Thomas M. Hooker

Thomas M. Hooker
Professor Emeritus

Contact Phone

(805) 895-9744

Office Location

2660 PSB-N


Biophysical Chemistry


Dr. Hooker came to UCSB in 1969 after three years as an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oregon. He received his Ph.D. from Duke University.


Current Research 

Our research program is primarily concerned with the three-dimensional structure of molecules, with an emphasis on biological macromolecules. We employ experimental and theoretical spectroscopic techniques in conjunction with molecular modeling calculations to investigate the conformation of macromolecules and model compounds in solution. Among the experimental methods which we use are circular dichroism spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy. We are also involved in the design and fabrication of spectroscopic instrumentation and the utilization of computers for laboratory automation.

For example, we have employed circular dichroism spectroscopy and molecular modeling techniques to study model compounds such as cyclic dipeptides that contain aromatic chromophores. The methods developed in the model compound studies were then extended to larger molecules such as ribonuclease and DNA. The design and construction of an automated Raman spectrometer is one example of work we have carried out in the area of computer automation.

Currently, we are utilizing the methods that we have developed to pursue research in two areas. One project concerns the effects of solvation on the conformation of small peptides. The second project concerns the interaction of drugs with DNA, the structure of DNA-drug complexes, and the design of anticancer agents that act at the DNA level.


Selected Research Publications

D.E. Callahan and T.M. Hooker, Jr., Conformation of DNA in Solution: CD Calculations Based on Crystal Structures of B- and Z-DNA Fragments, Biopolymers 26, 457 (1987).

R.W. Snyder and T.M. Hooker, Jr., A Raman Spectrometer-Minicomputer Data Acquisition and Analysis System, Applied Spectroscopy 38, 58 (1984).