Present: Senior Scientist, Abzena
- Past Member (Postdoctoral Researcher)
Present: Foreign Affairs Officer and AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, U.S. Department of State
Nikki was coadvised by Prof. Michelle O'Malley (ChE) and Prof. Songi Han (DCB). She worked on characterizing pharmaceutically relevant membrane protein complexes to link changes in structure and dynamics to function. Namely, she worked with a G protein-coupled receptor called the adenosine A2a receptor to elucidate structural details and functional consequences of homo-dimerization. The A2a receptor regulates cardiac function and several processes within the central nervous system; the outcome of this research will facilitate improved rational drug design to target A2a receptor oligomers in the treatment of disorders such as inflammation, fibrosis, schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease.
Alex's research focuses on hydration on a molecular level. The question he is most concerned with is how and why are hydrophilic surfaces hydrated in both biological systems as well as non-biological or inorganic systems? He is working on solving this mystery by performing DNP measurements and surface force measurements. Apart from this, he works on the correlattion of measurements of water diffusivity with surface forces specifically for hydrated hydrophilic surfaces.
Present: Instructor, Elite Educational Institute
Present: NMR R&D Scientist, JEOL USA
Present: Associate Director, R&D, Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Tarnuma's research focuses on the characterization of supported catalytic materials under the direction of Prof. Susannah Scott and Prof. Songi Han. Her interests lie in using advanced magnetic resonance techniques, including both EPR and NMR, to investigate the structural driving forces and underlying mechanisms that dictate kinetic effects in reactions.
- PSBN 4623
Till worked on a project on hardware design to run ODNP on fuel cells. He and Prof. Songi Han were attempting to analyze conduction pathways in polyelectrolyte membranes with the help of ODNP. They hoped to better understand the difference between the surface (backbone) diffusion and the bulk diffusion using the ODNP. By changing those diffusion behaviors and understanding how membrane diffusion works, they built up the base to obtain a higher efficiency for diffusion through the membrane.
Present: NMR & EPR Specialist, Materials Research Laboratory, University of California - Santa Barbara
Blake is coadvised by Prof. Mark Sherwin (Physics) and Prof. Songi Han (DCB). His focus is to work on developing high field EPR methods and performing high field EPR on systems to learn about the behavior of materials in a high field. By doing this, he helps build a better understanding of the processes that are important for the systems of spins at high field, aiming to develop new methods for studying biological systems. Under Mark Sherwin's guidance, Blake has also helped develop the UCSB electron-free laser as a tool for high field EPR.
Kate focuses on understanding the aggregation of tau, an intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) implicated in neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer`s Disease. She is interested in how tau can form extraordinarily stable amyloid fibrils, and aim to understand its aggregation behavior and seeding from a structural point of view. Currently, she is working on (1) seeding tau monomer with tau amyloid fibrils and (2) investigating the amyloid structure and fibril stability. She utilizes a number of biophysical techniques in her projects including ThT fluorescence, EPR, and DEER. With the background of polymer materials and engineering, she can provide new insights into biochemical and biophysical problems.
- PSBN 4653