Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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Kim Payne

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Kim PayneI graduated with a BMB major from Penn State in 2006 and subsequently earned my Ph.D. in Integrated Molecular Biology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010. Currently I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Pitt's School of Medicine studying the virus-immune interactions behind herpesvirus-mediated eye disease.

I credit the BMB program and the excellent research opportunities at Penn State for providing me with the background, skills, and attitude needed to continue on to a successful research career in academia.

Upon leaving Penn State, I discovered that my BMB major made me very competitive in the graduate research field. While intense, the broad and comprehensive nature of the BMB curriculum gave me an advantage in graduate school and equipped me with the skills to pursue a larger variety of fields than a standard biology or chemistry background.  Further, the excellent classroom environments and professors, as well as opportunities to participate in outreach activities sparked a desire to share my love of science with fellow students and the public. I have since obtained a Teaching Minor in Biological Sciences and continue to share my enthusiasm for science with future generations.

During my degree I also completed 3.5 years of research in the Hanna-Rose Lab, studying developmental biology with the model organism C. elegans. The opportunity to conduct real research under the outstanding mentorship of Dr. Wendy Hanna-Rose culminated in an undergraduate thesis and cemented my interest in pursuing a research career. To this day, I keep in touch with Dr. Hanna-Rose and several other mentors who are happy to share advice and continue to encourage me as my career progresses.

Publications and References:

Payne K., Sun Q., Sachettini J., Hatfull G.F. (2009) "Mycobacteriophage Lysin B is a novel mycolylarabinogalactan esterase." Mol. Microbiol. 73: 367-381.

Payne K.M. (2010) Doctoral Thesis. "Mycobacteriophage Lysins: Bioinformatic characterization of Lysin A and identification of the function of Lysin B in infection." University of Pittsburgh.

Payne K.M. (2006) Undergraduate Thesis. "Role of EGL-26 in vulval morphogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans." Schreyer Honors College, Pennsylvania State University