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Department of Chemistry College of Natural Sciences University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus - Kai Hans Griebenow

Kai Hans Griebenow


Office: FB-215
Phone: (787) 908-6404

Ph.D. University of Duesseldorf (1992)
Postdoc, MIT, 1993-1996

Research interests
Structure-guided protein encapsulation, non-aqueous enzymology, protein formulation, protein stability, protein glycosylation, relationship between protein structural dynamics and enzyme activity, PEG modification of proteins, bio-fuel cells.

Research focus
Research in our laboratory typically involves exploration of interdisciplinary subjects involving protein biochemistry as one main aspect. Specifically, we are working on (a) improving systems for the sustained release of protein drugs from biocompatible polymer micro- and nanospheres; (b) stabilizing proteins by covalent modification with glycans and polymers for various applications (e.g., formulation, devices); (c) non-aqueous enzymology to stereoselective synthesize drug precursor molecules; (d) immobilize enzymes on nano-structured or -sized devices in biosensor and fuel-cell applications; (e) nano-particulate protein powders in delivery applications; (f) develop novel experiments to improve student learning in general chemistry laboratories; (g) computational modeling of modified proteins; (h) relationship between enzyme glycosylation, dynamics, function, and stability; (i) stabilization of proteins at interfaces (e.g., those encountered in medical devices).

Selected publications

[1] Solá RJ, Griebenow K (2008) Effects of glycosylation on the stability of protein pharmaceuticals. J. Pharm. Sci., in press.

[2] Rodriguez-Martinez JA, Sola RJ, Castillo B, Cintron-Colon HR, Rivera-Rivera I, Barletta G, Griebenow K (2008) Increased a-chymotrypsin thermodynamic stability upon covalent modification with poly(ethylene) glycol correlates with reduced structural dynamics. Botechnol. Bioeng., in press.

[3] Castillo B, Sola R, Ferrer A, Barletta G, Griebenow K (2008) Effect of PEG modification on subtilisin Carlsberg activity, enantioselectivity, and structural dynamics in 1,4-dioxane. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 99 (1):9-17.

[4] Solá RJ, Rodriguez J, Griebenow K (2007) Modulation of protein biophysical behavior by chemical glycosylation: biochemical insights and biomedical implications, Review for Cell. Mol. Life Sci., 64 (16): 2133-2152.

[5] Schweitzer-Stenner R, Measey T, Kakalis L, Jordan F, Pizzanelli S, Forte C, Griebenow K (2007) Conformations of alanine based peptides in water probed by FTIR, Raman, vibrational circular dichroism, electronic circular dichroism, and NMR spectroscopy, Biochemistry 46(6):1587-1596.

[6] Castillo B, Bansal V, Ganesan A, Halling P, Secundo F, Ferrer A, Griebenow K, Barletta G (2006) On the activity loss of hydrolases in organic solvents: II. A mechanistic study of subtilisin Carlsberg. BMC Biotechnology 6:51.

[7] Solá RJ, Griebenow K (2006) Influence of modulated structural dynamics on the kinetics of a-chymotrypsin catalysis: Insights through chemical glycosylation, molecular dynamics simulations and domain motion analysis. FEBS Journal 273(23):5303-5319.

[8] Fasoli E, Castillo B, Santos A, Silva E, Ferrer A, Rosario E, Griebenow K, Secundo F, Barletta GL (2006) Activation of subtilisin Carlsberg in organic solvents by methyl-ß-cyclodextrin: Lyoprotection versus substrate and product-complex effect, Journal of Molecular Catalysis B: Enzymatic 42:20-26.

[9] Solá RJ, Al-Azzam W, Griebenow K (2006) Engineering of protein thermodynamic stability: chemical glycosylation with monofunctionally activated glycans, Biotechnol. Bioeng. 94(6):1072-1079.

[10] Castillo B, Mendez J, Al-Azzam W, Barletta G, Griebenow K (2006) On the relationship between the activity and structure of PEG-a-chymotrypsin conjugates in organic solvents, Biotechnol. Bioeng. 94(3):565-574.

Current Graduate students

[1] Yamaris Pacheco (July 2002)
[2] Brenda Montalvo (July 2002)
[3] Betsaida Castillo (June 2003)
[4] Jose Rodriguez (August 2004)
[5] Giselle Flores (August 2006)
[6]Jessica Mendez (August 2006)
[7]Miraida Pagan (August 2006)
[8]Yoselin Cruz (August 2007)
[9] Raul Lanos (July 2008)

Graduated Ph.D. Students
Dr. Karen G. Carrasquillo (June 1997-May 2001); Harvard University, Cambridge (Postdoctoral Associate) May 2001- July 2002; EyeTech Pharmaceuticals; Dr. of Ophtomology; practicing.

Dr. Angelica M. Santos (June 1997-May 2003); Wistar Institute, Philadelphia (Postdoctoral Associate) since June 2003.

Dr. Ingrid Castellanos (July 1998-March 2004); Postdoctoral fellow and Contractual Professor at UPR since April 2004, Amgen 2005.

Dr. Caroline Perez (June 1999-April 2004); Amgen 2004.

Dr. Fatma Eker (April 2001-June 2004); currently taking care of her children

Dr. Wasfi Al-Azzam (April 2005); Bayer 2005

Dr. Ricardo Sola (July 2002 – July 2007): Postdoc in Griebenow group (2007-2008); Contr. Professor UPR-RP (2009-2009).