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Dr. Michelle  Hamm
Dr. Michelle Hamm
Professor of Chemistry
Clarence E. Denoon Professor of Science

I use synthetic and physical organic chemistry to address specific biological questions. Currently, my work focuses on 8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine (OdG), an abundant DNA lesion that can cause genome mutation and is thought to play a major role in several diseases, including cancer. My group is synthesizing analogs of OdG and incorporating them into short strands of DNA. These analogs have great potential as biochemical tools with which to study the contacts that take place between OdG lesions and other biopolymers. For example, we will use these molecules to study how various nucleotides and enzymes, including polymerases and glycosylases, interact with OdG at the molecular level. These studies will help reveal not only how these lesions lead to DNA mutations, but also how the mutations are prevented and/or removed by DNA repair enzymes. Furthermore, since it has been hypothesized that mutations produced by OdG may trigger the associated diseases, these studies may also provide insight into the link between disease and OdG.

Grants and Fellowships
NSF- RUI Award “Chemical Investigations into the Bioactivity of the DNA Lesion 8-Oxo-2'-deoxyguanosin” (Hamm); 2019
National Science Foundation- RUI Award; $255,000; 9/1/13-8/31/18
Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award; $60,000; 11/1/07-10/31/18

Research Corporation Collaborative Grant “Getting a Job at a Research Intensive Primarily Undergraduate Institution” (Hamm co-PI); 2016

Research Corporation Multi-Investigator Cottrell College Science Award “Structural investigations of DNA replication of analogues of the mutagenic nucleotide, 8-oxo-2´-deoxyguanosine” (Hamm and E. Wu); 2013

NSF- RUI Award “Chemical Investigations into the Bioactivity of the DNA Lesion 8-Oxo-2'-deoxyguanosin” (Hamm); 2013

2013 University of Richmond School of Arts and Sciences Mentor Award
2013 Rising Star Award from the Women’s Chemists Committee of the American Chemical Society
2007 University of Richmond Distinguished Educator Award

Hamm, M.L.; Garcia, A.A.,* Gilbert, R.,*Johri, M.,* Ricart, M.,* Sholes, S.L.,* Murray-Nergerb, L.A.,* Wu, E.Y. The Importance of Ile716 toward the Mutagenicity of 8-Oxo-2’-deoxyguanosine with Bacillus Fragment DNA Polymerase. DNA Repair (2020) 89102826-1022831

Manlove, A.H.; McKibbin, P.L.; Doyle, E.L.; Majumdar, C.; Hamm, M.L.; David, S.S. Structure–Activity Relationships Reveal Key Features of 8-Oxoguanine: A Mismatch Detection by the MutY Glycosylase. ACS Chem. Biol. (2017) 12 2335–2344. *chosen as an ACS editor’s choice paper.

Hamm, M.L.; McFadden, E.J.;* Ghio, M.,* Lindell M.A.A;*  Gerien, K.S.;* O’Handley, S.F. “Insights into the substrate specificity of the MutT pyrophosphohydrolase using structural analogues of 8-oxo-2’-deoxyguanosine nucleotide” Bioorg. & Med. Chem. Lett. (2016) 26, 2014–2017.

Hamm, M.L.; Crowley, K.A.*; Ghio, M.*; Lindell, M.A.M.*; McFadden, E.J.*; Silberg, J.S.L.*; Weaver, A.M.* Biochemical Investigations into the Mutagenic Potential of 8-Oxo-2’-deoxyguanosine using Nucleotide Analogues. Chem. Res. Toxicol. (2012) 25, 2577-2588

Hamm, M.L.; Crowley, K.A.*; Ghio, M.*; Del Giorno, L.*; Gustafson, M.A.*; Ligon, C.W.*;Kindler, K.E.*; Lindell, M.A.M.*; McFadden, E.J.*; Siekavizza-Robles, C.*; Summers, M.R.*Importance of the C2, N7, and C8 Positions to the Mutagenic Potential of 8-Oxo-2′-deoxyguanosine with Two A Family Polymerases. Biochemistry (2011) 50, 10713-10723.

Hamm, M.L.; Parker, A.J.*; Steele, T.W.*; Carman, J.L.*; Parish, C.A. Oligonucleotide Incorporation and Base Pair Stability of 9-Deaza-2’-deoxyguanosine, an Analogue of 8-Oxo-2’-deoxyguanosine.  J. Org. Chem (2010) 75, 5661-5669.

Hamm, M.L.; Gill, T.J.*; Nicolson, S.C.*; Summers, M.R.* Substrate Specificity of Fpg (MutM) and hOGG1, Two Repair Glycosylases J. Amer. Chem. Soc. (2007) 129, 7724 - 7725.

Hamm, M.L.; Billig, K.* Oligonucleotide Incorporation and Base Pair Stability of 7-Methyl-8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine. Org. Biomol. Chem. (2006) 4, 4068-4070.

Hamm, M.L.; Rajguru, S.*; Downs, A.M.*; Cholera, R.* Base Pair Stability of 8-Chloro and 8-Iodo-2'-deoxyguanosine Opposite 2'-Deoxycytidine: Implications regarding the Bioactivity of 8-Oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine. J. Amer. Chem. Soc. (2005) 127, 12220-12221.

Hamm, M.L.; Cholera, R.*; Hoey, C.L.*; Gill, T.J.* Oligonucleotide Incorporation of 8-Thio-2'-deoxyguanosine Org. Lett. (2004) 6, 3817-3820.

Additional Publications

Alecseyev Y., Hamm, M.L., and Essigmann J.M. Aflatoxin B1 Formamidopyrimidine Adducts are Preferentially Repaired by the Nucleotide Excision Repair Pathway in vivo.  Carcinogenesis (2004) 25, 1045-1051.

Smela, M.E., Hamm, M.L., Henderson, P.T., Harris, C.M., Harris, T.M., and Essigmann, J.M. The Aflatoxin B1 Formamidopyrimidine Adduct Plays a Major Role in Causing the Types of Mutations Observed in Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Proc. Natl. Acacd. Sci. USA (2002) 99, 6655-6660.

Ph.D., University of Chicago
Contact Information
D-302 Gottwald Center for the Sciences
(804) 287-6327
(804) 287-1897 (Fax)
Areas of Expertise
Organic and Biochemistry