Seth A. Wiley

Group Member Since 2020

Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2020

B.S., University of Kansas, 2014

As a scientist of diverse research experience and training, I am incredibly interested in using multidisciplinary approaches to cohesively understand how complex bioinorganic systems take advantage of chemical, physical, and biological principles to catalyze chemical reactions. I am particularly fascinated in detangling enzymatic mechanisms.

My current work in the Dyer lab is focused on understanding the chemical and physical framework for how [FeFe] hydrogenases rapidly and reversibly convert protons and electrons into hydrogen under mild conditions. A thorough mechanistic understanding of how these efficient biocatalysts function offers a roadmap to build better synthetic catalysts, potentially laying out a future for clean hydrogen fuel generation. To study these quick enzymes, we employ CdSe-based nanocrystalline semiconductors in conjunction with various spectroscopic techniques such as time-resolved infrared spectroscopy, cryogenic infrared spectroscopy, and UV-visible spectroscopy.

I received my Ph.D. in Chemical Biology at the University of Michigan in 2020 researching the underlying reaction mechanism of carbon incorporation by Acetyl-CoA Synthase (ACS) from Moorella thermoacetica under the mentorship of Stephen W. Ragsdale. In my time in the Ragsdale lab, I worked extensively with various spectroscopic methods, focusing primarily on electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), as well as anoxic laboratory techniques and protein purification.

In addition to my laboratory experience, I have been involved in numerous extracurricular endeavors, and I have been a founding member of two distinct scientific outreach groups spanning communication, outreach, advocacy, and policy. I have given numerous public presentations on a plethora of public scientific discussions ranging from environmental contamination by forever chemicals to genetic engineering with CRISPR. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, baking, rock climbing, and hanging out with my partner, Madeline and my dog, Matterhorn.

Thesis Title: “Spectroscopic and Enzymatic Investigations into the Organometallic Incorporation of Methyl and Carbonyl Substrates by Acetyl-Coenzyme A Synthase from Moorella thermoaceticum”