|Address:||McCallum Basic Health Sciences Building
1918 University Blvd.
Birmingham, AL 35294-0005
We have transformed prokaryotic algae genes for metallothionein and luciferase. These organisms have the ability to remove heavy metal ions from fresh water and to act as heavy metal biosensors. Environmental pollution from herbicides which inhibit plant photosynthesis is a serious problem in Alabama. In conjunction with the Tennessee Valley Authority, we have devised a bioassay for such pollutants. Photo-synthetic bacteria are transformed to express the bacterial luciferase genes. The luminescence of the transformed bacteria is decreased in the presence of photosynthetic herbicides at the parts per billion level. This type of novel photoreactivity bioassay will be valuable in monitoring bioremediation of contaminated soils and water. Patent applications are in the process.
Leo M. Hall (b. 1929) Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, received his Ph.D. degree in Physiological Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin in 1957. After a period as a research biochemist with the American Cyanamid Company, he joined the faculty at the University of Virginia Medical School. He came to UAB in 1966 and has been substantially involved in medical and dental education as well as research. He is Course Master for the Medical Biochemistry Course and serves on the Medical Admissions, Promotions and Curriculum Committees. His research is supported through grants from the Tennessee Valley Authority and AUTRC.