What classes/topics do you teach?I teach general chemistry, biochemistry, and biophysical chemistry.
What kind of research do you do?
My research interest focuses on protein and nucleic acid chemistry. My research group uses various theoretical and experimental methods to gain molecular-level understanding of the role of protein dynamics in its function.
How are students involved in you research or lab work?My students contribute to my research in several ways. They are involved in isolating and purifying DNA, RNA, and proteins from bacterial cells. They use spectroscopic, gel electrophoresis, and chromatographic methods to study protein-nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) interactions. In addition, they use bioinformatics tools, protein modeling, and various computational methods to study protein dynamics.
Why should a student study chemistry at UW - Eau Claire?Because at UW - Eau Claire, faculty members are very encouraging and fully dedicated to help their students learn the subject material and excel in their field of study. Good teaching is their top priority and they are passionate about research. Students get the opportunity to conduct research in cutting-edge fields, which is not available in all undergraduate schools.
Have you received any grants or published recent papers based on your research?
I have been awarded with two external grants: the Cottrell College Science Award (Research Corporation) and the Academic Research Enhancement Award (National Institute of Health), securing a total of $223K in external funding in past 3 yrs. I have co-authored 25 journal publications. Three undergraduate collaborators from UW - Eau Claire have coauthored one of these publications entitled "Evolutionary basis for the coupled domain motion in Thermus thermophilus leucyl-tRNA synthetase", published in the April 2009 publication of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
What is your favorite course to teach? Why?Biophysical chemistry - Chemistry 406. This inter-disciplinary course allows students to apply their knowledge of math, physics, and chemistry to explore the physico-chemical properties of biological macromolecules (e.g., protein, DNA, RNA) and their importance in various biological processes. As a gateway to many of the cutting edge research areas, students learn about theoretical approaches, experimental methods, and modern instrumental techniques to unravel many mysteries of contemporary life sciences (e.g. protein folding and dynamics, protein-nucleic acid interactions, drug design and delivery, and many others).
Best advice for students?You are learning new concepts and ideas in your classes, it is not an easy or quick process. It takes time. Only continued effort and clear focus can help you to be successful. Never give up! If you need help, talk with your peers and advisor immediately.
Favorite Eau Claire restaurant?
Cancun Mexican Restaurant and Grill, I love Mexican food.