Departments of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences

BSP Alumni

Kathryn Brewer
2016 Beckman Program Scholar

Kathryn Brewer is from Overland Park, Kansas, where she attended Blue Valley West High School.  The project she pursued under the mentorship of Dr. Audrey Lamb focused on understanding an iron uptake system in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which involved the synthesis of iron-chelating molecules called siderophores. In this project, one of the enzymes in the biosynthetic pathway of the siderophore called pyoverdin was studied. This enzyme requires post-translational modification prior to becoming catalytically active.  A fluorescent probe has been synthesized that will allow this modification to be detected after testing. Once modification has been successfully demonstrated, kinetic studies and crystallization efforts of the protein will begin.

Kathryn graduated in May 2018 with a B.S. degree in chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry, earning Departmental Honors. Kathryn will begin graduate studies in Fall 2018 in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program at Vanderbilt University to pursue a degree in Biochemistry.

Collin Clay
2016 Beckman Program Scholar

Collin Clay grew up in Edmond, Oklahoma and attended Edmond High School. Collin began his undergraduate research work in the lab of Dr. Robert Ward in the Department of Molecular Biosciences. After switching his major to chemistry, he joined Dr. Carey Johnson’s research group in 2015. He has also been a part of the KU/Dublin City University chemistry research exchange program and worked on a research project in the lab of Dr. Dermot Diamond at DCU for one summer. In June of 2016, Collin joined the laboratory of Dr. Paul Hanson.  His Beckman Scholars project was aimed at the development of small molecule probes capable of modulating regulatory enzymes involved in important biochemical pathways. He also synthesized cyclic exo-vinyl Michael acceptors and studied reactivity patterns of thiol reactive moieties using a variety of analytical techniques. His work aimed to provide novel tools for assessing protein functions for biological studies.

Collin graduated from KU in May 2018 with a B.S. degree in Chemistry with a Standard Degree Option. His plans are to become a Field Organizer for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

Michael Cory
2015 Beckman Program Scholar

Michael is from Wichita, Kansas, where he spent his junior and senior high school years at the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science at Fort Hays State University. He graduated from the University of Kansas in May 2017 with a B.S. degree in Biochemistry, earning Departmental Honors.  While at KU, Michael joined the laboratory of Dr. John Karanicolas, who became his Beckman Scholars Program mentor.  His project in the Karanicolas group centered on identifying small molecules that can rescue the activity of the lac repressor in E. coli in the context of special loss-of-function mutations, through a combined computational and experimental approach. 

Michael is currently a student in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics graduate group at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Aidan Dmitriev
2015 Beckman Program Scholar

Originally from Lakewood, New York, Aidan moved to Lawrence, Kansas while in high school and is a graduate of Lawrence Free State High School.  He graduated from KU in May 2017, earning a B.S. degree in Microbiology  with Highest Distinction, University Honors, and Departmental Honors.  As a Beckman Scholar, Aidan worked 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. 

Aiden is currently in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at the University of Pittsburgh.


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