Jewelry, Chemosphere, in press.

Singh AJ, Dattelbaum JD, Field JJ, Smart Z, Woolly EF, Barber JM, Heathcott R, Miller JH, Northcote PT. (2013) Structurally diverse hamigerans from the New Zealand marine sponge Hamigera tarangaensis: NMR-directed isolation, structure elucidation and antifungal activity. Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, 11: 8041-8051.

Ausilia A., Pennacchioa A., Staianoa M., Dattelbaum J.D., Fessasc D., A. Schiraldic, D’Auria S. Amino acid transport in thermophiles: characterization of an arginine binding protein from Thermotoga maritima. 3. Conformational dynamics and stability. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, 2013, 118: 66–73.

Ausili A, Staiano M, Dattelbaum JD, Varriale A, Capo A, and D'Auria S. Periplasmic Binding Proteins in Thermophiles: Characterization and Potential Application of an Arginine-Binding Protein from Thermotoga maritima: A Brief Thermo-Story. Life 2013, 3(1):149-160.

>Ruggiero A, Dattelbaum JD, Pennacchio A, Iozzino L, Staiano M, *Luchansky MS, *Der BS, Berisio R, D'Auria S, Vitagliano L. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic analysis of ligand-free and arginine-bound forms of Thermotoga maritima arginine-binding protein. (2011) Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications, Nov 1;67 (Pt 11).

*Doan TT, *Vargo ML, *Gerig JK, *Gulka CP, Trawick ML, Dattelbaum JD, and Leopold ML. (2010) Electrochemical Investigation of Azurin Thermodynamic and Adsorption Properties at Monolayer-Protected Cluster Film Assemblies-Evidence for a More Homogeneous Adsorption Interface. Journal of Colloid & Interface Science, 352, 50-58.

Scirè, A., Marabotti, A., Staiano, M., Iozzino, L, *Luchansky, M.S., *Der, B.S., Dattelbaum, J.D., Tanfani, F., and D’Auria, S. (2010) Amino acid transport in thermophiles: characterization of an arginine-binding protein in Thermotoga maritima. 2. Molecular organization and structural stability, Molecular Biosystems, 6, 687-698.

Dattelbaum, J.D., *Sieg, D., *Manieri, C.M., *Thomson, G., and Hill, M. (2010) Plasticity of acquired secondary metabolites in Clathria prolifera: Photoprotective role of carotenoids in a temperate intertidal sponge. The Open Marine Biology Journal, 87-95, DOI: 10.2174/1874450801004010087.

*Luchansky, M.S., *Der, B.S., D’Auria, S., Pocsfalvi, G., Iozzino, L., Marasco, D., and Dattelbaum, J.D. (2010) Amino acid transport in thermophiles: characterization of an arginine-binding protein in Thermotoga maritima, Molecular BioSystems, 6,132-141, DOI: 10.1039/B908412F.

*Vargo, M.L., *Gulka, C.P., *Gerig, J.K., *Manieri, C.M., Dattelbaum, J.D., Marks, C., *Lawrence, N.T., Trawick, M.L., and Leopold, M.C. (2010) Distance Dependence of Electron Transfer Kinetics for Azurin Protein Adsorbed to Monolayer Protected Nanoparticle Film Assemblies. Langmuir, 26, 560-569, DOI: 10.1021/la9020367.

Dattelbaum, A.M., Baker, G.A., *Fox, J.M., Iyer, S., and Dattelbaum, J.D. (2009) Pegylation of a maltose biosensor promotes enhanced signal response when immobilized in a polymeric matrix. Bioconjugate Chemistry, 30, 2381-2384, DOI: 10.1021/bc900341s.

*Der, B.S. and Dattelbaum, J.D. (2008) Construction of a Reagentless Glucose Biosensor using Molecular Exciton Luminescence, Analytical Biochemistry, 375, 132-140.

*Vercillo, N.C., *Herald, K.J., *Fox, J.F., *Der, B.S., and Dattelbaum, J.D. (2007) Analysis of Ligand Binding to a Ribose Biosensor using Site-directed Mutagenesis and Fluorescence Spectroscopy. Protein Science,16, 362-368.

Dattelbaum, J.D., Looger, L.L, Benson, D.E., Sali, K.M., Thompson, R.B., and Hellinga, H.W. (2005) Analysis of Allosteric Signal Transduction Mechanisms in an Engineered Fluorescent Maltose Biosensor, Protein Science, 14, 284-291.


Ph.D., University of Maryland

Contact Information

D-300 Gottwald Center for the Sciences
(804) 484-1587
(804) 287-1897 (Fax)

Areas of Expertise