Dr. Mary Jo Ondrechen is Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Northeastern University. In the lab, Mary Jo uses theory and computation to better understand how molecules work. In particular she works on enzymes which are proteins that catalyze chemical reactions. Mary Jo and her team also develop methods and theories to interpret genomic data, and they work on the computational side of drug discovery, helping medicinal chemists develop new drugs, treatments, and diagnostics. When she’s not at work, you can often find Mary Jo out running, tending to her vegetable garden, and cooking. She is also interested in herbs, spices, and medicinal plants. She earned her bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Reed College, and she was awarded her PhD in Chemistry and Chemical Physics from Northwestern University. Afterwards, Mary Jo completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago and subsequently a NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship at Tel-Aviv University in Israel. She joined the faculty at Northeastern University in 1980. Mary Jo was awarded the Outstanding Native American Student Mentor in 2018 from the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and she has been dedicated to advocacy and activism for underrepresented communities in science and society, as well as conservation and stewardship of the Earth. In our interview, she shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 705_Mary_Jo_Ondrechan_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT



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