David Ballou, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus, Biological Chemistry

Office: 4303 MSRB III
1150 W. Medical Center Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5606



Professor Ballou received his B.S. degree from Antioch College in 1965 and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan in 1967 and 1971, respectively. He joined the University of Michigan faculty as an instructor in 1972, and was promoted to assistant professor in 1974, to associate professor in 1981, and to professor in 1987. He retired from active faculty status in 2014.

Professor Ballou's research focused on elucidating the fundamental mechanisms of enzymological catalysis through the examination of flavoprotein, hemoprotein, nonheme iron oxygenases, and other redox proteins that can be isolated in homogeneous form. He explored how these enzymes activate oxygen and control reactions with organic compounds utilizing a variety of approaches, including spectral and rapid reaction techniques for characterizing active sites and intermediates in the reactions, site-directed mutagenesis to specifically test the roles of particular amino acid residues in each reaction step, and X-ray crystallography. Professor Ballou is a widely recognized expert in flow-related rapid reaction instrumentation, including stopped-flow absorbance and fluorescence spectrophotometers and cryogenic and chemical quenching devices. He developed analog computers, extremely high performance pH meters, data logging devices, software for data management and calculation, and the electronics and optics for highly sensitive ratio fluorimeters and polarization of fluorescence fluorimeters and spectrophotometers. Professor Ballou authored and co-authored over 184 peer-reviewed journal articles, three books, and numerous book chapters. A gifted instructor and dedicated mentor, Professor Ballou taught a wide range of undergraduate and graduate biological chemistry courses and served on countless dissertation committees. He received the University's Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award in 2006.

Published Articles or Reviews

Recent Publications

Caught in the act: Monitoring O–O bond cleavage in Acylperoxoferric cytochrome P450cam to form compound I in real time.
Collins DP, Johnson E, Coulter ED, Beharry Z, Ballou DP, Dawson JH.
J Inorg Biochem. 2022; 236: 111949.

Kinetic Analysis of Transient Intermediates in the Mechanism of Prenyl-Flavin-Dependent Ferulic Acid Decarboxylase.
Kaneshiro AK, Koebke KJ, Zhao C, Ferguson KL, Ballou DP, Palfey BA, Ruotolo BT, Marsh ENG.
Biochemistry. 2021; 60: 125–34.

Modulation of Catalytic Promiscuity during Hydrogen Sulfide Oxidation.
Landry AP, Ballou DP, Banerjee R.
ACS Chem Biol. 2018; 13: 1651–8.

Unique Biochemical and Sequence Features Enable BluB To Destroy Flavin and Distinguish BluB from the Flavin Monooxygenase Superfamily.
Hazra AB, Ballou DP, Taga ME.
Biochemistry. 2018; 57: 1748–57.

A role for glutamine 183 in the folate oxidative half-reaction of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase from Escherichia coli.
Zuo C, Jolly AL, Nikolova AP, Satzer DI, Cao S, Sanchez JS, Ballou DP, Trimmer EE.
Arch Biochem Biophys. 2018; 642: 63–74.

For a list of publications from PubMed, click HERE