Brea Tinsley, a senior majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Spanish and Mathematics, spent the past summer at Rutgers working for the RCSB Protein Data Bank. Brea's project this summer was focused on the structural and mutant analysis of SARS-CoV-2 proteins.
She did this in order to identify proteins that could be possible drug targets to combat the COVID-19 global pandemic. Analysis of proteins was done using molecular modeling, bioinformatics tools, and programming software.
Brea learned a completely new skill set during this experience- how to use various bioinformatics tools and molecular modeling- and also learned how those tools can be used to lead to drug discovery and development.
Brea also learned not to take anything for granted. Many of the REUs this summer were cancelled; however, Rutgers University worked very hard to create a virtual experience for all students involved, and she is grateful that she was a part of this experience. Currently, Brea, her advisors and group members are working on a publication for this project.
Brea expects to graduate in May 2021. After graduation, she plans on pursuing a Ph.D in Toxicology or Endocrinology. In the future, she would like to do research on diabetes and other metabolic diseases.