Aaron Leconte
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Email: aleconte@kecksci.claremont.edu
Office: Keck Science 214
Phone: 909-607-9353
Office Hours: M (9:30-11), Th (9:30-11:30), by appointment
Web Site: http://faculty.kecksci.claremont.edu/aleconte/
Educational Background:
B.A., Chemistry, Carleton College (2000-2004) / Research advisor: David G. Alberg
Ph.D., Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute (2004-2009) / Research advisor: Floyd E. Romesberg
NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University (2009-2012) / Research advisor: David R. Liu

Courses Taught:
CHEM14L: Basic Principles of Chemistry (Lab only; F12, F13)
CHEM29L: Accelerated General Chemistry (Lecture only; F14)
CHEM40L: Introduction to Biological Chemistry (F15, F16)
CHEM127L: Advanced Laboratory II (S13, S14, S15, S17)
BIO/CHEM177: Biochemistry (F12, F13, F14, S15)
CHEM180: Applied Biomolecular Evolution (S14)

Research Interests:
Protein engineering. Biotechnology. Biomolecular evolution. DNA polymerases. Bioluminescent imaging.
My group is interested in using biochemistry to understand the molecular basis of the evolution of new function in proteins. In doing so, we hope to better understand evolution and how to apply it more effectively to the creation of useful protein-based medicines and materials. Students interested in research opportunities should contact Aaron directly (using the email address above).

Selected Publications List: Click to open new window.
1.   H.J. Schultz, A. M. Gochi, H. E. Chia, A. L. Ogonowsky, S. Chiang, N. Filipovic, A. G. Weiden, E. E. Hadley, S. E. Gabriel and A. M. Leconte . (2015). Taq DNA polymerase mutants and 2’ modified sugar recognition. Biochemistry   54: 5999. Abstract Article
2.   A. M. Leconte, B. C. Dickinson, D. D. Yang, I. A. Chen, B. Allen, D. R. Liu . (2013). A Population-Based Experimental Model for Protein Evolution: Effects of Mutation Rate and Selection Stringency on Evolutionary Outcomes. Biochemistry   52: 1490. Abstract Article
3.   B. C. Dickinson , A. M. Leconte, B. Allen, K. M. Esvelt, and D. R. Liu . (2013). Experimental interrogation of the path dependence and stochasticity of protein evolution using phage-assisted continuous evolution. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.   110: 9007. Abstract Article
4.   M. H. Duyzend, C. T. Clark, S. L. Simmons, W. B. Johnson, A. M. Larson, A. M. Leconte, A. W. Willis, M. Ginder-Vogel, A. K. Wilhelm, J. A. Czechowicz, and D. G. Alberg . (2012). Synthesis and evaluation of substrate analogue inhibitors of trypanothione reductase. J. Enzyme Inhib. Med. Chem.   27: 784. Abstract Article
5.   C. E. Dumelin, Y. Chen; A. M. Leconte, Y. G. Chen, D. R. Liu . (2012). Discovery and Biological Characterization of Geranylated RNA in Bacteria. Nature Chemical Biology   8: 913. Abstract Article
6.   A. M. Leconte, M. P. Patel, L. E. Sass, P. McInerney, M. Jarosz, L. Kung, J. L. Bowers, P. R. Buzby, J. W. Efcavitch, and F. E. Romesberg . (2010). Directed evolution of DNA polymerases for next generation sequencing. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.   34: 5921.
7.   A. M. Leconte and F. E. Romesberg . (2009). Development of Unnatural DNA Base Pair Systems. (invited book chapter) Protein Engineering  Springer : .
8.   Y. Hari, G. T. Hwang, A. M. Leconte, N. Joubert, M. Hocek and F. E. Romesberg . (2008). Optimization of the pyridyl nucleobase scaffold for polymerase recognition and unnatural base pair replication. Chembiochem   9: 2796.
9.   A. M. Leconte, G. T. Hwang, S. Matsuda, P. Capek, Y. Hari, and F. E. Romesberg . (2008). Discovery, Characterization, and Optimization of an Unnatural Base Pair for Expansion of the Genetic Alphabet. J. Am. Chem. Soc.   130: 2336.
10.   G. T. Hwang, A. M. Leconte, and F. E. Romesberg . (2007). Polymerase Recognition and Stability of Fluoro-Substituted Pyridone Nucleobase Analogues. Chembiochem   8: 1606.
11.   S. Matsuda, A. M. Leconte, and F. E. Romesberg . (2007). Minor Groove Hydrogen Bonds and the Replication of Unnatural Base Pairs. J. Am. Chem. Soc.   129: 5551.
12.   A. M. Leconte and F. E. Romesberg . (2006). Chemical biology: a broader take on DNA. (invited commentary) Nature   444: 553.
13.   A. M. Leconte and F. E. Romesberg . (2006). Amplify this! DNA and RNA get a third base pair. (invited commentary) Nature Methods   3: 667.
14.   A. M. Leconte, S. Matsuda, G. Hwang, and F. E. Romesberg . (2006). Efforts toward Expansion of the Genetic Alphabet: Methyl Pyridone and Pyridone Nucleobases. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.   45: 4326.
15.   Y. Kim, A. M. Leconte, Y. Hari, and F. E. Romesberg . (2006). Stability and Polymerase Recognition of Pyridine Nucleobase Analogs. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.   45: 7809.
16.   A. M. Leconte, S. Matsuda, and F. E. Romesberg . (2006). An Efficiently Extended Class of Unnatural Base Pairs. J. Am. Chem. Soc.   128: 6780.
17.   A. M. Leconte, L. Chen, and F. E. Romesberg . (2005). Polymerase Evolution: Efforts toward Expansion of the Genetic Code. J. Am. Chem. Soc.   127: 12470.