Dr. James G. Bann, Ph.D.

Title: Associate Professor

Department: Chemistry

1. How long have you worked at Wichita State?

This is my 11th year!

2. Where did you work before you worked at Wichita State?

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Washington University in St. Louis – Research Assistant Professor.

3. Alma Mater:

Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado.

4. Research areas of interest:

Understanding protein structure and conformational changes that happen in proteins. In particular proteins that cause disease – if we can understand how they work, we can develop therapeutics to disrupt whatever they are supposed to do.

5. Classes taught:

Biochemistry (the two-semester and one semester intro class), Biochemical Evolution (with the late Niall Shanks), Advanced Biochemistry, Analytical Biochemistry, Physical Biochemistry, and the Introductory courses in chemistry (Chem 211/212).

6. What spurred the development of this technology/innovation/research?

The need for a therapeutic to treat anthrax, and the lack of an effective vaccine against anthrax. I think what people don’t know is that it is still anthrax is still a tremendous threat – countries are still developing weaponized anthrax, and if we are attacked we have no effective anti-toxin.

7. Who do you envision as potential or ideal licensees?

Pharmaceutical companies or the military.

8. What does Innovation Campus mean to you?

I think it’s potential to improve the research that’s being carried out on campus, and to provide opportunities for students to carry out new research but in a more industry-oriented setting.

9. When did you become interested in your profession?

I spent a summer between my junior-senior year at Ft. Lewis doing research at Vanderbilt University with Dr. Roger Colbran, studying a protein called calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (involved in learning and memory). That summer I worked very hard (I was usually in the lab early and worked until 3-4 am, including Saturdays and Sundays) mostly because what I was doing was just so much fun.

10. Where is your favorite place on campus?

My laboratory – great place to hang out!

11. What is the best thing about being a Shocker?

I’m a huge Shocker basketball fan (who isn’t?), and I love when the season rolls around.

12. Favorite lunch spot:

“Let em eat Brats” food truck.

13. Hobbies:

My kids – I have 6! I love cycling too.

Bann photo