Dr. Pamela S. Mertz
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Photo of Dr. Pamela S. Mertz

Departments: Chemistry and Biochemistry
Office: Goodpaster Hall 208
Email: psmertz@smcm.edu
Phone: (240) 895-4495


Camille and Henry Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth (1998-2000).
Ph.D., Mayo Graduate School (1999).
B.A., Juniata College (1992).
Junior Year Abroad, Leeds University, Leeds, England (1990-1991).

Courses Taught:

  • Biochemistry I Lecture and Lab
  • Biochemistry II Lecture and Lab
  • General Chemistry I
  • General Chemistry II
  • General Chemistry II Lab
  • Topics in Chemistry, Nutrition
  • Introduction to Neuroscience

Research/Professional Interests

My current research focuses on a family of proteins, called the PAT family, which associates with lipid droplets inside cells. We are interested in the functions of the different family members and their roles in lipid metabolism and storage.  I am also collaborating with Dr. Streu on projects that involve the application of transition metal catalysts in biological systems.


Camille and Henry Dreyfus Supplemental Award, 2001
Royal Society of Chemistry Research Fund, 2012

Selected Publications

  • Sztalryd, C., Bell, M., Lu, X., Mertz, P., Hickenbottom, S., Chang, B.-H., Chan, L, Kimmel, A.R., and Londos, C. (2006) "Functional Compensation for Adipose Differentiation-Related Protein (ADFP) by TIP47 in an ADFP null Embryonic Cell Line" J. Biol. Chem.  281:34341-34348.

  • Mertz, P.S, Magra, A. L., Torday, J. S., and Londos, C. (2006) "Role of Adipose Differentiation-Related Protein in Lung Surfactant Production: A Reassessment", Journal of Lipid Research  47:2367-2373. 

  • Rusnak, F. and Mertz, P. (2000) "Calcineurin: Form and Function" Physiol. Rev., 80:1483-1521.

  • *Hoff, R. H., Mertz, P., Rusnak, F., and Hengge, A. C. (1999) "The Transition State of the Phosphoryl-Transfer Reaction Catalyzed by the Lambda Ser/Thr Protein Phosphatase," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 121:6382-6390.

  • Rusnak, F., Mertz, P., Reiter, T., and Yu, L. (1999) "Regulation of the Protein Phosphatase Calcineurin by Redox: Implications for Catalysis and Signal Transduction." In: Iron Metabolism: Inorganic Biochemistry and Regulatory Mechanisms, edited by Ferreira, G. C., Moura, J. J. G., and Franco, R. New York: Wiley-VCH, p. 275-302.

  • Rusnak, F., Yu, L., Todorovic, S., and Mertz, P. (1999) "The Interaction of Bacteriophage Lambda with Mn(II): Evidence for the Formation of a [Mn(II)]2 Cluster," Biochemistry 38:6943-6952.

  • Mertz, P., Yu, L., Sikkink, R., and Rusnak, F. (1997) "Kinetic and Spectroscopic Analyses of a Conserved Histidine in the Metallophosphatases Calcineurin and Lambda Protein Phosphatase" J. Biol. Chem. 272:21296-21302.

  • Rusnak, F., Yu, L., and Mertz, P. (1996) "Metalloenzymes and Signal Transduction: the Protein Serine/Threonine Phosphatases, a Novel Class of Binuclear Metal-Containing Enzymes" J. Biol. Inorg. Chem. 1:388-396.

  • Sikkink, R., Haddy, A., MacKelvie, S., Mertz, P., Litwiller, R., and Rusnak, F. (1995) "Calcineurin Subunit Interactions: Mapping the Calcineurin B-Binding Domain on Calcineurin A" Biochemistry 34:8348-8356.

  • Wiegand, D. A., Mertz, P. S., and Latz, B. A. (1991) "Detection of Intraoperative Laser Injury to the Facial Nerve by Electromyographic Monitoring of Facial Muscles" Laryngoscope 101:771-774.