Alexandra J. Machen is a 2015-2019 Self Graduate Fellow pursuing a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Machen received her B.S. in chemical engineering at KU with a focus in bioengineering (2011) and her master's in public health at Emory University with a focus in epidemiology (2013). As an undergraduate, Machen held research positions in the biomaterials and tissue engineering group at KU and in REU programs at the University of Washington, Seattle and the University of Colorado, Boulder. While earning her MPH, Machen worked in the microbiology, immunology, and molecular diagnostics laboratory at Grady Memorial Hospital where her research focused on the development and validation of rapid identification and antibiotic resistance testing of bacteria. At KUMC, her current research in the lab of Dr. Mark Fisher focuses on understanding the structure and function of the anthrax toxin using cryo electron microscopy to direct the design of small molecule post exposure prophylactics. After earning her doctorate, Machen plans to use her unique educational background to investigate infectious disease outbreaks and prevent epidemics.
Mentor: Mark Fisher, Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology