Visitor of the Week: Pearl Magala


Meet Pearl Magala of the University of Washington. The postdoctoral fellow is a member of Rachel Klevit's lab. She visits Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for the first time to attend our X-Ray Methods in Structural Biology course, and will be on campus until the end of October. 

What are your research interests? What are you working on?
I work with a bacterial protein called FimH that is implicated in urinary tract infections. I’m interested in understanding how it functions by examining its structural and dynamical properties. This knowledge will be helpful in the development of alternative treatments against bacterial infections as antibiotic treatments are becoming less effective.  

Was there something specific about the X-Ray Methods in Structural Biology course that drew you to apply?
Knowledge of the structure of biological macromolecules is paramount to understanding macromolecular function. X-ray methods have been the cornerstone of macromolecular structure determination for many decades. As an aspiring structural biologist, these methods are a critical tool to have.

What is your key takeaway from the Course?
The x-ray course is incredibly multidimensional in the knowledge that is required to understand how the method works. Within the last four days (of 15), we have covered topics spanning from the physical sciences to biological sciences as well as good lab techniques. 

If someone curious in attending the X-Ray Methods in Structural Biology course asked you for feedback or advice on it, what would you tell him/her?
I unreservedly recommend this course to anyone interested in learning x-ray crystallography. The class size is small and therefore every student gets hands-on experience in the lab as well as help from the instructors. It also covers very many aspects of x-ray crystallography and so a lot of knowledge is acquired. 

What do you like most about your time at CSHL?
CSHL has the best dining experience of any course or conference I have ever attended. 

Pearl received a scholarship from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) to cover a portion of her course tuition. On behalf of Pearl, thank you to NIGMS for supporting and enabling our young scientists to attend a CSHL course where they expand their skills, knowledge, and network.

Thank you to Pearl for being this week's featured visitor. To meet other featured scientists - and discover the wide range of science that takes part in a CSHL meeting or course – go here