Courtney Thomas

Courtney Thomas is currently a visiting chemistry professor here at the Mount. Outside of her time spent in the classroom here, she spends her time as a Ph.D. student at Howard University. A lot of her time at Howard University is dedicated to conducting biochemistry research in their labs. Courtney was able to present in the School of Natural Science and Mathematics’ Undergraduate Seminar Series to further elaborate on her research. She most specifically does research on the protein Calreticulin. This protein is often referred to as a chaperone protein, meaning it binds to misshapen proteins and “flags” them for disassembly by the cell. Courtney has come very far in her research, she has been able to determine how the protein functions within the cell, as well as the overall function of the protein. Though the structure and function of Calreticulin are very complex, it has some real life applications that are very useful. Calreticulin could potentially play a great role in cancer treatment. When the protein comes to the surface of a cancer cell, it shows which cells need to be targeted by the immune system. This process be a great benefit to a patient with cancer.