DEPT. Pharmaceutics and Experimental Therapeutics
YEAR OF GRAD STUDY: 4th
MENTOR(S): M. Ashley Spies
SOURCE(S) OF SUPPORT: R01-GM097373 (NIH Research Award)
The University of Iowa Ph.D. candidate Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry
Central College (Pella, IA) B.A. 2012 Biochemistry
Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing NIH Training Grant trainee - Fall 2013-14 (NIH T32 GM008365)
Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry - Graduate Teaching Assistant
RESEARCH EXPERIENCE (prior to entering program):
Undergraduate research senior honors thesis, “External Heavy Atom Induced Phosphorescence and Molecular Properties of Harmala Alkaloids and Related Compounds: Investigations and Applications” Central College Senior Honors Thesis Presentation. May 2012.
CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITIES (brief description):
The focus of my research is centered around studying protein-ligand interactions with a particular emphasis pharmaceutically relevant enzymes. I have an interest in developing computational methods for fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD). I have developed and implemented a differential scanning fluorimetry assay (thermal shift assay) to detect small molecules binding to caspase-7, an enzyme implicated in many neurodegenerative diseases.
Additionally, I characterized two novel, drug-like, non-competitive inhibitors for caspase-7 discovered in the primary screen via enzymatic and biophysical techniques.
COURSES TAKEN (this graduate program):
Biophysical Chemistry Module 1, 2, 3. Perspectives in MNPC research. Current Medicinal Chemistry. Mechanisms of Organic Reactions. Principles of Scholarly Integrity. MNPC Seminar. Biophysical Chemistry Module 4, 5, 6. Drug Discovery and Mechanisms. Pharmaceutical and Chemical Toxicology. Perspectives in Biocatalysis. Enzymatic Basis of Drug Metabolism.
POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING APPLIED FOR: N/A
APPLICATION(S) FOR POSTDOCTORAL FUNDING: N/A