MIT Department: Biology
My name is Sheena Vasquez, and I am a Caribbean descendent that considers home to be the East Coast of the U.S. and The Bahamas. I earned my A.S. in Chemistry from Georgia Perimeter College and my B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Georgia. I am currently a third-year Biology Ph.D. student in Prof. Cathy Drennan’s lab at MIT which uses biophysical and structural biology techniques to understand metalloproteins and radical-based chemistry. My current projects revolve around structurally characterizing proteins involved in carotenoid biosynthesis and the cytosolic iron-sulfur cluster assembly pathway using X-ray crystallography, cryogenic-electron microscopy, and other biophysical techniques. I am also involved in various mentoring programs at MIT and in the Boston/Cambridge area including MSRP, and I have served as a teaching assistant for the MIT Introductory Biology Course 7.014 and Introduction to Molecular Biology Techniques Course 7.102. When I am not in lab, I enjoy taking nature and landscape photos, playing the guitar, kayaking/being on boats, and attending local live music events. After graduate school, I plan on becoming a professor who is dedicated to diversity and inclusion in STEM.