Dr. Jeff McFarlane

Dr. Jeff McFarlane
Assistant Professor of Chemistry


  • Biochemistry
  • Enzymology
  • Structural Biology
  • Science Education


  • Ph.D., Biochemistry & Biophysics, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 2019
  • M.A., Education, Park University, Parkville, Kansas, 2003
  • B.S., Biology, Sterling College, Sterling, Kansas,1997


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About Dr. Jeff McFarlane

Dr. McFarlane is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry specializing in enzymology and structural biology, where he studies enzyme mechanisms using biophysical, analytical, and kinetic techniques. As a graduate student, Dr. McFarlane was an NIH Trainee in Chemical Biology and held an American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship. He researched the biosynthesis of opine metallophores which are small molecule metal chelators that enhance virulence in bacterial pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. At Fort Lewis College, Dr. McFarlane is continuing his study of enzymes and the interesting natural products they produce. One example project involves solving X-ray structures and performing kinetic analyses of enzymes involved in human gut microbe polyamine biosynthesis.

Before his doctoral study, Dr. McFarlane was a Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools science teacher. He formed partnerships with Prep-KC, the University of Kansas, and Kansas City, Kansas Community College to develop health science and biotechnology pathway programs serving 300 high school students annually. These curricula enabled students to cultivate the skills and experience necessary to find success in college science degree programs. Dr. McFarlane has received several teaching awards, including Outstanding Secondary Science Teacher for the State of Kansas, from Sigma Xi, in 2013.

Grant awards

The McFarlane Lab currently has an NIH R16 award providing $500,000 in funding to study polyamine biosynthesis in human gut microbes.

Selected Publications and Presentations

Cosse, K.J.; Sharma, V.K.; Allgeier, A.M.; McFarlane, J.S.; Enzymatic production of acetaldehyde using a Pseudomonas fluorescens mannitol-2-dehydrogenase mutant to regenerate NAD+. ASBMB Conference Poster Abstract. April 2022.

Shoemaker, Madeleine R.; Jim, Trevor; McFarlane, J.S. Functional Diversity and Structural Analysis of SAM-dependent Aminobutanoyl Transferases. ASBMB Conference Oral Presentation and Poster Abstract. Apr. 2022.

Atencio, N.; Herrod, A.; Dodd, J.; Miller, K.A.; McFarlane, J.S. Characterization of carboxynorspermidine dehydrogenase from two human gut microbes. ASBMB Conference Poster Abstract. April 2021.

McFarlane, Jeffrey S.; Lamb, Audrey L. Opine Metallophore Biosynthesis. Reference Module in Chemistry, Molecular Sciences, and Chemical Engineering. Elsevier. 2019. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-409547-2.14800-0.

McFarlane, Jeffrey S., Ronnebaum, T. A., Meneely, K. M., Chilton, A., Fenton, A. W., & Lamb, A. L. (2019). Changes in the allosteric site of human liver pyruvate kinase upon activator binding include the breakage of an intersubunit cation–π bond. Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology Communications, 75(6), 461-469. doi:10.1107/s2053230x19007209

McFarlane, J. S.; Ronnebaum, T. A.; Meneely, K. M.; Chilton, A.; Fenton, A. W.; Lamb, A. L., Changes in the allosteric site of human liver pyruvate kinase upon activator binding include the breakage of an intersubunit cation–π bond. Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology Communications 2019, 75 (6), 461-469.

Ronnebaum, T. A.; McFarlane, J. S.; Prisinzano, T. E.; Booker, S. J.; Lamb, A. L., Stuffed Methyltransferase Catalyzes Penultimate Step of Pyochelin Biosynthesis. Biochemistry 2018.

McFarlane, J. S.; Hagen, R.; Chilton, A. S.; Forbes, D.; Lamb, A.; Ellis, H. R., Not as easy as pi: an insertional residue does not explain the pi-helix gain-of-function in two component FMN reductases. Protein Sci 2018.

McFarlane, J. S.; Davis, C. L.; Lamb, A. L., Staphylopine, pseudopaline and yersinopine dehydrogenases: a structural and kinetic analysis of a new functional class of opine dehydrogenase. J Biol Chem 2018.

McFarlane, J. S.; Lamb, A. L., Biosynthesis of an Opine Metallophore by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Biochemistry 2017, 56, 5967-5971.