Structural and functional consequences of age-related isomerization in α-crystallins

Miranda P. Collier

Current position: Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, California

Education: Ph.D. in Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, 2018, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

Can you describe an exciting moment you experienced while doing this research?

I was looking into how age-related serine epimerization affects the ability of abundant protein complexes in the eye lens to properly interact with each other. The first time I did the experiment, it was the end of the day and I had to travel to a conference the next morning, so I assumed I would be doing a quick feasibility check and trying again later. But the effect was so striking, I remember I stayed late on the mass spec to convince myself and emailed the others soon after.

What do you hope to do next?

My postdoctoral work, in Judith Frydman's lab, will focus on protein quality control in aging and neurodegeneration. I want to better understand why proteostasis capacity declines across our lifespan, and how these changes affect the ability of cells to cope with different proteotoxic stressors, ultimately defining mechanisms to target in the treatment of neurodegenerative protein misfolding diseases.

Where do you seek scientific inspiration?

From colleagues—in addition to advice and perspective, engaging with their interests and successes is the best refresher for me in moments of stagnation.

Read Collier's article on page 7546.

This Article

  1. JBC May 10, 2019 vol. 294 no. 19 7546-7555
  1. Free via Open Access: OA
  2. Supporting Information
  3. ? Author profile: Miranda P. Collier
  4. Author profile: Yana A. Lyon

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