Dr. Steven Pascal

  • Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry


  • Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics, Florida State University, 1993
  • M.A. in Physics, Kent State University, 1987
  • B.S. in Physics, Nebraska Wesleyan University, 1985

Contact information:

The Pascal laboratory develops and applies NMR-centered structural biology procedures to systems with medical implications. NMR data is collected at 600 MHz at ODU (coming soon), and up to 900 MHz via our collaborators at UTHSCSA and NMRFAM. We also employ a wide range of other biophysical, computational, bioinformatic and molecular biology techniques.

One long-standing system of interest is the replication machinery of picornaviruses. These small RNA viruses include among their number causative agents of polio, hepatitis A, foot-and-mouth disease, the common cold, and dilated cardiomyopathy. Despite disparity in their effects, they replicate via a highly conserved mechanism. A structural understanding of that mechanism could open a path for broad-spectrum vaccine or therapeutic approaches. The Pascal laboratory has been studying the interactions between virus RNA and proteins that trigger RNA replication. A state-of-the-art combined NMR/SAXS/computational approach is being used. Another long-standing structural target is the Par-4 tumor suppressor, a fragment of which acts as a magic bullet: it kills cancer cells and leaves innocent by-stander cells unaffected.

In addition, the Pascal laboratory is collaboratively developing methods to determine protein folds using a minimal number of simple NMR experiments with nominal data analysis. This approach would verge upon the “sample in, structure out” paradigm that all structural biologists seek.