Dr. C. Denise Okafor is an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and of Chemistry at Pennsylvania State University. Many of the medications we take work by binding to a particular target and either turning off whatever is causing a problem or turning something on that is not working correctly. Denise’s research examines how small molecules like drugs find and interact with the targets they are supposed to interact with. She is particularly interested in proteins that can be turned on or off by the small molecules/drugs that they bind with. While science is a large part of Denise’s life, she also enjoys reading and writing fiction. Lately, she has been spending much of her free time with her kids, learning dances from Youtube videos and hanging out together. She received her B.S. in biomedical chemistry from Oral Roberts University and was awarded her M.S. in chemistry and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Georgia Institute of Technology. Afterwards, Denise was selected to complete an Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award from the NIH to conduct postdoctoral research at Emory University and teach at Morehouse and Spelman colleges in Atlanta. Denise has received a variety of awards and honors for her work, including a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface, an NSF CAREER Award for early investigators, and the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. In addition, she has been named a Keystone Symposia Fellow and a Kavli Foundation Fellow. In our interview, Denise talks more about her life and science.

Direct download: 731_Denise_Okafor_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT



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