Bio:

I grew up in San Antonio Texas and attended Rice University, where I majored in Biochemistry. I saw my first protein structure model at an “Explorer Scouts” meeting in high school and was hooked. I am fascinated by the fact that a linear polymer encodes the ability to fold, do chemistry, and sense the environment. I want to understand what biochemical and biophysical criteria must be fulfilled for a protein to work in a cell, and how evolution records this information in sequence. In my thesis work, I used physics-based computational protein design to engineer protein-protein interfaces under the mentorship of Dr. Tracy Handel at UC Berkeley. As a postdoctoral fellow, I worked with Dr. Rama Ranganathan at UT Southwestern. There, we showed that conserved sites on the protein surface act as allosteric hotspots. I established my own lab at UTSW in 2014, where my group is deeply interested in the evolution-based design of protein allostery and activity, and the construction of synthetic cellular systems. I am recipient of a Gordon and Betty Moore foundation data driven discovery investigator award, the UTSW excellence in graduate education teaching award, a NSF CAREER award, and the Biophysical Society Biopolymers-in-Vivo Young Faculty Award.   

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