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Degree: Sept. 2, 2015
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Nicholas D. Lanz received his Ph.D. in biochemistry, microbiology and molecular biology for Penn State University on Aug. 3.

His Ph.D. research investigated the mechanism of LipA, an iron-sulfur cluster-containing enzyme in the radical SAM superfamily. LipA is responsible for the production of lipoic acid, a key compound required by all living organisms. Lanz's work was instrumental to understanding how LipA catalyzes the production of this co-factor.

During his time at Penn State, Lanz received the Richard L. and Norma L. McCarl Graduate Scholarship in 2014 after being nominated by his dissertation advisor, Dr. Squire Booker. Lanz also received several travel awards to present his research at scientific meetings. He published one first-author publication, with several more forthcoming, in addition to five publications he co-authored. Lanz also co-authored a chapter on the role of radical SAM enzymes in the production of lipoic acid in the book, "Iron-Sulfur Clusters in Chemistry and Biology." At Penn State, Lanz mentored undergraduate and graduate students and participated in the departmental Graduate Student Association for three years.

Lanz graduated from Monroe High School in 2001 and received his bachelor's degree in genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the son of Bill and Sally Lanz, New Glarus, formerly of Monroe.