Assistant Professor Masha Kamenetska receives Patricia Mclellan Leavitt Research Fund
Masha Kamenetska, who holds joint academic appointments of Assistant Professor in Chemistry and Physics and is a member of Boston University’s Materials Science & Engineering Division, was recently awarded the Patricia Mclellan Leavitt Research Fund. This award is designed “to support research of one or more non-tenured junior faculty members, or graduate students, in chemistry or biology at the College of Arts and Sciences. Preference shall be given to female faculty who demonstrate a commitment to encouraging women to study science, or to female graduate students.”
Dr. Kamenetska will use these funds to support her research on the mechanism of gene regulation by nucleosomes. Nucleosomes are the basic unit of chromatin which package DNA inside the nucleus by winding 147 base-pairs around a core of eight histone proteins. They also regulate gene expression by impeding access to the genetic code by transcription machinery. Using single molecule nanomanipulation and spectroscopy techniques, Dr. Kamenetska can probe molecular level structure of biological complexes such as nucleosomes to understand their function. With this award Dr. Kamenetska plans to fund graduate and undergraduate students to develop an optical tweezer instrument which measures force-dependent unwinding of individual nucleosome particles while tracking their position along the DNA. In addition to supporting her lab at this critical early point in her career, this award will also benefit the undergraduate women who will work on this projects during the summer and fall.
Her unique research focus at the nexus of biology, chemistry and physics, and her commitment to encouraging women to participate in science, make her an ideal recipient for this junior faculty award. Congratulations Dr. Kamenetska!