Department of Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering

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Sr. M. Lucy Gantt

Sister M. Lucy Gantt, FSGM

Adjunct Professor of Chemistry

(740) 284-5280
[email protected]

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Sister M. Lucy Gantt is a Sister of Saint Francis of the Martyr Saint George (FSGM). In a progression that spanned from 1996-2012, Sister M. Lucy earned her bachelor of science in biochemistry from Washington State University, followed by her masters and PhD from the University of Michigan. After completing two years of post-doctoral studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Sister M. Lucy entered the convent. In August of 2012 she made her first profession of vows and joined the chemistry faculty at Franciscan University.

  • 2006, Ph.D., Chemistry (concentration in Chemical Biology); University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • 2002, M.S.Chemistry; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • 2000, B.S. (with honors) summa cum laude Biochemistry; Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Teaching Experience

  • Aug. 2012 – present: Part-time Assistant Professor; Pre-Nursing Chemistry class and lab, Cell Physiology lab, Survey of Physical Science
    Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Jun. 21-24 2016: Short Course Master Teacher; Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh Summer Institute “Integrating Science, Math, and Faith in the Classroom”
  • Aug. 2003 – Dec. 2003, Aug. 2002 – Dec. 2002: Graduate Student Instructor; Biochemistry discussion section, University of Michigan
  • Aug. 1999 – Dec. 1999: Teaching Assistant; Organic Chemistry lab, Washington State University
  • Jan. 1998 – May 1999: Teaching Assistant; General Chemistry lab and discussion section, Washington State University

Research Experience

  • June 2007 – May 2009: Mechanistic studies of human aromatase
    Postdoctoral Research: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    • Demonstrated by spectroscopic methods that the cytochrome P450 aromatase has a stabilized peroxo-ferric intermediate, which may used as a nucleophile in the reaction mechanism

    Advisor: Prof. Stephen G. Sligar, Ph.D.

  • July 2001 – June 2007: Catalytic mechanism and metal-dependence of human histone deacetylase 8 (HDAC8)
    Doctoral Dissertation: University of Michigan

    • Initiated studies on HDAC8 and demonstrated that this protein is a mononuclear metalloenzyme that has higher catalytic activity with Fe(II) than Zn(II)
    • Showed that HDAC8 uses a single general acid/base catalyst (His143), with His142 serving as an electrostatic catalyst
    • Demonstrated HDAC8 activation and inhibition by monovalent cations

    Advisor: Prof. Carol A. Fierke, Ph.D.

  • May 2001 – July 2001: Computational study of inhibitor binding
    Industrial Research Rotation: Pfizer, Ann Arbor, MI

    • Performed proof of principal algorithm testing to predict the binding constants for reversible enzyme inhibitors
  • Dec. 2000 – May 2001: Ribosomal switch helix studies using a fluorescently-labeled RNA construct
    Research Rotation: University of Michigan (Prof. Nils. G. Walter, Ph.D.)

    • Demonstrated that an isolated ribosomal RNA construct can alternate between two base pairings, as indicated by changes in fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) efficiency and UV cross-linking
  • Sept. 2000 – Dec 2000: Investigation of farnesyltransferase catalytic mechanism
    Research Rotation: University of Michigan (Prof. Carol A. Fierke, Ph.D.)

    • Using a farnesyldiphosphate substrate analog, tested the importance for transition state stabilization of charge delocalization within the diphosphate moiety


  • NSF Predoctoral Fellowship
  • Regents’ Fellowship, University of Michigan
  • NIH Chemistry Biology Interface Predoctoral Training Program
  • Outstanding First Year Graduate Student, Department of Chemistry


  • Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship
  • College of Sciences Distinguished Undergraduate
  • Outstanding Senior in Chemistry or Biochemistry
Select Publications
  • S. M. Gantt, C. Decroos, M. S. Lee, L. E. Gullett, C. M. Bowman, D. W. Christianson, C. A. Fierke “General base-general acid catalysis in human histone deacetylase 8.” Biochemistry. 2016, 55, 820-32.
  • S. L. Gantt, C. G. Joseph and C. A. Fierke “Activation and inhibition of histone deacetylase 8 by monovalent cations.” J. Biol. Chem. 2010, 285, 6036-43
  • S. L. Gantt, I. G. Denisov, Y. V. Grinkova and S. G. Sligar “The critical iron-oxygen intermediate in human aromatase.” Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 2009, 387, 169-73

Full List

  • D. P. Dowling, S. L. Gantt, S. G. Gattis, C. A. Fierke and D. W. Christianson “Structural studies of human histone deacetylase 8 and its site-specific variants complexed with substrate and inhibitors.” Biochemistry. 2008, 47, 13554-63
  • S. L. Gantt, S. G. Gattis and C. A. Fierke “The catalytic activity and inhibition of human histone deacetylase 8 is dependent on the identity of the active site metal ion” Biochemistry. 2006, 45, 6170-8
  • M. C. Pirrung, L. N. Tumey, C. R. Raetz, J. E. Jackman, K. Snehalatha, A. L. McClerren, C. A. Fierke, S. L. Gantt and K. M. Rusche “Inhibition of the antibacterial target UDP-(3-O-acyl)-N-acetylglucosamine deacetylase (LpxC): isoxazoline zinc amidase inhibitors bearing diverse metal binding groups” J. Med. Chem. 2002, 45, 4359-70
  • S. L. Gantt, N. B. Valentine, A. J. Saenz, M. T. Kingsley and K. L. Wahl “Use of an internal control for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis of bacteria” J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. 1999, 10, 1131-7
  • A. J. Saenz, C. E. Petersen, N. B. Valentine, S. L. Gantt, K. H. Jarman, M. T. Kingsley, K. L. Wahl “Reproducibility of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry for replicate bacterial culture analysis.” Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 1999, 13, 1580-5
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