The Shearer research group is interested in understanding the fundamental chemical processes that lead to biological phenomena. Typically they prepare small chemical model systems of biological macromolecular systems and perform spectroscopic studies on these systems. These data are interpreted using high level computational methods. From understanding these small systems we can make predictions and learn about the processes taking place in the larger macromolecular system. We are interested in a wide-rage of biological phenomena. Currently the Shearer group is focusing on 1) neurodegeneration in diseases like Alzheimer’s and prion diseases, 2) oxidative damage and its biological control and 3) non-covalent biological interactions. The INBRE program has funded our research into both non-covalent interactions and neurodegenerative disorders. From these studies a wide range of conclusions will be reached that range from fundamental (such as how do protein’s recognize each other) to applied (such as what are the fundamental underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease).