Michael is from Wichita, Kansas, where he attended Andover High School before attending the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science at Fort Hays State University for his junior and senior year of high school. While at Fort Hays, he got a taste of what it was like to do laboratory research, and is excited to be taking on his own project under Dr. Karanicolas here at the University of Kansas. His current project involves finding small molecules that rescue the activity of the lac repressor in E. coli in the context of special loss-of-function mutations using computational and experimental approaches. He hopes to graduate with a B.S. in biochemistry and move on to pursue a PhD in graduate school.
Originally from Lakewood, New York, Aidan has lived in Lawrence, Kansas for three years and is a graduate of Lawrence Free State High School. He is currently a rising junior with plans to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and pursue further education through an MD/PhD program. As a Beckman Scholar, Aidan is working with his mentor, Dr. Scott Hefty, to discover the structure and function of several proteins with unknown function in the Chlamydia trachomatis proteome. C. trachomatis is the leading cause of sexually-transmitted disease in the USA and the primary etiological agent of preventable blindness worldwide. Structural and functional studies of these ‘hypothetical proteins’ will contribute to the overall initiative to better understand the mechanisms of pathogenesis in Chlamydia and develop improved treatment strategies for infection.