Dr. Michael Pikaart

Associate Professor of Chemistry
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Dr. Michael Pikaart has been working at Hope since 1999. He has memberships at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

He has worked for various organizations and community activities, including an American Chemical Society group (NSF-funded workshop) on “Molecular Basis of Life Processes” initiative, serving as poster presentation judge at national ASBMB meetings, volunteering as a Science Olympiad coach, and being a Grand Awards Judge (Molecular and Cellular Biology) for the Intel Science and Engineering Fair in Albuquerque, New Mexico (May 2007).

Michael also currently acts as faculty liaison at Hope for Undergraduate Affiliate of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

See Dr. Pikaart's current research


  • Protein-DNA interactions in the developing red blood cell and interference by toxic metals


  • Ph.D., biological chemistry, The University of Michigan, 1992
  • B.S., chemistry, Calvin College, 1986


  • NIH, “Specificity of the Interaction Between Gata-1 and DNA” (for summer research student Tyson Vonderfecht, supplement to existing grant), 2005
  • NIH, “Specificity of the Interaction Between Gata-1 and DNA,” 2003–2006
  • Hope College-Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Development Grant for Interdisciplinary Research, “In vivo and in vitry studies of the interaction betewwnthe transcription factor Gata-1 and its target DNA sequences,” with V. McDonnough, 2001–2005
  • Hope College Faculty Development Grant, “Fluorescence binding studies of the complex between the transcription factor cGata-1 and DNA,” 2000

Published Works

  • “H2B ubiquitylation plays a role in nucleosome dynamics during transcription elongation,” Molecular Cell, 31, 2008
  • “Substitution of DNA-Contacting Amino Acids with Functional Variants in the Gata-1 Zinc Finger: A Structurally and Phylogenetically Guided Mutagenesis,” Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communication, 369, 2008
  • “Spectroscopic determination of the thermodynamics of the interation of Pb2+ with GATA proteins,” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 127, 2005
  • “A molecular dissection of the interaction between the transcription factor Gata-1 zinc finger and DNA," Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 316, 2004
  • “Position-effect protection and enhancer blocking by the chicken beta-globin insulator are separable activities,” Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 99(10), 2002
  • "Structural and functional conservation at the boundaries of the chicken beta-globin domain," EMBO, Journal 19(10), 2000
  • "The role of histone acetylation and DNA methylation in the maintenance of the imprinted expression of the H19 and Igf-2 genes," FEBS Letters, 458, 1999
  • "Loss of transcriptional activity of a transgene is accompanied by DNA methylation and histone acetylation, and is prevented by insulators," Genes and Development, 12, 1998
  • "Expression and codon usage optimization of the erythroidspecific transcription factor cGATA-1 in baculoviral and bacterial systems," Protein Expression and Purification, 8, 1996

Collaborations and Affiliations

  • Felix Recillas-Targa, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
  • Bonnie Burgess-Beusse, Adam C Bell, Michael Litt, Adam West, Miclos Gaszner, and Gary Felsenfeld, NIH
  • Virginia McDonough, Hope College
  • Hilary A. Godwin, Northwestern University
  • Mary Ann Osley, University of New Mexico
  • Dr. Bryant Villeponteau, University of Michigan (Ph.D.)
  • Dr. Gary Felsenfeld, NIH (Postdoctoral)
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Dr. Michael Pikaart

Phone Number616.395.7382

Schaap Science Center 3112 35 East 12th Street Holland, MI 49423-3605
A map showing the location for Dr. Michael Pikaart Schaap Science Center 3112 35 East 12th Street Holland MI 49423-3605