Structural Analysis of the Phytyl Transferase Enzyme of the Synechocystis PCC 6803 sp.
I attempted to isolate a protein called phythyl transferase from the blue-green algae Synechocystis PCC. 6803 that is involved in photosynthesis, and ultimately solve the structure of the protein at atomic resolution.
T. Wade Johnson, assistant professor of chemistry
What I liked most about my project was that Dr. Johnson allowed me to first implement my own ideas. Whenever I hit a dead end, he always had valuable suggestions to point me to the right direction. Besides learning new laboratory skills and techniques during this project, my interaction with Dr. Johnson has helped me to think more critically and to become more independent. I think he will make my transition to graduate school easier.
I think the Senior Scholar's Day project was the best way to implement all the knowledge and skills I have learned since freshmen year at Susquehanna. While working on the project throughout the year, I was able to carry out various experiments and to interact one-on-one with Dr. Johnson when I needed guidance. I also got additional suggestions from other chemistry faculty during several talks I gave on the project.
One of the main things I have learned is that one should expect a lot of surprises while doing scientific research. The process can be very frustrating at times, but the end result is very satisfying.
I will continue research in the field of biomedical sciences. I will be starting my Ph.D. in Biochemistry/Biophysics at Johns Hopkins University in September.