I mainly focus on our drug discovery project. I perform in vitro and in vivo assays to determine Ki and therapeutic indexes for selected compounds. These compounds were selected via high throughput screening and in silico modeling performed by a counterpart and the University of Northern Colorado. By testing these compounds, we are searching for potential chemical inhibitors of flaviviruses such as West Nile virus, Dengue fever, and yellow fever.
I also work on dengue capping enzyme biochemical assays. Our lab generates capping enzyme mutants which can then be run through RNA binding and GTP binding assays to analyze their importance in RNA or GTP binding. Through these experiments, we hope to determine which amino acid residues are essential for binding. This information could lead to the development of more effective antiviral therapeutics.
I earned a B.S. in biochemistry from the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC in 2009. I have worked with Dr. Geiss since August 2009. I plan to pursue a career as a physician assistant and will begin schooling in June 2011 at the University of Colorado- Denver. I have really enjoyed my time spent in research and hope to someday engage in clinical research.
Outside of the lab, I have a pretty busy life. I enjoy running marathons, rock climbing, hiking, and anything outdoors. Inside, I enjoy sewing, yoga, and vegan baking. My coworkers have come to appreciate a good black bean brownie. I do not like watching movies (weird I know) and have a particular aversion to the Harry Potter films.