I successfully defended my thesis, “Symmetry and Simplicity in Protein Evolution and Design.”
My dissertation benefited significantly from a fruitful collaboration with Dr. Ozan Kumru and Dr. C. Russell Middaugh, and their contributions are much appreciated. Thanks go to Ms. Lyn Kittle and Dr. Anant Paravastu for their friendship and good humor throughout my graduate education; Dr. Jihun Lee for her unwavering support and kindness; and Ms. Sachiko Blaber for her wisdom and perspective. I am deeply grateful to Dr. Michael Blaber for his mentorship and I am proud of the work we did together. My time in the Blaber Lab will always stand out as one of sincere happiness. Finally, I would like to thank my family–my Aunt Helen, my grandmother, and, most importantly, my mother–for their constant support and unconditional love.
Here are some pictures from the event:
Dr. Blaber and me right before the talk.
Dr. Blaber gives me rabbit ears and Connie photobombs…
Lela Stefanovic’s manuscript, “Characterization of binding of LARP6 to the 5′ stem-loop of collagen mRNAs: implications for synthesis of type I collagen” was accepted to RNA Biology. I am a co-author on this study. Congratulations, Lela!
My manuscript, “A Single Aromatic Core Mutation Converts a Designed “Primitive” Protein from Halophile to Mesophile Folding” was accepted for publication in Protein Science. In addition, this work was selected by the Editor to be highlighted at the front of the issue!
My chapter on symmetric protein design was featured as cover art in the latest edition of Protein Design!
Xia Xue’s manuscript, “Mutation Choice to Eliminate Buried Free Cysteines in Protein Therapeutics” was accepted to the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and has been selected to appear in the special issue, “Two Decades of Publishing Excellence in Biotechnology.” I am a co-author on this study. Congratulations, Xia!
After visiting the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, I have accepted a postdoctoral research position in the lab of Sarel Fleishman. Starting in Feb. 2015, I will work with Sarel to apply novel computational methods to the design of protein function.
Here are some pictures from my trip:
Particle Accelerator on WIS campus
Dinner in Tel Aviv at The Old Man and the Sea
Dinner in Tel Aviv — so many “salads”!
WIS campus is full of cats with boundary issues…
My manuscript, “Evolution and Design of Protein Structure by Folding Nucleus Symmetric Expansion” has been accepted for publication in Cell: Structure.
Group picture of Betsy Speltz (Yale University), Cassia Low (Nanyang Technical University), Sofie Wanscher (NNF Center for Protein Research), Emily Benner (Duquensne University), and me.
At the conference, I presented a poster about my recent results on symmetric protein design and was able to discuss related design problems with researchers from institutions around the world. I found that the Gordon approach–small conference sizes with a heavy emphasis on interactions between presenters and attendees–makes for a one of a kind experience!
Kyle Killeen, Bob Palazzo, and I meet with Sen. Rubio Staffer (not pictured)
A strong commitment to science funding is critical to keep America globally competitive. To this end, I participated in the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) 2014 Hill Day to advocate for increased NIH and NSF funding. Along with Robert Palazzo (Dean, Arts and Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham) and Kyle Killeen (Graduate Student, Georgetown), I met with the offices of 10 Senators and Representatives, and with Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) personally. The meetings were overwhelmingly positive, and communicated a clear appreciation of the importance of science funding to American prosperity.