Department Chair and Professor
Brian Bennett was appointed Professor and Chair of Physics in July, 2014.
I was educated in the U.K., at the University of Cambridge and University of Sussex, and did post-doctoral work in magnetic resonance and magneto-optical spectroscopies of metalloproteins at the University of East Anglia and Utah State University. I was employed at the U.K.'s Daresbury Laboratory synchrotron, carrying out X-ray absorption spectroscopy and protein crystallography, and received a European Union Fellowship to apply advanced electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) techniques to metalloenzymes at the Institute for Biophysics, University of Saarland, Germany. I joined the faculty of the Department of Biophysics at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Milwaukee, in 2001, where I carried out research on proteins, enzymes and tissue samples with disease relevance using advanced EPR techniques (EPR, ENDOR, ELDOR, ESEEM, rapid-freeze-quench, computer simulations). I additionally taught several biophysics and related classes, was involved in education reform and college governance, and was both Associate Director and Service Director of the National Biomedical Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Center. I have co-authored more than 120 scientific papers and three book chapters, and been supported by 20 competitive research awards while at MCW and Marquette, including being Principal Investigator on multiple NSF and NIH awards.
Since joining Marquette in 2014, (and as of Fall 2019) I have taught
PHYS 1001/2 (introductory Physics)
PHYS 3056 (Contemporary Physics Lab)
PHYS 4012 (Quantum Mechanics)
PHYS 4024 (Modern Optics)
PHYS 4046 (Physical Basis of Biological Structure & Function)
PHYS 4065 (Experimental Methods in Molecular Biophysics)
PHYS 4071 (Atomic Physics)
My research is focused around the EPR Facility in the Physics Department at Marquette that was funded largely by an NSF grant that I obtained in 2015, with additional contributions from Bruker Biospin, Marquette University, and MCW. The instrumentation allows for magnetic resonance investigation of free radicals and metals in solution, solid state, or in intact biological material (cells, tissues), at temperatures down to 5 K (five degrees Celsius above absolute zero, or about -460 F) without the need for liquid helium. My lab uses this instrumentation to study the effects of cancer, metabolic diseases, and therapies on the energy-producing mitochondrial respiratory chain in intact biopsy tissue. and to study the mechanisms of metalloproteins with applications in "green chemistry", pharmaceutical synthesis, and reclamation of pesticide-contaminated land. I have significant collaborations within Marquette and with groups at MCW, Colorado School of Mines, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).
My lab offers research opportunities for students in both experimental and computational biophysics and welcomes enquiries from students in programs that include Biophysics, Physics, Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences and Computational Sciences.