Dr. Craig N. Streu
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry

Photo of Dr. Craig N. Streu

The Streu Research Group

Departments: Chemistry and Biochemistry
Office: Goodpaster Hall 229
Email: cnstreu@smcm.edu
Phone: (240) 895-2179


NIH Posdoctoral Fellow University of Pennsylvania Medical School, 2011.
Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, 2009.
B.A. (Honors) in Chemistry from Albion College, 2004.

Courses Taught:

  • Biochemistry I Lecture and Lab
  • Biochemistry II Lecture and Lab
  • Organic Chemistry I Lab
  • General Chemistry II

Research/Professional Interests

My research focuses broadly on chemical methods for studying biological systems.  This includes methods for labeling biomolecules, in vitro evolution of biomolecules, and drug design.  There are several projects taking place concurrently in my research laboratory.

1.    Design of quinone reductase 2 (QR2) inhibitors-Quinone reductase 2 is a protein that has been implicated in free radical production and neurodegenerative diseases.  My lab is designing and synthesizing molecules to inhibit this enzyme.

2. Transition metal analogs of complex natural products-Many of the medications we use to treat everything from infections to cancer are compounds that are synthesized naturally in our environment.  Unfortunately, some of these compounds are not made in great enough abundance for wide distribution and so chemists must synthesize them.  My laboratory is using the unique structural properties of transition metals to accelerate this process.

3.    Evolution of RNA-My group is using a technique called SELEX to evolve RNA molecules that will bind to a variety of targets of our choosing.  We plan to use these RNA molecules to study biochemical signaling and create novel inducible protein expression systems.

4.    Inhibitors of microbial secreted enzymes-My lab has an ongoing collaboration developing inhibitors from proteins excreted from pathogenic microorganisms.  Inhibitors of this sort may have implications in a number of fields from bacterial infections to food safety.

5. Transition metal catalysis in living systems-My lab collaborates closely with Dr. Mertz on several projects that involve the application of transition metal catalysis in biological systems.

Students in my research lab can develop a broad array of skills from molecular biology and cloning, to chemical synthesis and drug design.


American Chemical Society-Petroleum Research Fund, 2014

Royal Society of Chemistry Research Fund, 2012

Selected Publications

  • Sasmal, P. K., Streu, C. N., Meggers, E.  “Metal Complex Catalysis in Living Biological Systems,” ChemComm., 2013, 49, 1581-1587.

  • Sasmal, P. K., Carregal-Romero, S., Han, A. A., Streu, C. N., Lin, Z., Namikawa, K., Elliott, S. L., Köster, R. W., Parak, W. J., Meggers, E.  “Catalytic Azide Reduction in Biological Environments,” ChemBioChem, 2012, 13 (8), 1116-1120.

  • Sun, J., Vranic, J., Composto, R. J., Streu, C., Billings, P. C., Bennett, J. S., Weisel, J. W., Litvinov, R. I. “Bimolecular integrin-ligand interactions quantified using peptide-functionalized dextran-coated microparticles,” Integrative Biology, 2012, 4 (1), 84-92.

  • Shandler, S. J., Korendovych, I. V., Moore, D. T., Smith-Dupont, K. B., Streu, C. N., Litvinov, R. I., Billings P. C., Gai, F., Bennett, J. S., DeGrado, W. F. “Computational design of a b-peptide that targets transmembrane helicies,” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133, 12378-12381.

  • Streu, C., Feng, L., Carroll, P. J., Maksimoska, J., Marmorstein, R., Meggers, E. “P-donor Ligand Containing Ruthenium Half-Sandwich Complexes as Protein Kinase Inhibitors,” Inorg. Chim. Acta, 2011, 377, 34-41.

  • Zhu, H., Metcalf, D. G., Streu, C. N., Billings, P. C., DeGrado, W. F., Bennett J. S. “Specificity for Homooligomer versus Heterooligomer Formation in Integrin Transmembrane Helices,” J. Mol. Bio., 2010, 401, 882-891.

  • Xie, P., Streu, C., Qin, J., Bregman, H., Pagano, N., Meggers, E., Marmorstein, R. “Crystal structure of BRAF in complex with an organoruthenium inhibitor reveals a mechanism for inhibition of an active form of BRAF kinase,” Biochemistry, 2009, 48, 5187-5198.

  • Atilla-Gokcumen, G. E., Pagano, N., Streu, C., Meggers, E. "Extremely tight binding of a ruthenium complex to glycogen synthase kinase 3," ChemBioChem. 2008, 9, 2933-2936.

  • Streu, C., Carroll, P. J., Kohli, R. K., Meggers, E.  “Synthesis of cyclopentadienyl ruthenium complexes bearing pendant chelating picolinates through an electrophilic precursor,”  J. Organomet. Chem. 2008, 693, 551-556.

  • Streu, C., Meggers, E.  “Ruthenium-induced allyl carbamate cleavage in living cells,” Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2006, 45, 5645-8.