Jeanine Amacher

  • Madden Lab '14

  • Assoc. Professor of Chemistry, Western Washington University

Brief bio and trajectory: I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, where I discovered a passion for science during high school. Going into college, I knew that I would focus in a STEM field, but debated a career in research or medicine. I received my BS in Physics at the University of Oregon (2003-07), where I also minored in Biology and Biochemistry. During my time at UO, I was involved in biophysical and materials science research using the membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin for 3 years, solidifying my aspirations for a career in academic research. Following my undergraduate career, I was a research technician in a neuroscience lab studying pain pathways at Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU) for one year before matriculating at Dartmouth in September 2008. I received my PhD in Biochemistry from Dr. Dean Madden's lab in 2014, where I studied PDZ domain interactions, specifically those that interact with the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). Following my time in New England, I was a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. John Kuriyan's lab at UC Berkeley. In the Kuriyan lab, I studied protein-protein interactions in signaling pathways, e.g., those involving the ubiquitin ligase Cbl and Src family of tyrosine kinases. I was a Jane Coffin Childs fellow during my postdoctoral work, was involved in scientific outreach in local elementary schools, and guest lectured for several classes (including at San Quentin State Prison). In 2017, I started my independent career as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Western Washington University. To date, my lab has 30 current and alumni undergraduate and Master's students. We were initially supported by start-up funds, and are now funded by the NSF (RUI and CAREER grants) and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (Cottrell Scholar Award). I also teach several classes a year, e.g., Biochemistry (including courses focused on protein structure/function and metabolism), Biophysical Chemistry, Biochemistry Lab, and Honors seminar courses (including about the Bioethics of Emergent Technologies like CRISPR/Cas9 and Science in Society (focusing on viral pandemics)).

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