Welcome Incoming Chemistry Student, Justin Paterson

On July 9, 2013 by Grad Forum

paterson_thumbnailThis summer the Graduate Forum will be publishing a series of short profiles of incoming graduate students, as a way of introducing new students to the Dartmouth community. A senior graduate student in the new student’s department will write each article. We welcome these graduate students to campus, and we are excited by the varied experiences and research interests that they bring!

The first student in the incoming graduate student series is Justin Paterson. Paterson is a student in the Department of Chemistry. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Paterson earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Berry College in Rome, Georgia. He loves the real-world impact of scientific research and chose to work with Dr. Dominic Qualley during his time as an undergraduate, studying site-directed mutagenesis on the nucleocapsid protein from the bovine leukemia virus.

Paterson came north to Dartmouth because he was attracted by its small size and friendly environment combined with its stellar research opportunities. He hopes to work with Dr. Dale Mierke on a heart disease-related research project that focuses on using protein NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy) to obtain structural information about endothelin receptors. Once their structure is known, it will be used to investigate small molecule inhibitors in drug design studies. Paterson is excited about this research project because he hopes it will have an impact on lowering the rate of heart disease — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 600,000 heart disease-related deaths per year in the United States; that accounts for roughly 1 in 4 people.

When asked how he is liking the Hanover area and graduate student life so far, Paterson remarked that he is enjoying it, and he really appreciates the freedom that graduate school offers. Even though he is a long way from home, he is excited to have the opportunity to be learning the things he loves at such a renowned institution. When he is not studying, Paterson enjoys reading anything and everything!

by Molly Croteau

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