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Steven Damo, PhD


Research in the Damo lab employs the methods of structural biology to inform questions of biomedical relevance. A diverse array of physical chemistry experimental approaches are utilized including x-ray diffraction, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and computational modeling to characterize protein–protein and protein–ligand interactions. Current areas of investigation include calcium signal transduction, DNA recognition by transcription factors, and the role of transition metals in virulence. These programs in basic science research have broad implications for problems of global health concern such as cancer, diabetes, immune and inflammatory disorders, and antibiotic resistance. Undergraduate and graduate trainees obtain an education and skill set suitable for careers in academic research, pharmaceutical industry, and biomedical health professions.

Dr Damo’s teaching efforts include Physical Chemistry I and II and Inorganic Chemistry for undergraduate students and upper level graduate/introductory graduate courses in Biophysical Chemistry. Also, Dr Damo serves as co-facilitator for Professional Skills for Graduate Study.

Additionally, Dr Damo serves as the Associate Director of the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC- hotlink) Program at Fisk University , a program funded by the NIH to provide tuition and stipend support to assure that undergraduates interested in obtaining a PhD and ultimately engaging in a career in biomedical research have the academic support and opportunities for academic year and summer research that assures their successful entry into the PhD-granting program of their choice.


Damo, S.M.; Kehl-Fie, T.E; Sugitani, N.; Holt, M.E.; Rathi, S.; Murphy, W.J.; Zhang, Y.; Betz, C.; Hench, L.; Fritz, G.; Skaar, E.P.; Chazin, W.J. Molecular Basis for Manganese Sequestration by Calprotectin and Roles in the Innate Immune Response to Invading Bacterial Pathogens. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2013, 110, 3841-3846.

Damo, S.M.; Feldkamp, M.D.; Chagot, B.; Chazin, W.J. NMR Studies of the Interaction of Calmodulin with IQ Motif Peptides. Methods in Molecular Biology 2013, 936, 173-186.

Damo, S.; Chazin, W.J.; Skaar, E.P.; Kehl-Fie, T.E. Inhibition of Bacterial Superoxide Defense: A New Front in the Struggle Between Host and Pathogen. Virulence 2012, 3, 325–328.

Kehl-Fie, T.E.; Chitayat, S.; Hood, M.I.; Damo, S.; Restrepo, N.; Garcia, C.; Munro, K.A.; Chazin, W.J.; Skaar, E.P. Nutrient Metal Sequestration by Calprotectin Inhibits Bacterial Superoxide Defense, Enhancing Neutrophil Killing of Staphylococcus aureus. Cell Host and Microbe 2011, 10, 158–164.

Damo, S.M.; Phillips, A.; Woods, V.; Wemmer, D.E. Probing the Conformation of a Prion Protein Fibril with Hydrogen Exchange. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2010, 285, 32303–32311.

Yin, Q.; Lin, S.; Lo, Y.; Damo, S.M.; Wu, H. Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor-associated Factors in Immune Receptor Signal Transduction. In Handbook of Cell Signaling 2nd edition; Bradshaw, R.; Dennis, E., Eds; Academic Press: Oxford, 2009; pp 339–346.

Lim K.H.; Nguyen T.N.; Damo S.M.; Mazur, T.; Ball, H.L.; Prusiner, S.B.; Pines, A.; Wemmer, D.E. Solid-state NMR Structural Studies of the Fibril Form of a Mutant Mouse Prion Peptide PrP89-143(P101L). Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance 2006, 29, 183–190.

Kim, H.S.; Damo, S.M.; Lee, S.Y.; Wemmer, D.; Klinman, J.P. Structure and Hydride Transfer Mechanism of a Moderate Thermophilic Dihydrofolate Reductase from Bacillus stearothermophilus and Comparison to its Mesophilic and Hyperthermophilic Homologues. Biochemistry 2005, 44, 11428–11439.

Cho, H.; Wang, W.R.; Kim, R.; Yokota, H.; Damo, S.; Kim, S.H.; Wemmer, D.; Kustu, S.; Yan, D.L. BeF3- Acts as a Phosphate Analog in Proteins Phosphorylated on Aspartate: Structure of a BeF3- Complex with Phosphoserine Phosphatase. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2001, 98, 8525–8530.

Walters, M.A.; Lam, K.C.; Damo, S.; Sommer, R.D.; Rheingold, A.L. A Neutral Trizirconium Cluster with Chelating and Exobidentate Dialkoxide Groups. Inorganic Chemistry Communications 2000, 3, 316–318.

Damo, S.M.; Lam, K.; Rheingold, A.L.; Walters, M. A. Titanium Alkoxides: Gas Phase and Condensed Phase Comparisons. Inorganic Chemistry 2000, 39, 1635–1638.

Steven Damo, PhD
Assistant Professor of Chemistry

PhD in Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley
BS in Chemistry, New York University

312 Talley-Brady Hall
1000 17th Ave. N., Nashville, TN, 37208
Office: 615.329.8559