Scott McConnell is a fourth year Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology (BMSB) student in Dr. Robert Clubb’s group. As an undergraduate, Scott studied biochemistry and received his B.S. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2015.

Scott’s graduate research focuses on uncovering the mechanism of pilus construction at the cell surface of Gram-positive bacteria by specialized transpeptidase enzymes called sortases. Because they mediate attachment to a wide range of host tissues during infections, pili are important virulence factors for many pathogenic bacteria. Scott primarily uses NMR spectroscopy and biochemical approaches to study the protein structure, dynamics and function of sortase and its pilin substrates. Leveraging these insights, Scott is concurrently developing this enzyme into a novel bioconjugation tool that is capable of catalyzing isopeptide linkages between biomolecules.

Rebeccah Warmack is a 6th year BMSB student in Dr. Steven G. Clarke’s laboratory. Before coming to UCLA, Rebeccah worked on the development of a cofermentation system for the production of ethanol from gluconate with Dr. Zhiliang Fan at UC Davis.

During her Ph.D. research, Rebeccah has focused on characterizing protein modifications, with a primary focus on the racemization and isomerization of aspartate residues within the context of cellular aging. Proteins which avoid protein turnover and repair, such as the crystallins of the lens and the beta-amyloid peptide of the brain, are particularly vulnerable to the accumulation of these isomerized residues. Rebeccah’s research has shown that the addition of these residues to proteins and peptides can significantly alter their properties, including increasing the aggregation propensity of both crystallin and beta-amyloid derived peptides.

Kevin Murray is an MSTP student, currently in the 3rd year of the MBIDP program in the laboratory of David Eisenberg. Kevin graduated from Montana State University, where he studied transition metal coordination complexes using quantum-level calculations and X-ray absorption spectroscopy in the laboratory of Robert Szilagyi. After graduating, he studied at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland as a US Fulbright Scholar. There he worked in the laboratory of Clémence Corminboeuf, studying the electronic structure of Fe-based biomimetic catalysts designed for production of hydrogen gas.

In the Eisenberg lab, Kevin’s research focuses on applying computational methods to study the structure and function of amyloids, protein aggregates present in multiple neurodegenerative diseases. Using de novo protein design, he is designing inhibitors capable of preventing amyloid aggregation. Additionally, he is applying computational modeling and bioinformatics, as well as structural and biochemical methods, to identify disease mutations which potentiate amyloid formation. He enjoys the outdoors, surfing, and one day hopes to have a dog.

Previous Fowler Fellows

2018          Michael Hughes (Eisenberg lab), Kanishk Jain (Clarke lab), William Barshop (Wohlschlegel lab), Yuxi Liu (Yeates lab)
2017          Brendan Amer (Clubb lab), Jeffrey Vinokur (Bowie lab), Anna Sahakyan (Plath lab)
2016          Henry Chan (Feigon lab), Smriti Sangwan (Eisenberg lab), Nicholas Woodall (Bowie lab)
2014          Dan McNamara (Yeates lab), Jena Quick-Cleveland (Guo lab), Nicholas Wu (Sun lab)
2013          Alex Jacobitz (Clubb lab), Alexander Patananan (S. Clarke lab), Carly Ferguson (Loo lab)
2012          Benjamin Kuryan (Carey lab), Letian Xie (C. Clarke lab), Anni Zhao (Eisenberg lab)
2011          Timothy Anderson (Clubb lab), Ian Barr (Guo lab), Soohong Kim (Weiss lab)
2010          Zeynep Durer (Reiser lab), Rachel Senturia (Guo lab), Zurita-Lopez (S. Clarke lab)
2009          Luki Goldschmidt (Eisenberg lab), Kristofer Webb (S. Clarke lab), Sheng Yin (Loo lab)
2008          Nathan Joh (Bowie lab), Neil King (Yeates lab)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]