COSAM News Articles 2022 September Hear from Emily Balskus at the Schneller Frontiers Lecture on Sep. 28

Hear from Emily Balskus at the Schneller Frontiers Lecture on Sep. 28

Published: 09/20/2022

By: Rahul Banerjee

Please join us for this year’s Schneller Frontiers Lecture where Emily Balskus from Harvard University will deliver her talk titled Deciphering the Human Gut Microbiome with Chemistry. The lecture is scheduled for Sep. 28 at 3:45 p.m. in SCC 115. The host is Rahul Banerjee.

Emily Balskus received her B.A. with highest honors in Chemistry from Williams College in 2002. After obtaining an M.Phil. in Chemistry as a Churchill Scholar at the University of Cambridge, Emily pursued graduate studies at Harvard University under the mentorship of Prof. Eric Jacobsen. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2008 and then joined the lab of Prof. Christopher Walsh at Harvard Medical School as a postdoctoral fellow. In 2011, she joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University as an assistant professor and she is currently the Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of Chemistry. She is also an Associate Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, a Faculty Associate of the Microbial Sciences Initiative at Harvard, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.

The research program in her laboratory aims to understand how microbial metabolism in the human microbiome influences host health and disease. This involves characterizing new metabolic pathways and enzymes displaying novel chemical mechanisms. It also includes the development of biocompatible reactions that generate small molecule modifiers of microbial metabolism for investigating metabolic pathways and targeted microbiome therapeutics. Prof. Emily Balskus is the recipient of numerous awards, of which, a few include the 2019 Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists, the 2018 Eli Lilly Grantee Award, the 2018 Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, the 2017 Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry, and the 2015 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.


The Schneller Frontiers Lectureship was endowed by Professor and Mrs. Stewart Schneller in 2015. It is to be an annual event to recognize 21st century international pioneers in chemistry and biochemistry. Between 1994 and 2010, Professor Schneller had the privilege of serving as Dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Having stepped down as Dean, he currently continues teaching along with his ongoing research program. This lectureship is an opportunity for the Schnellers to acknowledge the professional and personal fulfillment these opportunities have provided them.

Previous lecturers:

  • Melanie Sanford, University of Michigan, 2016
  • Sarah Reisman, California Institute of Technology, 2016
  • Shannon Stahl, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2017
  • Theodor Agapie, California Institute of Technology, 2019
  • Wilfred van der Donk, University of Illinois, 2019
  • Livia Eberlin, Baylor College of Medicine, 2021

 

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