Departments of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences

Current Scholars

Kathryn Brewer
2016 Beckman Program Scholar

Kathryn Brewer is from Overland Park, Kansas, where she attended Blue Valley West High School. She is majoring in chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry. Kathryn’s interest in research focuses on understanding diseases, and will begin her research project under Dr. Audrey Lamb. The project involves selecting a siderophore biosynthetic enzyme and clone for overexpression in E. coli, developing an overproduction and purification scheme for the enzyme, and developing and optimizing a crystallization method for the enzyme. Enzymatic activity assays and steady state analyses will then be done on the protein.

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 to 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. Beginning in June of 2016, Collin will join the laboratory of Dr. Paul Hanson.  His project will be aimed at the development of small molecule probes capable of modulating regulatory enzymes involved in important biochemical pathways. 

Mattea Keister
2017 Beckman Program Scholar

Mattea Keister grew up in Arvada, Colorado, where she attended Ralston Valley High School. She is majoring in biochemistry. She joined Dr. Lisa Timmons lab in August 2016 where she started working on an unusual form of gene silencing that was observed in transgenic strains of Caenorhabditis elegans.  The findings are reminiscent of genetic imprinting mechanisms in humans and may illuminate unintended consequences of genetic manipulation.  The goal is to use biochemical and genetic approaches to uncover the underlying mechanism for this form of silencing.  Mattea plans to continue her education in an MD/PhD program with the goal of pursuing biomedical research.

Zachary Wood
2017 Beckman Program Scholar

Zachary Wood is from Eureka, MO where he attended Eureka High School. He is majoring in chemistry with a minor in mathematics. In November of 2015, Zach joined Professor Misha Barybin’s research laboratory where he has been engaged in undergraduate research at the interface of organometallic and materials branches of chemistry.  As a Beckman Scholar, Zach will work toward gaining important quantitative insight into tuning electronic characteristics of organometallic molecular wires with the goal of designing new nanoscale materials relevant to applications in organic electronics. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry and, embark on a research career in the chemistry of functional materials.


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