YEAR OF GRAD STUDY: 4th
MENTOR(S): Dr. M. Todd Washington
SOURCE(S) OF SUPPORT: NIH
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign BS 2008 Biochemistry (Chem Minor)
Ruth L. Kirschstein Nation Research Service Award (GN# 5 T32 GM 008365-24),
NIH Predoctoral Training Fellow in Biotechnology July 2014 - June 2015
Ruth L. Kirschstein Nation Research Service Award (GN# 5 T32 GM 008365-23)
NIH Predoctoral Fellow in Biotechnology July 2013 - June 2014
Dean’s List: University of Illinois, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012
Teaching Assistant, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Assisted in teaching graduate and undergraduate students Ligand binding and X-ray Crystallography (99:244), Enzyme Mechanism and Ligand Interactions (99:246), and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance of Biological Macromolecules (99:248).
RESEARCH EXPERIENCE (prior to entering program):
M. Ashley Spies Research Group, Champaign, IL10/09-06/12 Undergraduate Research Associate
Optimization of glutamate alpha-carbon deuteration by purified bacterial enzyme glutamate racemase for use as a key substrate for kinetic isotope effect assays for identification of novel inhibitorsCrystallography of lab identified inhibitors bound to bacterial specific glutamate racemase for drug optimization efforts
Conducted lab research, protocol troubleshooting, data analysis, presentation of findings, and various routine lab maintenance duties
CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITIES (brief description):
M. Todd Washington Research Group, Iowa City, IA 08/12-Present Graduate Research Associate
Probing the dynamic behavior and architectures sampled by the intrinsically disordered carboxy-terminal tail of the translesion synthesis (TLS) polymerases in the presence and absence of binding partners. Brownian dynamic simulations, validated by single molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer, experimental techniques are being utilized to explore this component of the TLS system.
Responsible for project design, protocol development and troubleshooting, FPLC scouting optimization, data analysis, presentation of findings, training of graduate and undergraduate students, AKTA training of lab members and maintenance, purchasing of all lab equipment, setting up and maintaining networked computing cluster
COURSES TAKEN (this graduate program): Biochemistry 292 - Research in Biochemistry, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering 275 - Perspectives in Biocatalysis, Biochemistry 244 - Biophysical Module IV; Biochemistry 246 - Biophysical ModuleVI, Biochemistry 248 - Biophysical Module VI, Biochemistry 261 - Research Techniques, Biosciences 205 -Pratical Bioinformatics, Biosciences 265 - Biosciences Critical Thinking and Communication, Molecular & Cellular Biology 226 - Cell Cycle Control, Molecular & Cellular Biology 227 - Cell Fate Decisions, Molecular & Cellular Biology 215 - Transcription RNA, Anatomy & Cell Biology 216 - Mechanisms of Cellular Organization, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering 223 - Introduction to Biocatalysis, Biochemistry 282 – Seminar, Biochemistry 292 - Research in Biochemistry, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering 275 - Perspectives in Biocatalysis, Biochemistry 243 - Biophysical Module I, Biochemistry 245 - Biophysical Module II, Biochemistry 247 - Biophysical Module III, Biochemistry 261 - Research Techniques, Biosciences 201 - Fundamentals of Gene Expression, Biosciences 203 - Fundamentals of Dynamic Cell Processes, Biosciences 265 - Biosciences Critical Thinking and Communication, Biosciences 204 - Biostatistics for Biomedical Research, Graduate College 270 - Principles of Scholarly Integrity
POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING APPLIED FOR: N/A
APPLICATION(S) FOR POSTDOCTORAL FUNDING: N/A
LuCore, DS, Litman, JM, Powers, KT, Gao, S, Lynn, AM, Tollefson, WTA, Fenn, TD, Washington, MT, and Schnieders, JM. Dead-End Elimination with a Polarizable Force Field Repacks PCNA Models from Low-Resolution X-ray Diffraction into Atomic Resolution Structures. Biophysical Journal. 2015.