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Undergraduate Research Program



Patrick Kelly

Institution: Rice University
Faculty Mentor: David Baker

Patrick Kelly is a rising junior at Rice University, where he is planning to graduate with a B.S. in chemistry. He has lived in Houston his entire life, but is excited to experience living in Seattle this summer. Patrick is a part of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Exceptional Research Opportunities Program (EXROP). At his home institution, Patrick conducts research in the lab of Dr. Angel Martí, where he investigates the photophysical properties of metal organic frameworks. Patrick is especially interested in the biological applications of chemistry, which is what drew him to apply to the EXROP program. This summer he is working in Dr. David Baker’s lab where he has the chance to integrate his computer science background with his love for chemistry through computational protein design. Outside of research, Patrick enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, golf, and spending time with family and friends.

Donovan Ruiz

Institution: San Francisco State University
Faculty Mentor: David Baker

Donovan is currently a senior studying biochemistry at San Francisco State University. His first research experience occurred after being accepted into the NIH funded Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) program in the summer of 2015. Since then, Donovan has continued to pursue his goal of obtaining a PhD in biochemistry with the intent of working in the area of drug design as his focus of study. Having worked in a total of three different biochemical laboratories thus far, Donovan is now focused on gaining insight into the inner workings of a laboratory whose main goals are attributed to or are more closely associated with health, medicine, or therapeutics in particular. With help from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s EXROP program Donovan has been paired with the Baker lab at the University of Washington’s Institute for Protein Design. His summer work consists of taking an in silico de novo approach towards designing new nano-cage building blocks from docked TIM barrel and monomer repeat proteins in hopes of contributing towards designing larger protein aggregates and assemblies, a major project scheme within the lab.

Joseph Sayad

Institution: City University of New York Hunter College
Faculty Mentor: Jay Shendure

Joseph Sayad is a software developer with a demonstrated history of working in the fields of computer science and bioinformatics. He attends Hunter College as a computer science major and interns at the Bioinformatics Core Infrastructure Lab (BCIL) at the Center of Translational and Basic Research (CTBR). His work at BCIL involves downstream analytics, and interfacing, of nanopore datasets using small compute devices. His personal interests extend from mobile development, machine learning, and genetics to making the perfect cup of coffee! He is working with Vikram Agarwal as at the Shendure Lab for his summer research internship. Joseph is excited to expand upon his interest in genetics and leverage his currents skills in computational analysis to address challenges in the field of genetics.