Bennett Streit has been awarded the 2010 Eli J. and Helen Shaheen Graduate School Award. The Shaheen Awards recognize one outstanding graduating doctoral degree recipient in each of the four divisions of the Graduate School: humanities, social sciences, science and engineering. Winners for the award are selected based on the records of the students grades, research, publications record, fellowships and other awards received throughout their graduate schooling here at Notre Dame.
Bennett works in the laboratory of Jennifer DuBois where he has been studying the mechanistic and structural aspects of a heme dependent enzyme called Chlorite Dismutase. The enzyme breaks down the toxic oxidant chlorite into innocuous chloride and molecular oxygen. Their work on the project is helping elucidate the structural features of this enzyme which direct the unique chemistry it catalyzes. In light of what is known about the only other efficient biological O-O bond forming center, photosystem II, this work is helping to define a structural motif that biological systems utilize for catalyzing the difficult reaction of O-O bond formation.
In addition to being awarded the 2010 Eli J. and Helen Shaheen Graduate School Award, Bennett has also been the recipient of a three-year Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) STAR fellowship and was honored with a 2009 Young Investigator Award by the Inorganic Division of the American Chemical Society for the research he has conducted on Chlorite Dismutase.