Congratulations to Bethany Cook who completed her master degree in Chemistry in August 2018!! The Fourches lab wishes you the best in your future endeavors! She is now working as a data curator at ASRC Federal.
She was one of the most hardworking, and sweetest students in the lab. She always jumps at every opportunity to help others and shows great initiative for project tasks. We will certainly miss her diligence and cheerful presence, but are excited to watch her career progress.
Below is a highlight of her research, publications, and a quote about working in the lab or NCSU chemistry.
If you were to ask me what my future career would have been when I was younger, a Cheminformatics Scientist would definitely not have come up. Even through my undergraduate education, I was obsessed with analytical chemistry and all the answers I could receive with instrumentation. But, when I learned about the graduate opportunities at NC State, everything changed. At NC State, my eyes were opened to the world of predictive science, more importantly predictive medicine. As a member of the Fourches’ Lab, I had the opportunity to focus on two main projects: The inhibition of Ara h 2 and the Molecular Chimera Approach. These projects utilized a combination of molecular modeling and KNIME workflows to determine potential protein inhibitors against peanut allergens (Ara h 2) or cancer (Molecular Chimera Approach).
Ara h 2
Through collaboration with Dr. Plundrich, of the Food Science Department at NC State, we were able to predict and experimentally test naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agents against known peanut allergen protein, Ara h 2. Through agents known as polyphenols there is a possibility to suppress the harmful effects associated with those allergic to peanuts. For more information see our recently published article in the Journal of Food Chemistry: Binding of Peanut Allergen Ara h 2 with Vaccinium Fruit Polyphenols.
Molecular Chimera Approach
The search for a cure or at least an effective treatment for cancer seems to be a never ending battle. In the hopes to find a solution we have examined known treatments for possible common scaffolds; where there is potential to generate target specific inhibitors with increased potency. This common scaffold feature gave rise to what we call the Molecular Chimera Approach and allows us to structurally fuse two known inhibitors together generating countless new inhibitors. For more information look for our future publications.
Last but not least, here are a few photos from Bethany's graduation photoshoot with Arthuzi Photography.