Keriann M. Backus
Chemistry and Biochemistry
kbackus [at] mednet [dot] ucla [dot] edu
Prof. Backus received her B.S. in Chemistry and B.A. in Latin American Studies from Brown University in 2007. She conducted undergraduate research in inorganic chemistry at Brown in the laboratory of Dr. Amit Basu on the synthesis and characterization of metal coordinating 1,2,3-triazoles. As part of her undergraduate education, she also conducted research in the laboratory of Dr. Tarun Kapoor at Rockefeller University. As a 2007 Rhodes Scholar and an NIH Oxford Cambridge Scholar, her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry was conducted jointly in the laboratories of Dr. Benjamin Davis (Oxford) and Dr. Clifton Barry (NIH, NIAID). Her doctoral research focused on the synthesis and application of trehalose-based chemical probes to label and image Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In 2012 Dr. Backus completed her doctorate and began an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at The Scripps Research Institute in the laboratory of Prof. Benjamin Cravatt. At TSRI she developed chemical proteomics platforms to conduct covalent fragment-based screening at cysteine and lysine residues proteome-wide. Her research focuses on the development of new chemical tools and chemical proteomics methods to study and manipulate the human immune system.