Ann McDermott is the Esther Breslow Professor of Biological Chemistry at Columbia University. She holds a B.Sc. in Chemistry from Harvey Mudd College, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from U.C. Berkeley, where she worked with Kenneth Sauer and Melvin Klein; subsequently she had postgraduate training at MIT with Dr. Robert Griffin.
Her research concerns the remarkable ability of naturally occurring proteins to catalyze chemical reactions, focusing specifically on the inherent flexibility of enzymes and the coordination of chemistry to conformational exchange, using magnetic resonance methods. Her group carries out assignment and analysis of high-resolution MAS-based NMR spectra of proteins, including intrinsic membrane proteins in native lipid bilayers, microcrystalline proteins, large native assemblies like viral coats, and fibrillar or amyloid proteins.
She is the recipient of the Pure Award in Chemistry (1996) and the Eastern Analytic Symposium Award for Achievement in Magnetic Resonance (2005), and she is an elected member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences. At Columbia University she recently served as Associate Vice President for Academic Advising and Science Initiatives in the Arts and Sciences.