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Home » Faculty Listing » Paul Lawrence, PhD

Paul B. Lawrence, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Biological and Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Turock School of Arts and Sciences

Capwell Science 304


After high school, I became very interested in forensic science and solving crimes. I decided to double major in forensic science and forensic chemistry from Utah Valley University (UVU). While I was at UVU, I absolutely fell in love with my organic chemistry class. I enjoyed being able to predict chemical reactivity and using this knowledge to make organic molecules. I quickly came to the realization that I thoroughly enjoyed organic chemistry and wanted to learn more.

I completed my PhD (Organic) in the lab of Joshua Price at Brigham Young University, Provo. I explored the impact of site-specific PEGylation (polyethylene glycol) on protein conformational and proteolytic stability. I developed a structure-based method for predicting locations within proteins where PEG increases protein conformational stability and showed that PEG-based stabilization is associated with enhanced proteolytic resistance.

After my PhD, I joined the lab of Champak Chatterjee at the University of Washington as a post-doc. I used semi-synthetic strategies to generate site-selective modified proteins to study the structure-function of post-translationally modified proteins. To access these proteins, I employed a host of bioconjugation techniques including: native chemical ligation, halide displacement, disulfide directed modification, auxiliary-based strategies, and split-intein ligations.

I am broadly interested in understanding how chemical modifications affect protein structure and function. My research combines the powerful tools of synthetic organic chemistry and molecular biology to generate specifically modified proteins that are subjected to biochemical and biophysical investigation.

Education – Degrees & Certifications

  • Post-Doctoral, Bio Organic, University of Washington
  • Ph.D., 2016, Organic Chemistry, Brigham Young University
  • B.S., 2011, Forensic Chemistry, Utah Valley University


  • General Chemistry 1
  • Organic Chemistry 1 & 2
  • Forensic Chemistry

Pandey, B. K.; Smith, M. S.; Torgerson, C.; Lawrence, P. B.; Matthews, S. S.; Watkins, E.; Groves, M. L.; Prigozhin, M. B.; Price, J. L., Impact of site-specific PEGylation on the conformational stability and folding rate of the Pin WW domain depends strongly on PEG oligomer length. Bioconjugate chemistry 2013, 24 (5), 796-802.

 Lawrence, P. B.; Gavrilov, Y.; Matthews, S. S.; Langlois, M. I.; Shental-Bechor, D.; Greenblatt, H. M.; Pandey, B. K.; Smith, M. S.; Paxman, R.; Torgerson, C. D.; Merrell, J. P.; Ritz, C. C.; Prigozhin, M. B.; Levy, Y.; Price, J. L., Criteria for Selecting PEGylation Sites on Proteins for Higher Thermodynamic and Proteolytic Stability. JACS 2014, 136 (50), 17547-17560.

 Lawrence, P. B.; Billings, W. M.; Miller, M. B.; Pandey, B. K.; Stephens, A. R.; Langlois, M. I.; Price,

J. L.; Lawrence, P. B., Conjugation Strategy Strongly Impacts the Conformational Stability of a PEG-Protein Conjugate. ACS Chem. Biol. 2016, 11 (7), 1805-1809.

Lawrence, P. B.; Price, J. L., How PEGylation influences protein conformational stability. Curr. Opin. Chem. Biol. 2016, 34, 88-94.

Steven R. E. Draper, Paul B. Lawrence, Wendy M. Billings, Qiang Xiao, Nathaniel P. Brown, Natalie A. Bécar, Derek J. Matheson, Andrew R. Stephens, and Joshua L. Price., Polyethylene Glycol Based Changes to β-Sheet Protein Conformational and Proteolytic Stability Depend on Conjugation Strategy and Location. Bioconjugate Chemistry. 2017 28 (10), 2507-2513

Lawrence, P.B., Knapton, J., Epperson, K., Naisbitt, G. Characterization of the Painted Lubricant Coating on Barnes XLC Coat Bullets. Poster presentation. Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research; 2009 February 20; Westminister College, Salt Lake City, UT.

Lawrence, P.B., Price, J.L. Stabilizing Impact of PEGylation on the WW Domain Strongly Depends on the Identity of the Protein-PEG linker. Poster session at Peptides Gordon Research Conference 2016, Feb 21-26; Ventura, CA