Robert Clark, Ph.D.

Robert Clark

Robert W. Clark (he/him) Associate Professor of Chemistry, MSEED Program Director 219.464.5757 Center for the Sciences 116


Bioinorganic Chemistry, biochemistry, chemical education


Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry – University of Wisconsin-Madison (2005)
M.S. – University of Wisconsin-Madison (2001)
B.S. – Central Michigan University (1999)

Research Interests

Bioinorganic chemistry: Spectroscopic and biochemical studies to investigate how amino-acid identity and protein structure affect the ligand-discrimination mechanism utilized by gas-sensing heme proteins. Synthesis and characterization of metalloporphyrins with a series of amine ligands, with the goal of studying how the different amine ligands affect the metal’s binding affinity toward gas molecules. Joint project with Professor Engerer.

Chemical education: Development and analysis of innovative teaching and assessment practices to improve student learning and retention in STEM disciplines.


Journal Articles:
  • Lee, A. J., Clark, R. W., Youn, H., Ponter, S., Burstyn, J. N. (2009) “Guanidine Hydrochloride-Induced Unfolding of the Three Heme Coordination States of the CO-Sensing Transcription Factor, CooA,” Biochemistry 48, 6585-6597.
  • Bodsgard, B. R., Clark, R. W., Ehrbar, A. W., Burstyn, J. N. (2009) “Silica-bound copper(II)triazacyclononane as a phosphate esterase: effect of linker length and surface hydrophobicity,” Dalton Trans., 2365-2373.
  • Clark, R. W., Youn, H., Lee, A. J., Roberts, G. P., and Burstyn, J. N. (2007) “DNA Binding by an Imidazole-Sensing CooA Variant is Dependent on the Heme Redox State.” J. Biol. Inorg. Chem. 12, 139-146.
  • Pinkert, J. C., Clark, R. W., and Burstyn, J. N. (2006) “Modeling Proline Ligation in the HemeDependent CO Sensor, CooA, Using Small-Molecule Analogs.” J. Biol. Inorg. Chem. 11, 642-650.
  • Clark, R. W., Lanz, N. D., Lee, A. J., Kerby, R. L., Roberts, G. P., and Burstyn, J. N. (2006) “Unexpected NO-dependent DNA binding by the CooA homolog,” Carboxydothermus hydrogenoformans. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 103, 891-896.
  • Clark, R. W., Youn, H., Parks, R. B., Cherney, M. M., Roberts, G. P., and Burstyn, J. N. (2004) “Investigation of the Role of the N-Terminal Proline, the Distal Heme Ligand in the CO Sensor CooA,” Biochemistry 43, 14149-14160.
  • Pazicni, S., Lukat-Rodgers, G. S., Oliveriusová, J., Rees, K. A., Parks, R. B., Clark, R. W., Rodgers, K. R., Kraus, J. P., and Burstyn, J. N. (2004) “The Redox Behavior of the Heme in Cystathionine β-synthase is Sensitive to pH,” Biochemistry 43, 14684-14695.
  • Stahl, S. S., Thorman, J. L., de Silva, N., Guzei, I. A., and Clark, R. W. (2003) “‘Inverse-Electron-Demand’ Ligand Substitution in Palladium(0)-Olefin Complexes,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 125, 12-13.
  • Guzei, I. A., Clark, R. W., Burke, S. D., and Lambert, W. T. (2003) “A Comparison of the Ring Conformational Properties of Two Derivatives Prepared from the Same Diene Diacetate Precursor,” Acta Crystallogr., Sect. C: Cryst. Struct. Commun. C59, o721-o723.
  • Clark, R. W., Guzei, I. A., Jin, W. C., and Landis, C. R. (2003) “A 1,2,4-Diazaphospholane Complex of Rhodium,” Acta Crystallogr., Sect. C: Cryst. Struct. Commun. C59, m144-m145.


  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Council on Undergraduate Research
  • Indiana Academy of Sciences
  • Midwestern Association of Chemistry Teachers in Liberal Arts Colleges


  • Faculty Advisor of the Year, Student Activities Awards Banquet (2014)
  • “Excellence in Teaching at Valparaiso University” Award by the Valparaiso University fraternity and sorority community (2012)


  • National Science Foundation: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program Grant: “Mathematics and Science Education Enrollment and Development (MSEED) Program;” $500,000, 2010.