Education and Professional Positions

Ph.D.  Biochemistry, University of California, Riverside, CA, 1991

B.S.  Biology (Magna cum laude), Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA, 1985

Professor of Biochemistry , Chemistry and Biochemistry Department,

Grant Program Director, Metabolic Biochemistry, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA (On Professional Leave from CSUF), 2007-2008           

Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator, Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, University of Florida, Gainesville. (Research Area: Coenzyme Biosynthetic Pathways in Archaea), 2004-2007           
 
Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, University of Florida, Gainesville. (Coenzyme Biosynthesis & Microbial Protein Biochemistry), 1998-2004           
 
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Biochemistry and Anaerobic Microbiology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA.  Advisor: Dr. Robert White.  (Methanogen Coenzyme Biosynthesis), 1997-1997           

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, Utah State University, Logan, UT.  Advisor: Dr. Lance Seefeldt. (Enzymology of Nitrogenase), 1995-1997           

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Biochemistry and Anaerobic Microbiology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA.  Advisor: Dr. James Greg Ferry. (Biochemistry of Methanogenesis), 1991-1995

Current Research Interests

Methane production by microorganisms has a powerful impact on the environment because methane (CH4) is both an energy source and a greenhouse gas.  Many of the microbial enzymes involved in methane production require a specialized coenzyme called tetrahydromethanopterin (H4MPT).  Our laboratory uses a combination of biochemistry, molecular biology, genomics, and biophysical approaches to identify and characterize genes and enzymes required for the biosynthesis of H4MPT.  By understanding how one of these enzymes works, it has been possible to develop inhibitors of methane production that may help to decrease the production of methane as a greenhouse gas from biological sources such as microorganisms in the rumen (first stomach) of domestic cattle.

Selected Publications

Chistoserdova, L., Rasche, M.E., and Lidstrom, M.E.  2005.  Novel tetrahydromethanopterin biosynthesis genes discovered via mutagenesis in Methylobacterium extorquens AM1. J. Bacteriol. 187: 2508-2512.

Caccamo, M. A., Malone, C. S., and Rasche, M. E.  2004.  Biochemical characterization of dihydromethanopterin reductase, a tetrahydromethanopterin biosynthesis enzyme in Methylobacterium extorquens AM1. J. Bacteriol. 186:2068-2073

Rasche, M. E., Wyles, S. A., and Rosenzvaig, M.  2004.  Characterization of two methanopterin biosynthesis mutants of Methylobacterium extorquens by use of a tetrahydromethanopterin bioassay.  J. Bacteriol. 186:1565-1570.

Dumitru, R., Palencia., H., Schroeder, S. D., DeMontigny, B., Takacs, J., Rasche, M. E., Miner, J. L., and Ragsdale, S. W.*  2003.  Targeting methanopterin biosynthesis to inhibit methanogenesis.  Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69:7236-7241.

Scott, J. W., and Rasche, M. E.  2002.  Purification, overproduction, and partial characterization of $-RFA-P synthase, a key enzyme in the pathway of methanopterin biosynthesis.  J. Bacteriol.  184:4442-4448.  

Honors and Awards

2008-2010 - Elected Chair of Gordon Research Conference on the Molecular Basis of Microbial One-Carbon Metabolism, August 1-6, 2010
1999-2004 - National Science Foundation CAREER AWARD
1993-1996 - National Science Foundation Minority Postdoctoral Fellowship
1985-1989 - National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship
1985 - Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, Santa Clara University, CA

Website

http://chemsrvr2.fullerton.edu/DeptWebsite/Rasche.html