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Meet Chemistry's New Faculty

Fall 2018

Two new tenure track faculty joined us for Fall 2018.

Markos Koutmos
Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biophysics

His research focuses on examining how biomolecular structure contributes to the processing pathways of two classes of molecules essential for human health: mitochondrial RNAs ((mt)RNAs) and vitamin B12. His work aims to uncover the molecular level details necessary to understand, and ultimately treat, diseases linked to dysfunctional biomolecular maturation mechanisms. He is also studying Methionine Synthase (MS), a large multi-domain protein responsible for generating methionine from homocysteine, and his work will provide an understanding of the relationship between MS function and B12 metabolism, and ultimately lay the groundwork for the development of therapeutics against diseases affected by modulations in the MS action.

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Wenjing Wang
Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry
Research Assistant Professor, U-M Life Sciences Institute

She is applying cutting-edge protein engineering methods, such as directed evolution, to improve the dynamic range and overall performance of light-sensitive proteins, and to harness them for detection and manipulation of important biochemical events. The goal is to expand the utility of optogenetics toolbox across cell biology and neuroscience.

Wang Lab website

Fall 2016-2017

Ryan Bailey 
Robert A. Gregg Professor of Chemistry

Bailey joined the department in 2016 from University of Illinois. His research is centered in bioanalytical chemistry and chemical biology.

Learn more on the Bailey Research Group site.

Aaron Frank
Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biophysics

Frank's research aims to develop and deploy integrative modeling tools to elucidate the structure and dynamics of important biological molecules to determine the relationship among structure, dynamics, and function. He was a UM Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow and joined the assistant professor ranks in 2016.

Frank Group website

Sarah Keane
Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biophysics

Keane joined the faculty in winter 2017. Her work seeks to uncover the mechanisms and functional roles of ncRNAs in disease progression using a combination of biomolecular NMR and other biophysical and structural tools.

Keane Lab 

Kristin Koutmou, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Koutmou joined the faculty in fall 2016. Work in her lab seeks to unlock the ‘RNA epigenetic code’ by uncovering how post-transcriptional modifications alter mRNA structure, translation, and stability, and identifying how the ribonucleoprotein content of different mRNAs is controlled by their modification status. 

Koutmou Lab  

Ginger Shultz, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Shultz conducts educational research aimed at understanding the teaching and learning of college level chemistry. She was a UM Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow and became an assistant professor in 2016.

Shultz Research Group

Jennifer Bridwell-Rabb
Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Joined the faculty for the fall 2017 semester. She leads a research laboratory that is focused on elucidating the molecular details of how light-absorbing pigments are built and modified. She comes to UM from MIT where she was a HHMI Postdoctoral Fellow. Her PhD is from Texas A&M with advisor, David P. Barondeau. Her undergraduate degree is from Central Michigan University.
Bridwell-Rabb Lab