David Graves, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry

Areas of focus: Protein/Nucleic Acid Interactions, Intercalating Agents, NMR, Biophysics


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Contact Information
Chem 201C
(205) 975-5381

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My interests are in the area of physical biochemistry of nucleic acids and their interactions with small molecules, peptides and proteins.  Specifically, our studies focus on the structural and energetic features of nucleic acids and their complexes with other molecules.  We have used our studies to develop insights into the mechanisms of action of novel anticancer agents, and interactions of specific DNA structural motifs to elicit TLR mediated biological responses.


David E. Graves Professor and Chair (b. 1950) obtained his B.S. degree in chemistry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1974. He received his Ph.D. degree in 1979 from the Department of Biochemistry in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham under the direction of Dr. Lerena W. Yielding where he characterized the chemical and DNA binding properties of novel photoaffinity labels for nucleic acids.  Dr. Graves was a NIH postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Rochester where he used fluorescence, and NMR spectroscopies to discern the structural and thermodynamic properties of the interactions of selected anticancer agents with nucleic acids. This work was carried out under the direction of Professor Thomas R. Krugh.  Dr. Graves left the University of Mississippi in May, 2003 to become the Chair of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In addition to his responsibilities as Chair of the Department of Chemistry, Dr. Graves serves as the Department of Chemistry Graduate Program Director and is a member of the Comprehensive Cancer Center (Experimental Therapeutics) and the Center for Computation and Structural Biology (Executive Committee and Trans-institutional Advisory Committee).