502 Merrill Science
PO Box: AC# 2243
Please call the college operator at 413-542-2000 or e-mail info@amherst.edu if you require contact info@amherst.edu

Patricia B. O'Hara

Amanda and Lisa Cross Professor of Chemistry

(On Leave 7/1/2014 - 6/30/2015)

Departmental affiliations:Biochemistry-Biophysics; Chemistry


Scholarly interests include fluorescence ensemble and single molecule measurements, biomolecular dynamics, and protein - small molecule interactions. My teaching interests are situated in Biophysical and General Chemistry, with some courses in general science topics sprinkled in. At the College, I have served on most committees at least once and am now Dean of New Students.

Curriculum Vitae

Patricia Bernadette O'Hara
Amanda and Lisa Cross Professor of Chemistry
Dean of New Students
Department of Chemistry, Amherst College
Amherst, Massachusetts 01002-5000
pbohara@amherst.edu    phone (413) 542-2732


1976-1981    Columbia U.     Ph.D Biophysical Chemistry    
1972-1976    Adelphi U.        B.A. Chemistry            


2010-2013       Dean of New Students

2008-2009      Senior Advisor to the Dean for Academic Life, Amherst College

1995-                 Professor of Chemistry, Amherst College, Chair (1999-2002)

2004-2005      Senior Sabbatical Fellowship, IECB, Bordeaux, France

2002-2004      Thalheimer Professorship, Amherst College

1994-1997        Bruss Reader, Amherst College

1997-1998        Visiting Scholar/Professor, UMass Amherst w. Craig Martin

1993-1994        Visiting Scientist, Boston Biomedical Research Institute

1989-1995        Associate Professor, Amherst College

1987-1988        Visiting Professor, Penn. State University

1983-1989        Assistant Professor, Amherst College

1981-1983        Postdoctoral Research, Stanford University with S.G. Boxer

1976-1983        Graduate Research at Columbia University with R.A. Bersohn

1974-1976        Undergraduate Research at Adelphi University with S.Y. Moon


ACS, AWIS, AAUP, AAAS, Biophysical Society, CRUI, Sigma Xi, Phi Beta Kappa;
Advisory Board: U.Mass HHMI Grant to Molecular Chemistry and Biology (2006-present)
Steering Committee, Preparation of Future Faculty program, UMASS, ACS (1999-2004)


Grants for Beckman, NSF, NIH, Research Corp, PRF, CRUI; Research articles for JACS, J. Chem. Ed., J. Inorg. Chem, and others; Textbooks for ACS, Nat. Com. on Sci. Ed. Standards & Assessment ; Program Reviewer:  Chem Dept: Holyoke Community College, Skidmore College


Chemistry Courses: Chemical Basis of Human Physiology, Molecular and Cellular
Biophysics, Biochemistry, General Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Organic
Chemistry Laboratory
Interdisciplinary Courses:  Genomics First Year Seminar, Medical Risk Assessment,
Women in Science, Evolution/Revolution First Year Seminar
Science Teacher Training Workshops: Interdisciplinary Course on Light, Molecular
Visualization; Revisiting the Central Dogma of Biology from the perspective of
Green Fluorescent Protein, Luminescence;
Interterm Courses: k-12 Out-Teach, Phoenix Program, Strange Americans  Summer Global Learning Course:  Zeytin at Ege de Atölye (Olives at Aegean Workshop)


Pauyo, T.,Hilinski, G. J., Chiu, P.T.,Hansen, D.E.,Choi, Y.C., Ratner, D.I., Shah-Mahoney,
N.,Southern,C.A.,O’Hara,P.B.(2006) Mol. Imm. Vol 43/7 pp 812-821
Genetic and Physical Studies of Affinity Maturation in Related Antibodies.

O’Hara, P.B., Engelson, C., and St. Peter, W. (2005) J. Chem. Educ. 82 1 (includes manuscript,
five labs) Turning on the Light: Lessons from Luminescence Also
O'Hara, P.B., Engelson, C. St. Peter, W., (2005) J. Chem. Educ. Activity:  82, p48A
 Turning on the Light

Mohan, G. S., Chiu, P.T., Southern, C.A., O’Hara, P.B., (2004) J.Phys.Chem. A 108, 7871-7877
Steady State and Multifrequency Phase Fluorometry Studies of Binding Site Flexibility in
Related Antibodies

O’Hara, P.B., Howard, M.L.1., Sanborn, J.A., (1999) J. Chem. Educ.76 p1673-1677.
GC/MS and Immunoassays of Pesticides in Drinking Water: A Project Based Approach
to Introductory Chemistry

O’Hara, P. B.  (1997) Calcium Binding Proteins, Celio editor, Oxford University Press 1996 J.
Amer. Chem. Soc, 119, p8581.

O’Hara, P.B., Rahman, M.A., Rowland, A., and Turjoman, A.J., (1995) Photochem. and
Photobio. B Biology30 p15-21.  Target Peptide Induced Changes in the Structure and Dynamics of
Calmodulin as Probed by Frequency Domain Fluorometry of Bound Tb(III)

O’Hara, P.B., Gorski, K.M., Rosen, M. (1988) Biophys. J. 53, 1007-1014
Thermal Profiles of Energy Transfer: Luminescent Probes of Protein Dynamics in
Transferrin and Calmodulin

O’Hara, P.B., Gorski, K.M. (1988) Anal. Chim. Acta. 205, 161.
Luminescent Probes of Protein Dynamics: Preliminary Results of Thermal Profiles of
Förster Energy Transfer in Proteins

O’Hara, P.B. (1987) Photochem. Photobio. 46 1067.
Invited Paper Lanthanide Ions as Luminescent Probes of Biomolecular Structure

