Graduate Students Win National Awards

Author: Rebecca Hicks

The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry would like to congratulate graduate students Ansley Nemeth and McKenze Moss on their recent selection for national awards.

Ansley Nemeth

Ansley Nemeth is a third-year graduate student working in the laboratory of Christian Melander, George & Winifred Clark Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry. Nemeth has been chosen as one of only four recipients of the 2021 American Chemical Society Division of Medicinal Chemistry Predoctoral Fellowship, which is sponsored by Genentech. Her research focuses on finding ways to address antibiotic resistance, particularly for Klebsiella pneumoniae. K. pneumoniae is a gram-negative bacterium, meaning it possesses an outer membrane that prevents its treatment with many antibiotics. Nemeth’s work will center on testing and developing adjuvant molecules that can override the natural resistance mechanisms of these bacteria to make them more susceptible to treatment with a broader range of antibiotics.

McKenze Moss

McKenze Moss is a second-year graduate student working in the laboratory of Patricia Clark, Rev. John Cardinal O’Hara Professor of Biochemistry. Moss has been selected to receive a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Her research centers on determining how cellular processes influence protein folding, which has implications for treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s that are associated with protein misfolding. Moss will study how synonymous codon substitutions, which alter the mRNA coding sequence but maintain the amino acid protein sequence, influence the ability of proteins to fold correctly.