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2023 Fellow

Kira Podolsky

PhD Institution
University of California, San Diego
Postdoctoral institution and lab

Raines Lab, MIT

Kira works at the interface of chemistry and biology, exploring the point at which non-living matter exhibits life-like functions. During her PhD studies, she used chemical approaches to construct artificial cells that model cellular phenomena.

As a Schmidt Science Fellow, Kira will work with Professor Ronald T. Raines at MIT. By pivoting into enzymology to understand the evolution of catalytic protein motifs, Kira’s research will examine the role peptidic catalysts might have played in the origins of life. She aims to extend this work toward the development of peptide therapeutics for neurodegenerative disorders.

By parsing apart intermolecular interactions of life-mimicking assemblies, Kira hopes her research will lead to fundamental insights into human health and disease and the development of novel therapeutics targeting those interactions.