Matt Schaichis a 2016-2020 Self Graduate Fellow pursuing a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He received a B.S. (2014) in biochemistry and a B.A. (2014) in music from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His current research interests include using X-ray crystallography to study telomerase, the “immortality enzyme,” in Dr. Bret Freudenthal’s laboratory of genome maintenance and structural biology. With this technique, he is able to visualize the formation and cleavage of covalent bonds as telomerase lengthens telomeres, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomal DNA. Combining structural biology with advanced enzymology, Matt hopes that advancements in understanding how telomerase functions will lead to new treatments for both cancer and aging.
Mentor: Bret D. Freudenthal, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology