Congratulations to Garrett Ginell for being selected for the 2022 MilliporeSigma Fellowship
Garrett Ginell is a fourth-year graduate student in the Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology (BBSB) program. He is completing his Ph.D. thesis work in the lab of Dr. Alex Holehouse (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics), where he is applying and developing theoretical and computational methods to understand how chemical features encoded in intrinsically disordered proteins determine their propensity to interact with one another.
Garrett received a B.A in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Cornell College, IA, in 2018. He then joined the Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis as part of the BBSB program. Prior to his Ph.D., Garrett engaged in research straddling structural characterization of Ebola viral proteins and developing computational tools for bioinformatic analysis.
Garrett’s thesis work combines computational biophysical and bioinformatics to understand how protein sequence drives IDR-mediated interactions. To conduct high-throughput proteome-wide sequence analysis, Garrett developed a collection of bioinformatic tools, which he has applied to investigate a range of different biological questions, focusing predominantly on intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs). In particular, Garrett’s work has focused on decoding the residues or regions within IDRs that drive labile molecular interactions (so-called “stickers”). Garrett’s thesis work investigates how the identity, chemistry, and position of stickers tune IDR conformational behavior and the propensity of IDRs to self-assemble via phase separation. He has also explored how these interactions are tuned by the solution environment, exploring the hypothesis that IDRs can function as molecular sensors.
Garrett currently serves on the Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics departmental Student Liaison Committee, where he assists in coordinating Science Friday. He also helped to establish a science communication award for early-career Ph.D. students. Garrett formerly served as an advisor and the director of operations for The Biotechnology and Life Sciences Advising (BALSA) Group, and is currently a biotechnology venture capital fellow for Breakout Ventures