Todd Gruber

Department of Molecular Biology and Chemistry

Todd Gruber

Assistant Professor

Forbes Hall 3031
(757) 594-7123


  • Ph D in Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • BS in Chemistry and Biology, University of Utah


Dr. Gruber loves teaching chemistry. From introductory to senior courses, Dr. Gruber always teaches the underlying framework for course material, which makes remembering details easier. He is particularly interested in bringing active learning techniques into the lecture hall.


Dr. Gruber loves figuring out how to use proteins to perform useful tasks. He designs engineered proteins to use brightly colored dyes for the detection of pathogenic bacteria, and also evolves proteins to degrade plastic water bottles to reduce the burden of plastics waste on the ecosystem.


Previous positions:

Research Scientist: Janelia Research Campus (HHMI) with Luke Lavis.

Post-doctoral: National Institutes of Health with Clifton Barry.

Graduate School: University of Wisconsin-Madison with Laura Kiessling

  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    (2018). Cell-Specific Chemical Delivery Using a Selective Nitroreductase–Nitroaryl Pair. ACS Chemical Biology. Volume, 13. Issue, 10. Pages, 2888-2896.
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    (2018). Thiazole orange as an everyday replacement for ethidium bromide or costly DNA dyes for electrophoresis. Electrophoresis. Volume, 39. Pages, 1474-1477.
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    (2017). Semisynthetic pH-Sensitive Fluorophores For Imaging Exocytosis And Endocytosis. Nature Communications.
  • Todd Gruber, Virginia Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting, "Thiazole orange as an everyday replacement for ethidium bromide and costly DNA dyes for electrophoresis," Farmville, VA. (2018)
  • Todd Gruber, "Optimization of PETase enzyme to degrade plastic," Sponsored by Virginia Academy of Science
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