I’m a biochemist, working at CSU Channel Islands, a small university in Southern California. I’m an active researcher in protein stability and folding, but am working on become a better teacher, too. The path I’m walking is through a thicket of new and old tools, toward the undiscovered country of engaged students that see themselves as scientists.
As a scientist at a small university, my time is formally split between research and teaching. I try to tie them together as much as possible, however, and I make new classes and new methods a branch of my own research.
The courses I develop have names like “Beer, Wine, and Spirits” and “Nonwestern Origins of Science” and “Chemistry of the Kitchen”. They are all focused on broadening students’ exposure to the fundamentals of biochemistry, and are designed give students practice with the physical and cognitive tools of science.
In my research lab, we study protein structure/function, folding, and stability. What interactions are key to holding proteins together, do these drive protein folding, and how does ligand binding affect these processes? Students’ projects take them from basic molecular biology and protein engineering, to biophysical characterization of biological molecules using tools like NMR and fluorescence spectroscopy.we constantly seek new teachers to show us the way.