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Elwood Mullins


 Elwood Mullins


Research Associate
(Graduate Student at WUSTL)


Photo: The finest collection of ZooPal plates and cups east or west of the Mississippi River.


I am originally from Kentucky. I received a B.S. from Western Kentucky University where my research focused on determining the mechanism by which directed ortho-metalations proceed in hydrocarbon solvents. I chose Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) for my graduate studies and elected to work for Dr. Joe Kappock, studying the metabolism of and acid-stable enzymes from Acetobacter aceti. When Joe moved to Purdue University in 2008 (the end of my third year of graduate study), I followed, becoming a research associate in the Department of Biochemistry, but maintained my doctoral candidacy at WUSTL. Moving allowed me to continue my graduate research and continue working toward my doctorate with very little interruption. While at WUSTL I discovered that the A. aceti citric acid cycle is adapted for acetic acid metabolism, lacking succinyl-CoA synthetase, but possessing succinyl-CoA:acetate CoAtransferase (SCACT). Since coming to Purdue, I have continued to study A. aceti metabolism, finding a correlation between SCACT levels and diauxic growth phases in yeast-extract-peptonedextrose- ethanol medium. I have also solved a high resolution crystal structure of SCACT, providing insights into factors determining substrate specificity, mechanism, and stability at low pH.

Doctoral candidate, Chemistry, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO


A.M., Chemistry, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO

B.S., Chemistry (ACS Certified) and Biochemistry, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY

Research Experience
Graduate Research. Advisor: Prof. T. Joesph Kappock. Characterization of an acetic acid detoxification pathway and associated enzymes from the acidophile Acetobacter aceti.

Undergraduate Research. Advisor: Prof. Robert W. Holman. Mechanistic investigations of directed ortho-metalations in hydrocarbon solvents.

Teaching Experience
Fall 2006
Chemistry 111, General Chemistry I (Recitation), Teaching Assistant, 110 students [WUSTL]


Spring 2006
Chemistry 152, General Chemistry Laboratory II, Teaching Assistant, 20 students [WUSTL]

Fall 2005
Chemistry 151, General Chemistry Laboratory I, Teaching Assistant, 38 students [WUSTL]

Professional Memberships
American Chemical Society

American Society for Microbiology

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Mullins, E. A., Francois, J. A., and Kappock, T. J. (2008) A specialized citric acid cycle requiring succinyl-coenzyme A (CoA):acetate CoA-transferase (AarC) confers acetic acid resistance on the acidophile Acetobacter aceti. J. Bacteriol. 190, 4933-4940.

Slocum, D. W., Dumbris, S., Brown, S., Jackson, G., LaMastus, R., Mullins, E., Ray, J., Shelton, P., Walstrom, A., Wilcox, J. M., and Holman, R. W. (2003) Metalation in hydrocarbon solvents: the mechanistic aspects of substrate-promoted ortho-metalations. Tetrahedron 59, 8275-8284.