Congratulations to INBRE Project Leader and Bates assistant professor Lori Banks, Ph.D., who has been cited as one of 1,000 inspiring black scientists in the United States by Cell Mentor, a resource that supports and empowers early-career researchers. Bank’s INBRE-supported research explores the biochemical features of viroporin proteins from pathogenic viruses, like rotavirus, with the potential to impact prevention of reduction of viral infectious disease.
Banks was also awarded a Periclean Faculty Leadership Program (PFL)™ in STEM and Social Sciences Award during this past year. This teaching grant, which is supported by The Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, will aid the development of a new Cellular Biochemistry course at Bates College.
Banks arrived in Maine in 2019 after receiving her Ph.D. and conducting postdoctoral research at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. At a small liberal arts institution like Bates, says Banks, “you get to interact with students differently than you would at a larger kind of school. There’s a different kind of connection, a different vested interest in the success of the students.” That connection “seemed to be especially strong here,” a factor that attracted her to Bates.
Banks’ research has focused on the fact that identifying and characterizing the most important of host-pathogen interactions gives us the starting point for most drug design, with a chance to create new medicine. The focus of the Banks Lab at Bates is to understand the key structural features of selected microbial proteins that can be exploited in the design of new anti-microbial agents.
Banks Lab at Bates
Photo and quote credits to Bates College