The Baird Lab

Manipulating proteases, so you don't have to.

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I was born and raised in Ashland, Mississippi, a small town of 500 people. There wasn't much to do there so I decided that I would go to college when I finished high school. After high school, I attended Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, MS where I earned a BS in chemistry. It was there that I got my first taste of scientific research and lab work through the MARC program. The MARC program allowed me to have research experiences in biochemistry at Purdue University and bioanalytical chemistry at Eli Lilly and Company. While at Tougaloo, I worked in the laboratory of Dr. Mona Trempe in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi where I did biophysical studies on an aminoacyl tRNA synthetase complex. My research experiences caused me to develop a fondess for biochemistry, so From Tougaloo, I went to graduate school in biochemistry at Duke University in Durham, NC. There, I studied mechanistic enzymology under the guidance of Dr. Carol A. Fierke (now at the University of Michigan). I worked with two isozymes of carbonic anhydrase, CA II and IV where I characterized CA IV and did some protein engineering with CA II. I really liked the protein engineering aspect of my graduate work, so after I graduated from Duke, I did a post-doc with Dr. Charles Craik at the University of California, San Francisco where I continued work that he had begun with the serine protease, trypsin. After a few years there, I was fortunate enough to secure a position at San Francisco State University where I am today and I continue to work with trypsin.