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HOFFMAN, DAVID W

David W Hoffman

Associate Professor
Molecular Biosciences


NMR Spectroscopy, Position-specific Isotope Analysis, Protein and RNA Structure
dhoffman@mail.utexas.edu

Phone: 512-471-7859

Office Location
NHB 4.128

Postal Address
100 E 24TH ST
AUSTIN, TX 78712

M.S., University of Massachusetts (1982)
B.S., (1979)
Ph.D., Duke University (1987)

Research Interests

Carbon isotope analsysis, NMR Spectroscopy, Protein and Nucleic Acid Structure

I am currently developing nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods for measuring the distribution of carbon stable isotopes within organic molecules. Carbon isotopes have traditionally been obtained as whole-molecule average 13C/12C ratios, usually by isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS). In contrast, our position-specific isotope analysis (PSIA) method determines 13C/12C ratios at individual carbon positions within molecules, providing additional information that is masked by the averaging process in traditional IRMS.

Ongoing work is focused on correlating carbon isotope "fingerprints” with the source and synthesis method that was used to produce organic molecules. This carbon isotope fingerprinting has applications in the geosciences (in determining the origin of organic carbon), in addition to biochemistry and chemical forensics. Manuscripts describing the new methods were recently published in Analytical Chemistry and Amino Acids, and the work is supported by the Petroleum Research Fund.

Perhaps my most important contribution to the University is in the education of our future health care professionals, scientists and science educators. I teach a variety of biochemistry courses, including fundamentals of biochemistry and metabolism, physical methods of biochemistry, and sometimes I teach a course in astrobiology.

Research Interests

Carbon isotope analsysis, NMR Spectroscopy, Protein and Nucleic Acid Structure

I am currently developing nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods for measuring the distribution of carbon stable isotopes within organic molecules. Carbon isotopes have traditionally been obtained as whole-molecule average 13C/12C ratios, usually by isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS). In contrast, our position-specific isotope analysis (PSIA) method determines 13C/12C ratios at individual carbon positions within molecules, providing additional information that is masked by the averaging process in traditional IRMS.

Ongoing work is focused on correlating carbon isotope "fingerprints” with the source and synthesis method that was used to produce organic molecules. This carbon isotope fingerprinting has applications in the geosciences (in determining the origin of organic carbon), in addition to biochemistry and chemical forensics. Manuscripts describing the new methods were recently published in Analytical Chemistry and Amino Acids, and the work is supported by the Petroleum Research Fund.

Perhaps my most important contribution to the University is in the education of our future health care professionals, scientists and science educators. I teach a variety of biochemistry courses, including fundamentals of biochemistry and metabolism, physical methods of biochemistry, and sometimes I teach a course in astrobiology.

Representative Publications


Hoffman, David W. & Rasmussen, C. (2019) Position-specific carbon stable isotope ratios by proton
NMR spectroscopy.
Analytical Chemistry, 91(24), 15661-15669.

Rasmussen, Cornelia & Hoffman, David W. (2020) Intramolecular distribution of 13C/12C isotopes in amino acids of diverse origins. Amino Acids, 52, 955-964.


Complete list at Google scholar:  Google scholar page for David Hoffman