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Welcome to the Lerner Laboratory!

Our laboratory is interested in catalytic antibodies, a field that takes as its principle goal an understanding of how the binding energy of proteins can be utilized to facilitate chemical transformations. This question is similar to that asked by the mechanistic enzymologist, with the important difference that the binding energy of the immune system is programmable. Accordingly, the antibody molecule with its programmable binding energy has emerged as an important tool for chemistry, not only from a practical sense but also for an understanding of reaction mechanisms and the evolution of the catalytic activity of proteins.

A large variety of chemical reactions have been catalyzed by antibodies, ranging from simple acyl-transfer reactions to interesting concerted reactions, such as the Diels Alder cycloaddition. Recently, protein engineering techniques have been utilized to allow the incorporation of cofactors such as transition metals into antibodies. Recently, reactive immunization strategies have produced an aldolase antibody having impressive properties.

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