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BCMB alum’s research used in the classroom

During his senior year at Ursinus, BCMB major Tom Seegar (class of 2004) enrolled in Structural Biology with Dr. Rebecca Roberts.  Structural biology is the study of how the shape of a biomolecule, such as a protein, is related to its function.  Tom reached back to Ursinus recently with great news.

“Since enrolling in your structure class I have always wanted to solve a protein structure and can finally claim that accomplishment.  I recently solved the ectodomain of ADAM10 and got it published.”  Not only did he get it published, he got it published in the journal Cell, a top scientific journal. 

Dr. Roberts used his paper during the current offering of Structural Biology.  “We had just discussed how to assess crystal data in class”, shared Roberts, “When I received Tom’s email I decided to use his paper as a case study for the students.”  The students read through his methods and some of the data, using their newly-acquired skills to assess Tom’s protein structure. “It was great to engage current students with the scientific discovery of an alum”. 

After Ursinus, Tom received his Ph.D. in structural biology and has since carried out postdoctoral fellowships at both MIT and Harvard.