Glenn A. Marsch

Professor of Physics
All FacultyPhysics

Contact Information
Phone: 724-458-2097

Glenn A. Marsch


  • B.S., Clemson University
  • Ph.D., Florida State University.

Research Interests

  • Structure and Function of Cytochromes P450 – The cytochromes P450 are a related group of enzymes that metabolize drugs and carcinogens so that they may be eliminated from the body. By far the most important of these, P450 3A4, metabolizes half of all known drugs on the market and so is of very great interest to researchers in pharmacology. In collaboration with Vanderbilt University’s F. Peter Guengerich, the discoverer of this enzyme, I’ve been applying fluorescence spectroscopy methods, including quenching studies, fluorescence lifetime studies, and Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) to study how cytochromes P450 are regulated by the molecules that it binds and metabolizes. To perform this research, I have a state-of-the-art fluorescence spectrometer at Grove City College and I actively mentor undergraduates in independent projects. One of the things I like to do is have students present their data at national meetings.
  • Explorations in Faith and Science – I’m interested in explorations how Christian theological assumptions in Western Civilization historically drove the formation of modern science. How, for example, do the attributes of God pertain to the scientific inquiry? In the summer of 1998, at Calvin College, I studied under John Polkinghorne as part of a five-week seminar entitled “theology and the New Physics.” This has led me to explore how indeterminacy in nature, exemplified by quantum mechanics and chaos theory, can be understood in light of Christian theology. I also have an interest in astrobiology and its theological implications. Since coming to Grove City College, I’ve also been highly involved in the creation of a new course, Studies in Science, Faith, and Technology, required of all GCC students.
  • Structure and Function of Damaged DNA – In my postdoctoral fellowships, I studied how heterocyclic amine and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compounds bind to DNA. These compounds are carcinogens: they are metabolized in vivo and readily damage DNA, inducing mutations and potentially cancer. To help understand how this might occur, I applied many methods in fluorescence spectroscopy, including a sophisticated laser-based technique called Fluorescence Line-Narrowing Spectroscopy (FLNS). At Vanderbilt University I’ve been collaborating with Prof. F. Peter Guengerich, who is well-known for his studies of DNA damage and for his work in characterizing enzymes important in drug metabolism. For this collaboration, we applied mass spectrometry to study how methylene chloride, a common industrial solvent, damages DNA. We showed that a human enzyme called glutathione tranferase causes DNA damage by methylene chloride, and we identified the nature of that DNA damage.

Courses Taught

  • PHYS 321
  • PHYS 486
  • SCIC 201
  • SSFT 212

Interests and Hobbies

  • Astronomy
  • Gardening
  • Photography