Laura Hunsicker-Wang is a biochemist that is committed to undergraduate research and education. She feels that a strong research experience can change a student's life, giving him/her the direction that they need to take to fulfill their potential. For chemistry and biochemistry, research is also the best way to learn the discipline and for that reason, the research experience is paramount in an undergraduate's experience.
Hunsicker-Wang is committed to undergraduate education in part because of her own experiences. She went to a small, private liberal arts college and loved the small school environment where she thrived on the attention that she got from the professors because of the smaller classes. She also participated in research as an undergraduate, which cemented her commitment to go to graduate school. She had the urge to teach while growing up, and after experiencing undergraduate research, she felt that being at an institution where one could both teach classes and do meaningful research would be the best fit for her.
Postoc in Structural Biology, The Scripps Research Institute
Ph.D. in Chemistry, Texas A&M University
B.S. in Chemistry, Texas Lutheran University
(* indicates Trinity student)
“Reactive Sites and Course of Reduction in the Rieske protein” Li, S.Y., Oyala, P. Britt, R.D., Weintraub, S.T, Hunsicker-Wang, L.M. J. Biol. Inorg. Chem. 22 (4), 545-557 (2017)
“The Reduction Rates of DEPC-modified mutant Thermus thermophilus Rieske Proteins Differ When There is a Negative Charge Proximal to the Cluster ” Karagas, N.E.*, Jones, C.N., Osborn, D.J.*, Dzierlenga , A.L.*, Oyala, P., Konkle, M.E., Whitney, E.M.*, Britt, R.D., Hunsicker-Wang, L.M. Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, 19 (7), 1121-1135 (2014)
"Chemical Modification of the Rieske Protein from Thermus thermophilus Using Diethyl Pyrocarbonate Modifies Ligating Histidine 154 and Reduces the [2Fe-2S] Cluster" Konkle, M.E., Elsenheimer, K.N.*, Hakala, K., Robicheaux, J.C.*, Weintraub, S.T., Hunsicker-Wang, L.M., Biochemistry 49, 7272–7281 (2010).
"Effect of pH on the Rieske Protein from Thermus thermophilus: a Spectroscopic and Structural Analysis" Konkle, M.E., Muellner, S.K.*, Schwander, A.L.*, Dicus, M.M., Pokhrel, R.*, Britt, R.D., Taylor, A.B., Hunsicker-Wang, L.M., Biochemistry 48, 9848–9857 (2009).
The Hunsicker-Wang lab explores the relationship between protein structure and function. Researchers study metalloproteins from a unique bacterium, Thermus thermophilus. These proteins have high stability and make them amenable for structural studies using X-ray crystallography. The proteins that are studied are involved directly or indirectly in the respiration process. The lab uses a combination of mutagenesis, chemical modification, and spectroscopic and structural tools to study these proteins.
Advanced Topics: Structural Biology and Neurochemistry