Patricia L. Clark

Patricia Clark

Chemistry & Biochemistry

Patricia L. Clark is the O’Hara Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, and a Concurrent Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.  She often teaches Principles of Biochemistry (CHEM40420).  Most students in this large (70-160 students/section) non-major undergraduate survey course plan to attend professional (medical, etc.) school, although some plan to attend graduate school or move directly into the workforce after graduation.  The large class size and diversity of majors, backgrounds and interests amongst CHEM40420 students creates unique instructional challenges, as does the need to cover a large range of material in sufficient depth. Clark received the Joyce Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2013.
Professor Clark is committed to increasing public understanding of what scientists do, how the do it, and why it is important – and likewise training students and colleagues to be more effective communicators.  Some of her public lectures are viewable online, including a 20 minute Town Talk to the citizens of Telluride, Colorado, on our unwinnable ‘war’ against bacteria: (starts at 22:46  Likewise, Clark’s 2013 Kavli Frontiers of Science lecture on protein folding, given to an extremely broad audience of scientists, engineers and artists, can be viewed at
Clark's laboratory uses a broad range of biophysical, genetic and other tools to investigate the effects of protein folding from one end to the other (such as during protein synthesis), versus all-at-once (as in the test tube).  As the leader of an NIH-funded research network comprised of eight laboratories, she coordinates a multi-disciplinary investigation into the effects of protein synthesis rate on the success or failure of protein folding mechanisms.  She has received multiple awards throughout her career, including a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, a Career Development Award from the American Heart Association,  and the Michael & Kate Bárány Award from the Biophysical Society.
Contact Information
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
251 Nieuwland Science Hall
P: (574) 631-7058