Varsity swimming and Empire 8 President’s List student-athlete (2011, 2012)
CRC Press Chemistry award (for achievement in accelerated general chemistry) (2012)
Varsity cross-country and Empire 8 President’s List (2013)
American Chemical Society/POLYED award (for achievement in organic chemistry) (2013)
Faculty Scholar (2014)
John Christopher Hartwick Scholarship Nominee (2015)
Senior Thesis Title: Increasing Energy Output of an E. coli-powered Microbial Fuel Cell using Phosphofructokinase as a target for protein engineering
Advisor: Dr. Andrew J. Piefer
My PhD research is focused on the design and development of myoglobin-based artificial enzymes for (asymmetric) carbene transfer reactions, a class of synthetically important transformations that are not found in nature. These studies are expected to lead to new efficient, selective, and sustainable catalysts for the synthesis of drug molecules, drug intermediates, and other high-value compounds and fine chemicals.
My work has so far focused on the following projects:
Optimization of myoglobin-based carbene transfer catalysts via cofactor substitution Expanding upon pioneering studies of our lab in the development of engineered myoglobins for asymmetric olefin cyclopropanations and other carbene transfer reactions (i.e., carbene N-H/S-H insertion, aldehyde olefination, etc.), my research has focused on the optimization and modulation of the reactivity of these biocatalysts via substitution of the native heme cofactor (iron protoporphyrin IX) with non-native cofactors incorporating other metals.
Hyperstabilization of myoglobin variants via computationally-guided stapling Enzyme stabilization is critical for enhancing the synthetic utility and application of biological catalysts for organic synthesis. Using one of our engineered myoglobin catalyst as a model system, I have investigated and validated a new method for protein ‘hyperstabilization’ via computationally guided (Rosetta) protein stapling.