Kathryn Cole - Directory - Christopher Newport University


Kathryn E. Cole

Department of Molecular Biology and Chemistry - Pre-Med and Pre-Health Program

Kathryn Cole

Associate Professor

Forbes Hall 3030
(757) 594-8195


  • Ph D in Chemistry, Yale University
  • BS in Chemistry, Fairfield University


General Chemistry, Biochemistry, Investigating the Chemical Literature (WI)


Research in my lab uses molecular modeling and protein crystallography to study the structure-function relationships of polysaccharide deacetylases, histone deacetylases, and tubulin for the development of antibacterial and anticancer therapeutics, respectively.


I am originally from Connecticut. I earned my B.S. in Chemistry from Fairfield University, my Ph.D. from Yale University under Dr. Ann Valentine, and was a postdoctoral researcher under Dr. David Christianson at the University of Pennsylvania. My graduate training focused on the bioinspired mineralization of titanium micro- and nanoparticles. This work included traditional techniques in molecular biology and protein chemistry, as well as methods in materials chemistry, including SEM and TEM. My postdoctoral work used X-ray crystallography to investigate the structure-function relationships of deacetylase enzyme-inhibitor complexes. My independent career has continued to study structure-function relationships of histone deacetylase (HDAC8) and polysaccharide deacetylase enzymes using X-ray crystallography, enzyme activity assays, and molecular modeling.

Selected Accomplishments

  • Provost's Excellence in Teaching Writing Award, Christopher Newport University. (2019)
  • Class of 2013 Faculty Development Fund, Christopher Newport University. (2019)
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    (2020). Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of a Depsipeptidic Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor via a Generalizable Approach Using an Optimized Latent Thioester Solid-Phase Linker. Journal of Organic Chemistry. Volume, 85. Issue, 12. Pages, 8253–8260.
  • Book, Chapter in Scholarly Book-New
    (2018). Biocatalysis: Nature's Chemical Toolbox. Elsevier. Pages, 471-512.
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    (2016). Structure of ‘Linkerless’ Hydroxamic Acid Inhibitor-HDAC8 Complex Confirms the Formation of an Isoform-Specific Subpocket. Journal of Structural Biology. Volume, 195. Pages, 373-378.
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    Structural Studies of Geosmin Synthase, a Bifunctional Sesquiterpene Synthase that Catalyzes a Unique Cyclization-Fragmentation Reaction Sequence. Biochemistry. Volume, 54. Pages, 7142-7155.
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    (2014). Structure Determination of BA0150, a Polysaccharide Deactylase from Bacillus anthracis. Acta Crystallographica F: Structural Biology, Crystallization Communications. Volume, 70. Pages, 156-159.
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    (2013). FT-IR Spectroscopy and Density Functional Theory Calculations of 13C Isotopologues of the Helical Peptide Z-Aib6-OtBu. Journal of Physical Chemistry B. Volume, 118. Pages, 58-68.
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    (2013). Implementing a Grant Proposal Writing Exercise in Undergraduate Science Courses To Incorporate Real-World Applications and Critical Analysis of Current Literature. Journal of Chemical Education. Volume, 90. Pages, 1316-1319.
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    (2013). Titanium Mineralization in Ferritin: A Room Temperature Non-Photochemical Preparation and Biophysical Characterization. Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry.
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    (2012). HDAC8 Mutations in Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Refine the Cohesin Acetylation. Nature.
  • Kathryn Cole, "Structure and Function of HDAC 8-Depsipeptide Complexes for Anticancer Drug Design," Sponsored by Commonwealth Health Research Board
  • Kathryn Cole, "Activity Measurements and Structure Determination of Histone Deacetylase 8-Depsipeptide Complexes," Sponsored by Virginia Academy of Sciences
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