Charles E. Dann III was awarded a B.S., ACS, degree in chemistry from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1996. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Biophysics & Biophysical Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, while working in the laboratory of Daniel Leahy. In 2002, Dr. Dann was invited to continue his studies at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas as a postdoctoral fellow under the supervision of Nobel Laureate Johann Deisenhofer. After a year in this position, he received the Sara and Frank McKnight Fellowship to work as an independent fellow. Dr. Dann held this position until joining the faculty in the Department of Chemistry at Indiana University in August 2008.
The research in Dr. Dann's laboratory focuses on determining atomic resolution structures of RNA and protein macromolecules by X-ray crystallography. An emphasis is placed on cis-acting regulatory RNAs termed riboswitches and the gene products (proteins) that they regulate. In addition to structural biology, we are interested in both manipulating riboswitches to generate engineered molecular sensors (on/off switches) and testing riboswitches as targets in small molecule screens to discover new antibiotics. Projects in the laboratory afford the researcher opportunities to learn computational modeling, structural and biophysical techniques as well as general biochemistry and molecular biology in both RNA and protein systems.