Nikea Pittman PhD
Dr. Nikea Pittman is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She utilizes cryo-electron microscopy to visualize proteins by capturing snapshots of their three-dimensional structures. Her current work focuses on an uncharacterized class of membrane proteins, which are involved in seemingly disparate functions (ranging from protein quality control to reactive chlorine resistance) among humans and proteobacteria. In addition, she uses these images to initiate conversations with early career college students and to recruit young minds to pursue science careers. Through effective mentoring, Nikea strives to help students overcome barriers that would leave otherwise marginalized groups on the outskirts of academia. Beginning in 2019 her efforts were recognized by selection for an IRACDA fellowship through the Seeding Postdoctoral Innovators in Research and Education (SPIRE) program, which supports her goal of equipping undergraduates to effectively learn biochemistry both inside and outside of the classroom.