People

Faculty

Wei Chen
Chair of Biochemistry, Marilyn Dawson Sarles, M.D. Professor of Chemistry

The primary research goal of Wei Chen's interdisciplinary research group is to use materials chemistry to understand and impart important surface phenomena, such as wetting and bio-compatibility of polymeric and inorganic substrates. The selected projects are contemporary, relevant in the field, and feasible for undergraduate researchers and to use the tools of organic, analytical, bio-, physical chemistry.

413-538-2224
G22D Carr Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
Professor Andras, PhD

Jason Andras

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Jason Andras is interested in the ecological and evolutionary interactions between animals and their microbial symbionts. His previous research has explored these themes in deep-sea hydrothermal vent and coral reef communities. His current research focuses primarily on the coevolution between freshwater zooplankton of the genus Daphnia and one of their highly specific bacterial parasites, Pasteuria ramosa.

413-538-2891
100 Clapp Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Kyle Broaders' research interests focus on the interaction of living cells with their material surroundings. He employs the tools of organic synthesis to prepare materials with tailored properties like shape, stiffness, permeability, or response to external stimulus. The responses of cells to these designed properties allows him to assay the way they integrate information about their surroundings and make behavioral choices.

413-538-3658
G22A Carr Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
Amy Camp, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Amy Hitchcock Camp investigates how bacteria—once assumed to be antisocial organisms—“talk” with one another to coordinate complex biological processes. In particular, she studies a bacterium, Bacillus subtilis, that can transform itself into a dormant and nearly indestructible spore. Using molecular, cellular, genetic, and biochemical techniques, the Camp Lab “eavesdrops” on sporulating cells to discover the elegant and unexpected ways that they communicate and control gene expression.

413-538-3433
120A Carr Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
Amy Frary, Professor of Biological Sciences
Professor of Biological Sciences

Amy Frary's research focuses on studying the genetic architecture and evolution of plant genomes, largely through the analysis of quantitative traits and comparative genome mapping. She is equally at home among biologists who work at the molecular level and chemists who work at the biological level. Frary has worked with students on the Howard Hughes Summer Research Training program on such topics as the DNA fingerprinting of plants.

413-538-3015
120C Carr Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
Professor of Chemistry

Darren Hamilton and his students use the tools of synthetic organic chemistry to prepare molecular systems with designed properties or functions. These molecular systems can bind and transport, or bind and recognize, a species of interest. Current projects involve the preparation of transport systems for metal ions employed in medical imaging techniques, as well as the development of a prototype molecular construct for carbohydrate recognition. Hamilton's research with undergraduate students has been published most recently in the Journal of Organic Chemistry, Crystal Growth and Design, and the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

413-538-3427
G02A Carr Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
Jeffrey A. Knight Professor of Biological Sciences
Professor of Biological Sciences

Jeffrey Knight is the editor of both volumes of Encyclopedia of Genetics, the author of numerous articles, and a contributor to many textbooks and encyclopedias. His current research interests include mitochondrial ribosomal biogenesis in yeast, the fine-structure analysis of mitochondrial genes in yeast, and genetically engineered ribozyme expression in yeast.

413-538-2487
105 Clapp Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
Vinita Lukose, Visiting Lecturer in Biochemistry

Vinita Lukose

Visiting Lecturer in Biochemistry

Vinita Lukose's research interests include enzymology and microbial glycobiology. She is interested in the diverse glycoconjugates found on the bacterial cell surface and the enzymes that synthesize these complex molecules. Lukose's previous research used chemical biology methods to investigate the N-linked protein glycosylation system in the human pathogen, Campylobacter jejuni.

413-538-3262
G02D Carr Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
Kathryn McMenimen
Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Chemistry, on leave 2015-16

Kathryn McMenimen is interested in the chemical interactions that underlie biological systems. Her research group uses tools at the interface of chemistry, biochemistry, neuroscience, and biophysics to study one type of molecular chaperone, the small heat shock proteins. McMenimen is particularly interested in protein homeostasis and how dysfunction of molecular chaperones contributes to protein misfolding diseases, such as, cataracts, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other neurological diseases.

413-538-3375
G22B Carr Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
Alan van Geissen

Alan van Giessen

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Alan van Giessen uses theoretical and computational techniques to understand the structure and thermodynamics of both complex and simple systems. His research focus has focused on the destabilization of a test protein and its potential to provide a mechanism for nucleating misfolded aggregates complicit in diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Huntington's Disease. A second area of focus is the energetic properties of curved interfaces, such as liquid drops or micelles. Van Giessen teaches a wide range of courses including both general chemistry and physical chemistry and including a seminar course entitled “Poisons: Death by Chemistry”.

413-538-2449
G02C Carr Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
Craig Woodard, Professor of Biological Sciences
Chair and Christianna Smith Professor of Biological Sciences

Craig Woodard’s research group examines metamorphosis in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, in an attempt to understand how steroid hormones control biological processes such as development, programmed cell death, tissue remodeling, and insulin signaling. By examining the mechanisms by which ecdysone regulates fly metamorphosis, Woodard hopes to gain a better understanding of how steroid hormones control biological processes in all animals.

413-538-3056, 413-538-2724
105 Carr Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only

Staff

Dianne Baranowski

Academic Department Coordinator
413-538-2611
106 Carr Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
 Laurie Lentz-Marino Laboratory Instructor

Laurie Lentz-Marino

Laboratory Instructor

Laurie Lentz-Marino earned her Master's, MA Chemistry in 2001 from MHC, under Dr. Cotter in organometallic chemistry and her BA in Biology from Temple University. She strives to update and adapt real world applicable exercises in biochemistry labs. She is the co-author along with Dr. Stephanie Seneff, an MIT professor of computer science, on three papers both concerning sulfur biochemistry in nutrition.

413-538-2106
106 Carr Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only