What am I doing: Postdoc at University of Maryland, Baltimore
In June 2023, I started working as a post-doctoral researcher in the lab of Alex MacKerell at the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Pharmacy. Pictured is the beautiful Inner Harbor on a clear December evening in Baltimore. My research is on computer-aided drug discovery (CADD), especially in the context of cancer biology. I am working with methods for designing covlant inhibitors and PROTACS/Molecular Glues, and applying those methods to drug targets in cancers alongside experimental collaborators. I am also purusing allosteric modulators of the BK channel.
Long-term goal: Professor at PUI
I am working towards becoming a professor at a primarily undergraduate-serving institution teaching physical chemistry and using a small research program to enhance the learning experience of my students. I've learned that that computational chemistry lends itself nicely to compartmentalized projects with low cost while mentoring undergraduates and guiding first-years through mini-projects .
Where I’ve been:
PhD, UMass Amherst. Amherst, Massachusetts
In June 2023, I finished a PhD in Jianhan Chen's computational biophysics lab primarily using a computational technique called Molecular Dynamics, with which we simulate the motions of biological molecules like proteins and use the resulting simulations to answer questions about how protein dynamics (aka wiggles) help them to perform their function. Amherst was my home for five great years, and I will remember the place and people very fondly.
BS, The College of Idaho. Caldwell, Idaho
I studied Chemistry and Physics and ran cross-country and track at the College of Idaho and graduated summa cum laude in 2018. The College of Idaho is a great community of students and has excellent, supportive faculty who challenge students in a kind, constructive way. This environment is what I hope to participate in and foster in my career as an educator. I was not involved in research at the C of I, but I participated in an REU at nearby Boise State. I met a representative of UMass through this REU, which led me to grad school and computational biophysics.
I grew up in Jerome, Idaho, a small town of ~10,000 people when I was there. Here I am paddling a green kayak up to within a few meters of the base of the Shoshone Falls, a breathtaking part of the nearby Snake River Canyon. I was interested in science early-on,although I have not studied Dinosaurs as much as I did as a kid! My first job was working as a lab technician at the Northwestern Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory in Kimberly, Idaho collecting data on soil physics (i.e. precison mud-making).