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Affiliation: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
My research has centered on understanding the structure and mechanism of biomolecules using biochemical and biophysical approaches, in particular X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy. My doctoral work was focused on structural studies of so-called amyloid proteins, which are involved in such neurodegenerative diseases as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This work revealed structural relationships between toxic and non-toxic species formed by these proteins, and provided a basis for potential drug design and screening. Most recently, I have used cryo-electron microscopy to determine atomic structures of a very conserved and important molecular machine involved in neural transmission. The structures reveal how neurons recycle the proteins critical for their communication.