Structure and function studies investigating E. coli oxidative stress response.
Dr. Nikea Pittman is a cryoEM enthusiast and protein biochemist. She uses the lens of structural biology to understand how microbes are able to do what they do best: 1) hijack their host to establish an infection, or 2) escape the immune response. Dr. Pittman’s pathogen hall of fame includes several virus families (parvovirus, poxvirus, alphavirus). However, most recently, she investigates defense systems in E. coli that protect against oxidative stress. Dr. Pittman completed her undergraduate and graduate training at the University of Florida. She now works as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and also leads undergraduate courses at North Carolina A&T State University. Dr. Pittman’s personal goals include combining her roles as researcher and educator to advocate for scientists of color, especially scientists in training. She lives for the thrill of working with a mentee and seeing that “aha” moment when everything clicks. If pretty EM images are involved, well, that’s the icing on the cake.