University of Calgary

Robert Allan Edwards

  • Senior Instructor
  • Biochemistry

Currently Teaching

Research Interests

My research interests encompass several diverse areas including biochemical education, the binding of biomolecules to biochar, and the UV light dependent reactions of several biomolecules.   
My teaching experience and extensive feedback from students has allowed me to develop and publish explanations of how physical principles apply to biochemistry.  Currently, I am also involved in collaboration with other biochemistry instructors at the U of C to develop undergraduate laboratory experiences for general biochemistry students involving the interaction between artificial sweeteners and probiotic bacteria.
Biochar is a mixture of charcoal, ash, and unburned bio-polymers which is obtained by the partial combustion of biological mater such as wood or crop residues.  I am interested in properties of biochar and how they influence its ability to bind a variety of molecules especially in the soil.
Several biologically relevant chromophores (e.g. the amino acid tryptophan) become quite reactive when it is excited by UV light.  This research in collaboration with Dr. Raymond J Turner has lead to a method of visualizing proteins on polyacrylamide gels that is much more rapid than the standard methods.  Currently, I am also investigating the light driven reactions of antimalarial compounds.  A related side project involves bioinformatics analysis of the chloroquine resistance transporter protein.     

Selected Publications

  • S. Schreiber-Gosche and R. A. Edwards, 2009. Thermodynamics of Oligonucleotide Duplex Melting. J. Chem. Ed., 86. 644-650.
  • C. L. Ladner, R. J. Turner, and R. A. Edwards, 2007. Development of indole chemistry to label tryptophan residues in protein for determination of tryptophan surface accessibility. Prot. Sci. 16, 1204-1213.
  • Ladner, C.L. R. A.Edwards, D. C. Schriemer, and R. J. Turner, 2006. Identification of Trichloroethanol Visualized Proteins from Two-Dimensional Polyacrylamide Gels by Mass Spectrometry. Anal. Cchem. 326, 2388-2396.
  • C. L. Ladner, J. Yang, R. J. Turner and R. A. Edwards, 2004. Visible fluorescent detection of proteins in polyacrylamide gels without staining. Anal. Biochemistry. 326: 13-20. 
  • R.E. Huber, S. Hakda, C. Cheng, C.G. Cupples, and R. A. Edwards, 2003. “Trp-999 of beta-Galactosidase (Esherichia coli) Is a Key Residue for Binding, Catalysis and Synthesis of Allolactose, the Natural Lac Operon Inducer”. Biochemistry. 42: 1796-180. 
  • R. A. Edwards, G. Jickling and R.J. Turner, 2002. The light induced reactions of tryptophan with halocompounds. Photochem. Photobiol. 75: 362-368. 
  • D. Kazmin, R.A. Edwards, R.J. Turner, E. Larson and J. Starkey, 2002. Visualization of protein in acrylamide gels using ultraviolet illumination. Anal. Biochem. 301: 91-96. 
  • R.A. Edwards, 2001. The free energies of metabolic reactions (delta G’) are not positive. Biochem. and Mol. Biol.Education. 29: 101-103. 
  • R.A. Edwards, and R.J. Turner, 1998. Alpha-periodicity analysis of small multidrug resistance (SMR) efflux transporters. Biochem. Cell. Biol. 76: 791-797. 
  • R.A. Edwards, M.P. Walsh, C. Sutherland and H.J. Vogel, 1998. Activation of calcineurin and smooth muscle myosin light chain kinase by Met to Leu mutants of calmodulin. Biochem. J. 331: 149-152.
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