Picture of David Palmer

David Palmer B.Sc., Ph.D.

Thorvaldson Professor of Chemistry

Faculty Member in Chemistry

Thorvaldson 259

Research Area(s)

  • Enzyme stucture-function relationships
  • Bio-organic chemistry of inositols and carbohydrates
  • Antibiotic biosynthesis
  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Biocatalysis

About me

I teach and carry out research in organic, biological and medicinal chemistry. I enjoy working with a diverse group of people from around the world.


Biocatalysis Enzymology Inhibitor design and synthesis Medicinal chemistry Organic Chemistry and Natural Products Organic chemistry Reaction mechanisms biological chemistry

Enzymes are proteins that catalyze chemical reactions. Every living creature relies on them. They are large, complex molecules capable of amazing and intricate chemistry, and we are trying to understand how they do what they do. We use a variety of techniques to do so, including synthetic chemistry, molecular biology, and reaction kinetics (measuring reaction rates).

Some enzymes are common to all life, but others are not; some are found only in disease-causing organisms such as bacteria. We can use this fact to design and synthesize enzyme inhibitors: molecules that stop an enzyme from functioning. If we can interfere with a bacteria's normal life process without interfering with other processes, then we can stop their growth specifically. This is a branch of medicinal chemistry.

 We also use enzymes as catalysts to carry out preparative organic chemistry, which is known as chemoenzymatic synthesis or biocatalysis.

Learn more at https://research-groups.usask.ca/palmer-lab/index.php.