Morgan Walker defended her dissertation under the guidance of Dr. Matthew Redinbo on January 13, 2023 and received her PhD. Her dissertation is titled “Structure and Function of Diverse Gut Microbial Enzymes.”
Morgan received her B.S.Chem in Chemistry from the University of Georgia in Athens, GA in 2017. During her time there, she worked with Dr. Arthur Roberts to elucidate differences in P-glycoprotein transport of the opioids methadone and loperamide using biochemical and biophysical methods. She also did two summer internships at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the NIH, both of which used structure-based drug design to target infectious diseases.
These two structural biology experiences motivated Morgan to join Matthew Redinbo’s lab in the Chemistry department at UNC in 2018. Morgan’s graduate work focused on understanding structure, function, and inhibition of gut microbial enzymes using primarily X-ray crystallography. Morgan also received the Molecular and Cellular Biophysics Program certificate. During her time at UNC, Morgan volunteered through the outreach programs DNA Day CONNECT and Shadow A Scientist. She was funded by a NSF GRFP and the UNC Chemistry Venable departmental fellowship. She was also awarded the ACS Women’s Chemists Committee Merck Award and the America Crystallographic Association Margaret C. Etter Student Lecturer Award.
After finishing her PhD at UNC, Morgan will start as a structural biologist at Merck in West Point, PA.