Jonathan Davies – BSCI (Y5)
(jonathan.p.davies AT vanderbilt.edu)
Jonathan grew up in Nashville, TN and received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Biology at Brown University. As an undergraduate, he completed a senior thesis on chemical synthesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis antibiotics in the lab of Dr. Jason K. Sello. He then moved to the Philippines to perform research on biochemical stabilization of brown rice as a Fulbright Scholar at the Philippines Rice Research Institute. As a Cellular, Biochemical, and Molecular Sciences (CBMS) T32 trainee, Jonathan is focused on applying chemical biology tools to probe flavivirus-host interactions during infection with quantitative, temporal resolution. When not sciencing, he enjoys riding his bike, pretending to play the guitar, and eating his way through Nashville.
Eli McDonald – CHEM (Y5)
(eli.f.mcdonald AT vanderbilt.edu)
Eli grew up in Bettendorf, Iowa and completed his B.E. in Chemical Engineering at Vanderbilt University. His undergraduate research focused on the thermodynamics of phospholipid bilayer permeation and self assembly at the Multiscale Modeling and Simulation Centre. Eli received the DAAD RISE Scholarship in 2016 to conduct summer research at the Laboratory of Engineering Thermodynamics where he studied the properties of salt solutions using molecular modeling. His current research project entails understanding the relationship between thermodynamic and kinetic regulation of CFTR folding and trafficking using Molecular Dynamics and chemical biology approaches. He is supported by the Vanderbilt Chemistry Biology Interface training grant (NIH-#5T32GM065086) on behalf of the Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology. When not in the lab, Eli has a great work-life balance by doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, and other activities he considers “work”, but in the lab he is living life.
Minsoo Kim -CPBP (Y4)
(min.soo.kim.1 AT vanderbilt.edu)
Minsoo grew up in Seoul, South Korea and came to the US for his Bachelor's degree in chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry and molecular biology at Kalamazoo College. His undergraduate research was focused on the chemical synthesis of novel antagonists for the serotonin 2B receptor in the lab of Dr. Dwight Williams. His current research project involves studying various Cystic Fibrosis causing CFTR mutations and how they are affected by CFTR corrector drugs. Outside of lab he enjoys watching movies, playing the piano, cooking experimental dishes and trying to stay fit.
Crissey Cameron - CHEM (Y3)
(crissey.d.cameron AT vanderbilt.edu)
Crissey Cameron grew up in Reno, Nevada where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2020. While attending her hometown undergraduate university, Crissey conducted research under the direction of Dr. Yftah Tal-Gan studying the structure-activity relationship between the quorum sensing signal of Enterococcus faecalis and its signaling pathway. This research helped Crissey develop an interest in protein-protein interactions which she is currently pursuing in the Plate Lab through the development of a trifunctional probe used to study time-resolved interactions. Outside of the lab, Crissey enjoys nature through hikes and bike rides as well as the occasional indulgence in Nashville’s local food and drink scene.
Valeria Garcia Lopez - BSCI (Y3)
(valeria.a.garcia.lopez AT vanderbilt.edu)
Valeria was born in El Salvador and raised in Nashville, TN. She obtained a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Centre College in 2019. Shortly after graduating she joined the Skaar Lab at VUMC as a research assistant and studied two-component signaling systems in B. anthracis. Valeria’s current endeavors in the Plate Lab are to investigate human coronavirus non-structural protein host interactors. When not in the lab, Valeria enjoys kickboxing, going to local restaurants, and attending concerts.
Brynn Roman - BSCI (Y3)
(brynn.k.roman AT vanderbilt.edu)
Brynn grew up in Salisbury, Maryland but migrated to Pittsburgh to attend Duquesne University. At Duquesne she earned a B.S. in Biochemistry while minoring in Mathematics. During her undergraduate career, she joined Dr. David Seybert’s lab where she worked to characterize the effects of macromolecular crowding on the kinetic parameters of aldose reductase. Brynn’s current research project in the Plate Lab focuses on understanding how coronavirus nonstructural proteins and their host interactors contribute to the viral life cycle. When not in lab Brynn enjoys hiking, binging reality TV and spending time with her gremlins which masquerade as cats.
Jake Hermanson - BSCI (Y2)
(jake.hermanson AT vanderbilt.edu)
Jake grew up in Georgetown Texas and earned a Biochemistry degree from Texas State University. His undergraduate research was testing in vitro pharmacokinetics on natural products analogs in Dr. Sean Kerwin’s Lab. His current research focuses on how protein-protein interactions change over time, determining direct interactors of genetically misfolded proteins. When not in lab, he enjoys fishing, hiking, watching NFL football, and making cocktails.
