Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa
Hobbies: Hiking, Biking, Camping, Ultimate Frisbee, Video Games
Lab: Lyumkis Lab
Lab website: https://lyumkis.salk.edu/
What do you study?
I am interested in learning how hormones and hormone-like drugs work. I do this by looking at how hormones and drugs act through their receptors. Specifically, I am a biochemist who looks at how small molecules alter structure, dynamics, and function of a class of proteins called nuclear receptors.
Why is it important?
About 1/5 drugs in the clinic target hormone receptors for a variety of applications such as treating cancer, birth control, and reducing inflammation. Understanding how hormone receptors work is important to make more effective drugs with fewer side effects. Further, studying hormone receptors also helps us understand how they drive important biological processes underpinning the endocrine system.
What piqued your interest in science?
I became interested in science when I was a kid. For a long time, I have appreciated that any sufficiently advanced technology was effectively magic so to speak.
What do you like about being a scientist?
One of my favorite aspects about being a scientist is that I get to travel the world to discuss science with people from many walks of life. I also enjoy getting to “wear many hats” as a scientist. One day can be spent doing experiments, programming custom data analysis, giving presentations, writing reports, or reading the literature, or some combination of those things.
What are 5 general vocabulary terms someone should know going into your field of science?
Protein, DNA, Enzymes, Small Molecules, Transcription
What are 5 specific vocabulary terms someone should know about your research?
Structural Analysis, Nucleosomes, Hormone, Nuclear Receptor, Transcription Factors