I have always been interested in the tangible applications of physics. While an undergraduate, I did research in both the fields of astronomy under Gerard Williger (University of Louisville), and glaciology with Todd Dupont (University of California, Irvine), modeling the movement of Antarctic ice streams. It seems only reasonable that I gravitated towards the Purdue biophysics groups once entering graduate school. My primary foci were the fields of sustainable energy and medical physics. Conveniently, the group of Yulia Pushkar (Purdue) fit both of those objectives perfectly. During my tenure in her group, I primarily studied the catalytic water splitting cycle of photosystem II and artificial sunlight-to-energy assemblies. However, I also participated in experiments measuring metal quantification in the brain as it pertains to neurodegenerative diseases. During my first postdoctoral position in the lab of Nozomi Ando (Princeton), I utilized X-ray scattering/diffraction methods to observe structural snapshots of the changes associated with catalysis and regulation in metalloenzymes, particularly radical SAM enzymes.
I am predominantly interested in the changes to metalloenzymes during catalysis both at the metal center and beyond, in the global structure. I have significant experience with time-resolved laser pump/X-ray probe techniques to study these changes, including but not limited to X-ray emission and absorption spectroscopy (XES, XANES, EXAFS). My current postdoctoral work in the group of John T. Groves (Princeton) attempts to combine my spectroscopic and crystallographic experience to characterize P450-like enzymes and their synthetic analogs, while my work with the lab of Amie Boal (Penn State) endeavors to elucidate the structural basis for the diverse functionality inherent to Fe/2OG-dependent enzymes.