Lea Barny - CPBP (Y2)
(lea.a.barny AT vanderbilt.edu)
Lea grew up in Scotch Plains, New Jersey and earned a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from the University of Scranton. As part of her undergraduate honors thesis, she studied the regional accumulation of silver nanoparticles in the brains of mice within the labs of Dr. David A. Rusak (chemistry) and Dr. Patrick T. Orr (neuroscience). After discovering her passion for analytical chemistry, Lea earned her master’s in chemistry from Villanova University. Working in the lab of Dr. Kevin P.C. Minbiole at Villanova, she developed LC-MS/MS methods for the detection of various small molecules in biological matrices. Within the Plate Lab, Lea is working to continue to expand her understanding of mass spectrometry through the development a targeted quantitative proteomics method to probe cellular stress response pathways. When Lea is not in the lab, she enjoys walking or running in many Nashville parks, cooking vegetarian dishes, and heading to the beach when in NJ!
Will Sutton - CHEM (Y1)
(william.j.sutton AT vanderbilt.edu)
Will Sutton was born and raised in Auburndale, FL and earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics from Sewanee: The University of the South in 2019. Post-graduation, Will spent three years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA where he worked on influenza and Covid-19 vaccine research in the Clinical Chemistry Branch of the Division of Laboratory Sciences. Will hopes use chemical biology approaches to increase time resolution in protein interactomics studies. When not in the lab, Will enjoys playing disc golf, hiking, climbing, and trying different breweries around Nashville.
Molly Sullivan - CPBP (Y1)
(molly.e.sullivan AT vanderbilt.edu)
Molly grew up in Huntsville, AL and attended Samford University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and a minor in Dance in 2022. As an undergraduate, she worked in the lab of Dr. Corey Johnson studying the expression and purification of small laccase (SLAC) as well as the structural, kinetic, and mechanistic properties of tetrahydrodipicolinate N-succinyltransferase (DapD). Molly’s current research focuses on understanding how synonymous codon substitutions impact translation speeds and proteostasis interactions during viral host adaptation. Outside of lab, Molly enjoys trying new restaurants in Nashville, trivia nights with
friends, reading, and attending concerts.
(sarah.garcia AT vanderbilt.edu)
(sarah.garcia AT vanderbilt.edu)
Mike Jiang – CHEM
Mike was born in China and spent his teenage years in Portland, OR. Currently, he is a sophomore undergraduate majoring in both Chemistry and Medicine, Health, and Society. In lab, Mike focuses on using the previously developed complex-probe system to study coronavirus nsp2 proteins and determine the time-resolved interactome. In his free time, he likes to spend time with friends and family, explore food from around the world, read, and travel.
Olivia Black – ChemE, Chemistry
We are accepting new rotation students in the Fall 2023. Please contact us to inquire about potential projects.
Previous rotation students:
Sirena Tran (IGP)
Alec Brown (BSCI)
Lee Cantrell (QCB)
Reyhaneh Tirgar (BSCI)
Sam Lisy (IGP)
Kathryn Kapp (CHEM)
Rebecca Moore (CHEM)
Kaylee Johnson (IGP)
Johny Nguyen (CHEM)
Micaelle Jorge (CHEM)
Nadjali Chung (CHEM)
Yizhi (Vera) Fu (CHEM)
Jasmin Tindal (CHEM)
Henry Schares (IGP)
Alex Mansueto (BSCI)
Jennifer Wurm (QCB)
Nicky Eleuteri (IGP)
Reecan Juarez (QCB)
Gustavo Araiza (QCB)
Samuel Oyedele (CHEM)
Cody Marshall (IGP)
Melanie Dillon (IGP)
Chiamaka Okoye (IGP)
Louis Otero (IGP)
Leah Oswalt (BSCI)
Nadir Dbouk (BSCI)
Katie Almasy – CHEM (Ph.D. in 2022)
NSF Graduate Research Fellow
Current Position: Scientific Writer, Manager, Scientific Innovation at FORCE Communications
Adam Metts – CHEM (M.S.)
Current Position: Consultant at Deallus
Andrew Whitten – B.S. in CHEM/ChemE (2020)
Mark M. Jones Award for Undergraduate Achievements in Inorganic Chemistry, 2020
Stephen Harris Cook Memorial Fellowship for Summer Research
Current Position: PhD student in Chemistry at UC Berkeley in the lab of Michelle Chang
Vanderbilt undergraduate students and motivated graduate students interested in joining the group should contact Lars by email (lars.plate (AT) vanderbilt.edu).