O’Hara, P.B. and Koenig, S. (1986) Biochemistry 25, 1445.
ESR and Magnetic Relax. Studies of Gd(III) Complexes with Human Serum Transferrin

O’Hara, P.B. (1985) J. Amer. Chem Soc. 107, 4365. (H. Siegel, ed)
Review of Calcium and its Role in Biology Metal Ions in Biological Chem 17

O’Hara, P.B. and Bersohn, R. (1982) Biochemistry 21, 5269.
Resolution of the Two Metal Binding Sites of Human Serum Transferrin by Low
Temperature Excitation of Bound Eu(III)

Sommer, J.H., O'Hara, P.B., Jonah, C., Bersohn, R. (1982) Biochem. Biophys. Acta 703, 62.
Relative Reducibilities of Complexes of Fe(III), Co(III), Mn(III), and Cu(II) with
Apotransferrin Using Solvated Electrons and CO2-

O'Hara, P.B., Yeh, S.M., Meares, C.F., and Bersohn, R. (1981) Biochemistry 20, 4704.
The Intersite Distance in Transferrin as Measured by Energy Transfer From Tb(III) to
Mn(III) or Fe(III)

O'Hara, P.B. (1981) PhD Thesis, Columbia University, N.Y., N.Y.
The Binding Sites of Transferrin: Spectroscopic and Magnetic Studies of Lanthanide and
Transition Metal Complexes


O’Hara, P.B., Mabuchi, Y.,Macek, V. Grabarek, Z. to be submitted to Biophysical J.  Target
Induced Modulation of Calmodulin Structure; Resonance Energy Transfer Studies

O’Hara, P.B. and Sanborn, J.A., Pesticides in Herbal Supplements and Herbal Extracts: A
Community Based Project in Introductory Chemistry

Sengupta, D., Moore, J.S., Tew, G.N, O’Hara, P.B., Simple Method For Determining The
Conformation Of Meta Phenylene Ethynylene In Solution Using Fluorescence Anisotropy
(for submission to J. Polymer Chem A.)

Sengupta, D., Blatchly, R.A.,Tew, G.N, O’Hara, P.B., Theoretical and Spectroscopic Analysis of
ortho Phenylene Ethynylene Polymers (for submission to J. Polymer Chem A.)

Fluorescent Handbook of Fluorescence in the Biochemical and Biophysical Laboratory  (under contract to Elsevier)

Sullivan, Chantae; Briseno, Angelica; O'Hara, Patricia B.  Biophys. J. (2007) (977-Pos/B34)
Probing the Evolution of Antibody Binding Affinity with Fluorescence Spectroscopy  

O’Hara, P.B., Mohan, G.S. Pauyo, T., Dolan, B.M., Southern, C.A. (2004) Biophys. J. 84
Fluorescent Hapten Analogue Sheds Light on the Relative Affinity and Flexibility of
Antibody Binding Sites

O’Hara, P.B., Southern, C.A, Pauyo, T., Hilinski, G. (2003) Biophys. J. 83, 453A
Probing Structural Annealing in the Binding Site of Mature Antibodies by Fluorescence

O’Hara, P.B., Chiu,P.T. (2002) Biophys. J. 82 312a
Evolution of Antibody Flexibility As Probed by Multifrequency Phase Fluorometry

O’Hara, P.B., Blatchly, R.A., Eisenberg, P.L, (2001) Conf. Proc. Pathways to Change Partners
in Chime: Models of Molecular Structure

O’Hara, P.B., Smith, G.B.,  Chung, J.S. (2000) Biophys. J. 78, 297A
Evidence for T7 RNA polymerase Induced Perturbations in the Structure of Promoter
DNA from Fluorescence Energy Transfer

Johnson, C.K.  Sun, H-Y, Squire, T., Osborne, K.D, O’Hara, P.B., Xie, X.S. (2000) Biophys. J.
78, 386A
Detection of Single Molecule Binding of Calmodulin to the Plasma Membrane Calcium
ATPase and Target Peptides

O’Hara, P.B., Smith, G.B., Chang, E. (1999) Biophys. J. 76, A478
Dynamic Changes in DNA Induced by Binding of Polymerase to Fluorescently Labeled

Rotberg,A. V., O’Hara, P.B., Dosemeci, A., Albers, R.W. (1998) Biophys. J. 74, A379
Calmodulin Trapping and Autophosphorylation in Calcium/Camodulin Dependent Protein

O’Hara, P.B.,  Barczak, A. , Kim, P.,  (1997) Biophys. J. 72  A87
Characterization of Calmodulin Binding to Nitric Oxide Synthase by Fluorescence Energy

O'Hara, P.B., Rahman, M.A., Chandani, A. and Lee, M.J.,  (1995) Biophys. J. 68   A194
Fluorescence Studies of Calmodulin Complexes with Target Proteins and Peptides

O'Hara, P.B., Grabarek, Z., Mabuchi, Y., Macek, V.J., Pianka, G.A., Hallert, G.E. (1994)
Biophys. J. 66 A58.
Structure and Flexibility of Calmodulin and its Complexes with Target Proteins

O'Hara, P.B., Rahman, M.A., Rowland, A., Turjoman, A.J., 20th Int’l Conf. on Rare Earth
Metals, 9/93

O'Hara, P.B., Gorski, K. M., (1986) Fed. Proc. 45,(6) 1601.  ASBC meeting - Washington, D.C.

O'Hara, P.B., Gorski, K. M., (1987) 5th Conversation in the Discipline of Biomolecular
Stereodynamics. N.Y.