John S. Magyar

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

John Stedman Magyar, assistant professor of chemistry, joined the Barnard faculty in 2007. Professor Magyar is a bioinorganic chemist with strong interests in environmental chemistry and biogeochemistry.

At Barnard, Magyar and his undergraduate research students are investigating the molecular details of trace metal uptake and homeostasis in environmentally important microorganisms, such as marine phytoplankton and methanogenic archaea. They are working to elucidate the relationships between microbial trace metal processing and global biogeochemical cycles. The Magyar group also is exploring molecular mechanisms of cold adaptation, specifically in the hydrocarbonoclastic, psychrophilic bacterium Colwellia psychrerythraea.

Current work in the Magyar group is primarily funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (CHE-1308170) and by a Barnard College Presidential Research Award.

Prior to joining Barnard, Professor Magyar was a postdoctoral scholar in chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, where he studied electron transfer kinetics and protein dynamics. Professor Magyar's doctoral research, at Northwestern University, provided important insights into the molecular mechanisms of lead(II) poisoning.


Selected Publications

Oswald, V.F.; Chen, W.; Harvilla, P.; Magyar, J. S. “Overexpression, purification, and enthalpy of unfolding of ferricytochrome c552 from a psychrophilic microorganism,” J. Inorg. Biochem. 2014, 131, 76.  Available online at

Gray, H.B.; Magyar, J.S. "Metals, Microbes, and Solar Fuels," in Letters to a Young Chemist, A. Ghosh, Ed.  Hoboken: Wiley, 2011.

Magyar, J.S.; Turano, P. "Structural Zinc-Binding Domains," in Biological Inorganic Chemistry: Structure and Reactivity, I. Bertini; Gray, H.B.; Stiefel, E.I.; Valentine, J.S.; Eds.  Mill Valley, CA: University Science Books, 2006.

Magyar, J. S.; Weng, T.C.; Stern, C.M.; Dye, D.F.; Rous, B.W.; Payne, J.C.; Bridgewater, B.M.; Mijovilovich, A.; Parkin, G.; Zaleski, J. M.; Penner-Hahn, J. E.; Godwin, H. A. "Reexamination of lead(II) coordination preferences in sulfur-rich sites: Implications for a critical mechanism of lead poisoning," J. Am. Chem. Soc2005, 127, 9495-9505.

Magyar, J. S.; Godwin, H. A. "Spectro-potentiometric analysis of metal binding to structural zinc binding sites: Accounting quantitatively for pH and metal ion buffering effects,"  Anal. Biochem. 2003, 320, 39-54.

Claudio, E.S.; Godwin, H.A.; Magyar, J. S. "Fundamental coordination chemistry, environmental chemistry, and biochemistry of lead(II),"Prog. Inorg. Chem. 200351, 1-144.

Academic Focus: 

Physical and environmental bioinorganic chemistry
Global biogeochemical cycles
Microbial metal homeostasis
Molecular mechanisms of psychrophilicity




A.B., Dartmouth College

M.S., Ph.D., Northwestern University

Related Web Sites: 

Magyar Research Laboratory:

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