College of Science and Health > Faculty & Staff > Faculty A-Z > Cathrine Southern

Cathrine A. Southern

  • Associate Professor, Biophysical Chemistry
  • ​PhD
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • (773) 325-7453
  • McGowan South, Room 321B (office)
    McGowan South, Room 320 (lab)       
Classes Taught
  • CHE102 (Atoms and Molecules)
  • CHE101G (Techniques of General Chemistry)
  • CHE130 (General Chemistry I)
  • CHE131 (General Chemistry I Laboratory)
  • CHE132 (General Chemistry II)
  • CHE133 (General Chemistry II Laboratory)
  • CHE134 (General Chemistry III)
  • CHE135 (General Chemistry III Laboratory)
  • CHE192 (Mathematical Methods of Chemistry)
  • CHE302 (Quantum Chemistry)
  • CHE303 (Experimental Physical Chemistry I)
  • CHE304 (Thermochemistry)
  • CHE305 (Experimental Physical Chemistry II)
  • CHE306 (Kinetics and Statistical Mechanics)
  • CHE307 (Experimental Physical Chemistry III)
  • CHE 312/412 (Quantum Chemistry)
  • CHE318 (Biophysical Chemistry)
  • CHE394 (Seminar)
  • LSP112 (Focal Point Seminar: Werner Heisenberg: Uncertainty and the Atomic Bomb)
  • LSP120 (Mathematical and Technological Literacy I)
Research Interests
The examination of antibody structure via single molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET). This technique involves incorporating two dye molecules into a protein of interest at known locations. The distance between the two dye molecules can be determined based on their relative fluorescence intensities. By examining the fluorescence from individual proteins labeled with the dye molecules, a histogram of the observed distances between the dyes can be formulated. This histogram allows the presence of multiple protein conformations to be detected. The primary goal of Southern's research is to determine whether or not distinct antibody conformations exist. Southern​ is interested in antibody structure because it can be affected by mutations in the antibody, and can influence the ability of an antibody to instigate an immune response.  In some cases, increasing an immune response is the desired effect; in others, such as autoimmune disorders, diminishing an immune response is preferred. Studying the structure of antibodies and how this structure is affected by mutations or the removal of sugars bound to antibodies can shed light on the role these structural changes play in generating an immune response.

Select Publications
The Effect of Sugar Removal on the Structure of the Fc region of an IgG Antibody as Observed with Single Molecule Förster Resonance Energy Transfer,” M. T. Kelliher, R. D. Jacks, M. S. Piraino, C. A. Southern, Molecular Immunology, 2014, 60, 103. link
A Comparison of Förster Resonance Energy Transfer Analysis Approaches for Nanodrop Fluorometry,” M. T. Kelliher, M. S. Piraino, M. E. Gemoules, C. A. Southern, Analytical Biochemistry, 2013, 441, 44. link

“Genetic and Fluorescence Studies of Affinity Maturation in Related Antibodies,” T. Pauyo, G. J. Hilinski, P. T. Chiu, D. E. Hansen, Y. J. Choi, D. I. Ratner, N. Shah-Mahoney, C. A. Southern, P. B. O’Hara, Molecular Immunology, 2006, 43, 812. link

“Steady State and Multifrequency Phase Fluorometry Studies of Binding Site Flexibility in Related Antibodies,” G. S. Mohan, P. T. Chiu, C. A. Southern, P. B. O’Hara, Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 2004, 108, 7871. link

“Spectroscopic Consequences of Localized Electronic Excitation in Anthranilic Acid Dimer,” C. A. Southern, D. H. Levy, J. A. Stearns, G. M. Florio, A. Longarte, T. S. Zwier, Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 2004, 108, 4599. link

“Electronic and Infrared Spectroscopy of Anthranilic Acid in a Supersonic Jet,” C. A. Southern, D. H. Levy, G. M. Florio, A. Longarte, T. S. Zwier, Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 2003, 107, 4032. link

Professional Activities
  • Chemistry Advising Committee
  • Chemistry Curriculum Committee
  • Chemistry Development Committee
  • General Chemistry Committee
  • CSH Pre-health Advising Committee
  • Natural Sciences, Math, and Technology Showcase Committee
  • Reviewer for several journals (Journal of Chemical Physics, Journal of Physical Chemistry A, Journal of Chemical Education)
Professional Society Memberships
  • American Chemical Society
  • Biophysical Society​