Ernest W. Blakeney, Jr.
Albert Sklar Chair of Chemistry
B.S., Spring Hill College, 1960
M.S., Mississippi State University, 1970
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 1972
Curriculum Vita (pdf)
My current research is an industrial-academic collaboration focused on bacterial chitinolytic enzymes. Chitin, the 1,4-linked polymer of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine, is very abundant in nature but its very low solubility diminishes its commercial value. Several straightforward chemical reactions can convert chitin into materials with properties that offer substantial potential for commercialization. These reactions, however, are energy intensive and generate large amounts of troublesome waste. My industrial partner is thus interested in exploring enzyme-based, “green chemistry” routes to production of these materials. The project is supported by the industrial partner and by an award from the State of Louisiana’s Board of Regents of Higher Education Industrial Ties Research program.
I have a number of interests that engage my attention when I'm not in the classroom or lab. I enjoy woodworking and have built much of the furniture in my home. Music is my other primary avocation, which I satisfy through singing in my church choir, as well as in productions of the Shreveport Opera and Gilbert and Sullivan Society. I also enjoy reading British military history.