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Ryan WhiteCombining Electrochemistry, Biophysics, and Biochemistry
University of California, Santa Barbara
Hello! My name is Ryan White and ever since I was a kid in Farmington, CT, I have been interested in science. As a high school student, I became even more interested in science, and specifically in the field of chemistry. This was only reinforced as I pursued my undergraduate studies in chemistry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. My research interest was sparked while working in the labs of Prof. Royce Murray at UNC-CH. My undergraduate research experience inspired me to attend graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry. At the University of Utah, under the direction of Prof. Henry White, I obtained my Ph.D. in August of 2007. My dissertation research provided me with a background in electrochemistry and device fabrication by focusing on the development and study of nanometer-scaled electrodes and pores for the purpose of single molecule detection. In addition, as a graduate student I enjoyed being a teaching assistant for a quantitative analysis lab and also enjoyed participating in a variety of outreach programs in the community.
As a postdoctoral fellow, I have continued my studies by joining the laboratory of Prof. Kevin Plaxco at the University of California, Santa Barbara. This has allowed me to combine my electrochemistry background with biophysics and biochemistry. In our lab, we are developing rapid, point-of-care diagnostic sensors using a variety of bioengineering strategies. The sensor technology is based on a surface-bound DNA aptamer that undergoes specific target-induced folding. I am interested in furthering this technology so that we can create “patient-centric” devices capable of integration to provide individualized monitoring and treatment in the modern health care realm.
The mentorship I have received as a student and postdoc has undoubtedly aided in my success as a scientist and has furthered my enthusiasm to continue on in this field. Knowing the positive impact that a good mentor can have on their students, I strive to become the best possible mentor I can be with the intention of holding a position at an academic research university. I have enjoyed the opportunity thus far to provide mentorship to high school students, undergraduates and graduate students. I hope that I already have and will continue to inspire students to pursue the sciences.
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