SUU Blog | T-Bird Nation

Meet Our Professors: Bruce Howard, Physical Science

Dr. Bruce Howard has spent much of his time at SUU, both as a student and a professor. As a student, he studied living creatures and how they work at a molecular level. Now as a professor of chemistry, along with his students, he has been able to solve the atomic structure of a protein that nobody had ever seen before.

 

Title
Professor of Chemistry

Department
Physical Science

How long have you been working at SUU?  
14 years

Where did you grow up?  
Salt Lake Valley

Where did you attend college and what did you study?
-Bachelor’s in Biology and Chemistry at Southern Utah University
-Doctorate in Molecular Biology, Chemistry, and X-ray crystallography at the University of Oregon

What do you feel is the most interesting thing about your field?
Gaining an understanding of how biomolecules like proteins are able to carry out their functions within an organism. Seeing how molecular machines are constructed and how they function to keep cells alive and allow them to communicate and adapt.

Favorite thing to teach about your subject?
How enzymes and molecular motors and switches work.

Why do you love your field?
Because it really provides a deeper appreciation of what living creatures are, and how life on Earth works. And it applies to many other important fields such as nutrition, physiology, disease, pharmaceuticals, medicine, agriculture, biofuels, and renewable energy.

Bruce-Howard-1.gifWhat has been your proudest moment working at SUU?
Working with excellent students to solve the atomic structure of a protein that no one had ever seen before. When we first calculated the 3-D map of electron density, and could see how the atoms were connected within the protein, it was an awesome feeling. The feeling of victory that comes after a long and arduous battle.

What is one thing you wish to tell every student in your class?
Follow your passions, and pursue what you find interesting and what excites you!

What do you love about SUU?  
Fantastic and enthusiastic students. Friendly and helpful colleagues. And an institution with a compelling history and bright future, in an incredibly beautiful part of the country.

 

You can find more information on Dr. Howard and his studies here