Bennett Department of Chemistry
Blake Mertz, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Bennett Department of Chemistry. He obtained a B.S. in chemistry from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa and earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Iowa State University. After doing his doctoral research on the utilization of carbohydrate-active enzymes in refinement of cellulosic ethanol, Mertz moved on to biophysical studies of the structure-function relationship of G protein-coupled receptors and the effect of cell membrane composition on GPCR activation. Since arriving at West Virginia University in 2012, Mertz established a computational program focused on using molecular dynamics simulations to model membrane protein-cell membrane interactions. His main areas of interest are in cell-penetrating peptides and biologically-based solar energy harvesting.
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