In the era where a personal genome can be sequenced for a few hundred dollars, we now have access to a vast wealth of information about how DNA varies between human individuals - and between species as well.
Furthermore, rapidly advancing computational power - and the algorithms and mathematical models which can take advantage of it - enable us to find patterns in these genetic variations. In turn, these patterns can give us valuable insight into how we respond to different environmental factors, how human diseases arise, and more broadly, the link between genotype and phenotype.
My work focuses particularly on proteins - the building blocks of our cells that are encoded within the genome. A key (and incredibly difficult) challenge in biology is understanding how proteins fold into their functional structure(s), and how they interact with other proteins and other molecules. Many human diseases arise from when something goes wrong in the folding process. In recent years, I've also worked with mRNA - the templates from which proteins are built.
I use mathematical modeling, machine learning, and other computational methods to better understand how proteins have evolved, how they fold, and how they interact in the larger context of the cell and the outside environment. I got my PhD from MIT in 2016 (in Jeremy England's biophysics group), and am currently doing a joint postdoc with Prof. Debora Marks and Prof. Chris Sander at Harvard Medical School. I was promoted to Associate Research Director in Debbie's lab in 2020, with additional project management responsibilities. A large part of my work over the past few years has been to build out collaborations across multiple labs, to join our computational approaches to a wide variety of biological applications. In November 2022, I joined the computational biology team at Kernal Biologics.
Outside the Lab
When not wrangling computer clusters to do my bidding, I enjoy chilling with my Yorkie (Frodo) and my spouse (Tomo Lazovich). I also love performing sketch comedy in the greater Boston area, having mixed luck at pub trivia, and watching competitive cheerleading!
Massachusetts Institute of Technology - PhD in Computational and Systems Biology 2016
Harvard University - SB Engineering Sciences (ABET-accredited) - 2011