1. How did you get into the field?
My graduate training in x-ray crystallography was done here at UCI. I determined structures of membrane proteins and light-activated transcription factors. I used this early success to pivot into structural virology.
2. Tell us a little bit about your research.
The goal of my group is to increase our understanding of the molecular mechanism by which pathogen infection leads to inflammatory diseases and cancer. We use cryo-electron microscopy and other biophysical approaches to investigate the structure and mechanism of key mediators of the inflammatory response.
3. What accomplishments are you most proud of?
At the top of the list would be my wife and two kids.
4. Tell us a little bit about your journey? What important lessons have you learned along the way?
My journey has been exciting. I’ve had exposure to renowned scientists and Nobel laureates that invented techniques used by many. I’ve been fortunate to publish in some top journals. But I’ve learned you’ve got to have some thick skin to weather the storm many researchers face regarding obtaining scientific results or funding. Somehow, focusing on the science always pays off in the end.
5. Who do you look up to? What is your source of inspiration?
People trying to make the world a better place like Anthony Fauci. I’m driven to do impactful science that can have a real impact on mankind.
6. What is your favorite hobby or activity outside of work?
I enjoy jogging. You might see me running in Newport Coast.
7. What is your favorite comfort food?
8. What types of music do you enjoy listening to?
Classical music is always playing in the background when I’m in the office. It helps me focus and relax.
9. If you could give one piece of advice to young Black scholars getting into life sciences what would it be?
Well, it’s difficult to give only one piece of advice. I’d love to chat with anyone interested in a career in biomedical research. Please send me an email and let’s meet!
The system will be difficult to navigate without mentoring. It’s important to have a few people that have a 50,000-foot view of where you are and the pathway to your career goal. Keep pushing!
10. Could you please share your social media handles:
Your lab or personal website that you would like to share: