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Micheal Zehfus, Ph.D.




  • Professor, Chemistry
  • Black Hills State University


  • Ph.D., Biochemistry/Biophysics, Oregon State University
  • M.S., Biochemistry, University of Chicago
  • A.B., Chemistry, Ripon College, Ripon, Wis.

Current Research:

Biopolymer (DNA/Protein) Structure. I have had Ph.D. training in many classical biophysical techniques including analytical centrifugation, circular dichroism, low-angle X-ray scattering, electron microscopy and viscosity. Postdoctoral training in protein structure modeling and protein/DNA structure determination via NMR.

While my first love is protein/DNA structure, I have applied my biochemistry background to solving practical problems here at BHSU. My SD BRIN research has focused on thiamine metabolism, with part of my work going to measure thiamine, thiamine monophosphate and thiamine pyrophosphate in different fish tissues. A second part of my work is trying to develop an assay for thiaminase, an enzyme that destroys thiamine. Other projects have included measuring the reduction of acetylene to ethylene on grass rhizosheaths and implementing a spectroscopic assay for ?- and ?- acids in hops for use in student labs and as a resource for local hops growers and micro-breweries.