Anant Paravastu holds bachelor’s (MIT, 1998) and Ph.D. degrees (UC Berkeley, 2004) in chemical engineering. His Ph.D. research with Jeffrey Reimer focused on using lasers to control nuclear spin polarization in the semiconductor GaAs. From 2004 to 2007, he worked as a postdoc at the Laboratory of Chemical Physics at NIH with Robert Tycko, where he learned to apply nuclear magnetic resonance to structural biology. Paravastu’s early structural biology work focused on amyloid fibrils of the Alzheimer’s β-amyloid peptide. He was part of the team and community that showed that amyloid fibril formation is a complex phenomenon: individual peptides exhibit multiple aggregation pathways capable of producing distinct aggregated structures. Between 2008 and 2015, Paravastu worked as an assistant professor at Florida State University and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. Presently, his laboratory at Georgia Tech pursues three general lines of inquiry: 1) structural analysis of rationally designed peptides and peptide analogs that assemble into nanostructured materials, 2) nonfibrillar aggregates of the Alzheimer’s amyloid-β peptide, and 3) aggregation due to misfolding of proteins driven away from their natural folds.
Rachel Mann Smith is a doctor, epidemiologist, poet and parent trying to make it all work in the middle of the chaos. A Californian by nature and birth, she thinks Atlanta is both too hot and too cold, but she has learned to love the fall foliage.
Julie Marateck uses humor and lightheartedness to share personal stories about being a queer, half-Jew finding her way through childhood in the 80s, career mishaps, and relationships. She produces several shows in Atlanta and has performed throughout the Southeast and NYC. When she’s not on stage, Julie works in advertising and lives with her partner in Atlanta.
Adrian Demeritte is a fourth year PhD graduate student at Emory University from Nassau, Bahamas. His research focuses on combatting fungal and antibiotic resistance, and he hopes to continue his work to help bolster the chemical industry in the Caribbean one day. In his free time he enjoys writing, hiking and experiencing whatever hidden gems Atlanta’s melting pot of cultures has to offer.