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    Arizona State University

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  • Biography

    Chelsie E. Conrad is a Ph.D. Candidate at Arizona State University in the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Prior to her graduate studies, Conrad received her B.S. from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah; where she studied a zinc finger protein involved in epigenetics using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Her Ph.D. dissertation is focused on method development for serial femtosecond crystallography. Her first project was to develop a method to decrease the large quantity of sample needed for this technique. She has developed and filed a patent on a medium that can be mixed with crystals, post crystallization for delivery to the X-ray beam. This medium has proven to decrease sample consumption by more than a factor of 10, which has been shown to be compatible with a large variety of proteins, RNA, and virus crystals. Currently, Chelsie is working on demonstrating that mixing induced time-resolved crystallography is possible on the millisecond regime, using serial femtosecond crystallography. The ultimate goal of this project is to combine snapshots of short lived, enzyme intermediates at different time points to create a “molecular movie”. As a proof of principle, Chelsie is focused on understanding the mechanism of a vital E. coli protein that could potentially be a new class of antibiotics. This protein is ideal as the time points of intermediate formation have been extensively studied yet the mechanism is still debated.

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