After completing her Ph.D. studies in the department in 2001, Dr. Nakamoto became a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. As academic coordinator and lecturer, Dr. Nakamoto is responsible for designing, implementing and teaching experiments for the Chemistry 154 laboratory course. She has updated it to include techniques commonly used in research today. In addition to Chemistry 154, Dr. Nakamoto teaches Chemistry 153A during the summer. This lecture course focuses on the central metabolic pathways. Dr. Nakamoto is a member of the Undergraduate Laboratory Coordinating Committee (ULCC), which meets to discuss teaching concerns including: lab set-up, equipment, educational techniques and development. Dr. Nakamoto also volunteers her time and laboratory space for various CARE (Center for Academic Research Excellence) programs such as Bridge, which helps incoming students make the transition to UCLA, and BISEP (Biomedical Sciences Summer Enrichment Program), which gives students the opportunity to do summer research at UCLA. She supports these programs because they encourage minority students to explore science as an educational and career option.
Dr. Nakamoto’s current research focuses on updating Chemistry 154, an upper-division laboratory course. Due to her work, the course now includes site-directed mutagenesis, PCR, cloning, protein expression and affinity chromatography. Many students return to tell her that they apply what they learned in her class to their work in graduate school or industry.
- B. W. Dreyfuss, P. Hamel, S. Nakamoto, S. Merchant Functional analysis of a divergent system II protein, Ccs1, involved in c-type cytochrome biogenesis. , Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2003; 278(4): 2604-13.
- S. La Fontaine, J. M. Quinn, S. Nakamoto, M. Dudley Page, V. Gohre, J. L. Moseley, J. Kropat, S. Merchant Copper-dependent iron assimilation pathway in the model photosynthetic eukaryote Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Eukaryotic Cell, 2002; 1(5): 736-57.
- S. Nakamoto, P. Hamel, S. Merchant Assembly of chloroplast cytochromes b and c, Biochimie, 2000; 82(6-7): 603-14.
- J. M. Quinn, S.Nakamoto, S. Merchant Induction of Coproporphyrinogen Oxidase in Chlamydomonas chloroplasts occurs via transcriptional regulation of Cpx1 mediated by copper-response elements and increased translation from a copper-deficiency-specific form of the transcript, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 1999; 274(20): 14444-14454.