Monica E. Neugebauer

Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry Affiliate Lab Website 262-2644

341B HF DeLuca Biochemistry Laboratories
433 Babcock Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1544


B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ph.D., University of California Berkeley
Postdoctoral, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Discovery, characterization, and evolution of enzymes for biocatalysis and chemical biology

Enzymes found in Nature perform incredible chemistry under mild reaction conditions and with high selectivity. Compared to traditional chemical strategies for manufacturing small molecules, enzymatic strategies have the potential to reduce waste, eliminate costly separation steps, and lower energy requirements. We leverage expertise in biochemistry, biosynthesis, structural biology, and protein evolution to discover and to engineer enzymes for biocatalysis and chemical biology. We use evolution not only to develop useful tools for chemical synthesis and biological discovery, but also to probe the basic mechanisms by which enzymes achieve selectivity in substrate recognition and reactivity.

figure of workflow in Neugebauer lab
We are particularly interested in metalloenzymes, which can catalyze challenging chemical transformations such as C—H functionalization using earth-abundant metals. While metalloenzymes have been discovered to play critical roles in cellular processes, many more await discovery. We discover new metalloenzymes, solve their structures, and unlock their biocatalytic potential through directed evolution.

Photo of Monica Neugebauer

Areas of Expertise

  • Chemical Biology & Enzymology
  • Quantitative Biology
  • Structural Biology
  • Systems & Synthetic Biology