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Group Members

Allison Walker Raven Dean
Assistant Professor 3rd Year Graduate Student
allison.s.walker AT vanderbilt DOT edu raven.t.dean AT vanderbilt DOT edu
Ph.D. Chemistry, Yale University B.S. Chemistry, Georgia Southern University
B.S. Chemistry, Brown University
Allison’s fun facts: Raven’s fun facts:
I’ve loved science and computers since I was a kid. Now, I’ve combined my interests by applying machine learning to chemical biology. I also enjoy applying machine learning and statistics to fun problems like predicting Oscar winners or fantasy sports. I am a hardcore casual partaker of video games, kpop, and anime. My favorite neurotransmitter is GABA. I am a night owl and a homebody. I was originally going to focus in organic synthesis before I decided to join the Walker group during the 1st year rotation.
Christine Ancajas Dalton Boutwell
2nd Year Graduate Student 2nd Year Graduate Student
(joint with Buchanan Lab)
christine.mae.f.ancajas AT vanderbilt DOT edu dalton.r.boutwell AT vanderbilt DOT edu
B.S. Chemistry, University of Richmond M.S. Chemistry, Kennesaw State University
B.S. Chemistry, Kennesaw State University
Christine’s fun facts: Dalton’s fun facts:
My undergraduate research focused on utilizing computational chemistry to study diradical species and their applications in therapeutics. This sparked my interests in complementing computational work with experimental studies to study natural products. My hobbies include hiking, exploring new cuisines, and arts and crafts. I also love eating mangoes because they remind me of home. I enjoy playing video games, Pathfinder 2e, watching anime, fishing, cooking, and reading. Science Fiction and Fantasy are my favorite TV/Movie genres. I joined the Buchanan and Walker labs after my 1st year rotations with them, combining my interests in computational chemistry and 2D-IR Spectroscopy.
Marshall (Zihao) Cheng Abiodun Samuel Oyedele
2nd Year Graduate Student 2nd Year Graduate Student
(joint with Yang Lab)
zihao.cheng AT vanderbilt DOT edu Abiodun.s.oyedele AT vanderbilt DOT edu
M.S. Biotechnology, New York University M.S. Chemistry, Tennessee State University
B.A. Pharmaceutical Engineering, Tianjin University B.S. Biochemistry, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria
Marshall’s fun facts: Samuel’s fun facts:
I am a classical music lover. I played the first chair violin in my college symphony orchestra and used to be the only science majored musician in NYU orchestra. I love molecular biology and I worked as a protein purification associate scientist during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am fascinated by the combination of chemistry, molecular biology and machine learning. Therefore, I was super excited to join the Walker group where my research interests are perfectly fulfilled. In my spare time, I enjoy listening to music (mostly country gospel songs), playing ping pong (table tennis), and networking. I was majorly trained as a synthetic chemist during my master’s degree. Since I am passionate about drug discovery and design, I explored several labs during my rotations, but my interest peaked toward computational and chemical biology, because I imagine a future reliant on the use of these powerful tools in drug development. Therefore, I joined Walker Lab.
Clay Tydings
2nd Year Graduate Student
(joint with Meiler Lab)
claiborne.w.tydings AT vanderbilt DOT edu
B.A. Chemistry, Carleton College
Clay’s fun facts:
In the lab, I love making machine learning models and learning about peptides with non canonical amino acids. When I am not in the lab, you might find me running around Nashville. Additionally, I am a house plant and cajun cuisine enthusiast.
Max Beck Carol He
Undergraduate BCB Major Undergraduate Computer Science Major
Max’s fun facts: Carol’s fun facts:
In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, attending local farmers’ markets, and running. I am passionate about drug discovery and specifically interested in the intersection between computational and chemical biology. The Walker Lab offered the ideal opportunity to explore this interdisciplinary field and investigate my scientific curiosities. I enjoy watching sitcoms, playing board games, and being with my older sister’s seven cats. I love everything Disney and am willing to challenge anyone at Subway Surfers. I joined the Walker lab because I am very interested in how chemistry and computer science can intersect.
North Hopper Oghosa Omobude
Undergraduate Molecular and Cellular Biology Major Undergraduate Molecular & Cellular Biology and Creative Writing Double Major
North’s fun facts: Oghosa’s fun facts:
I started in the Walker lab my sophomore year with interests in drug discovery and genomics. My main hobbies are DND, running, video games, and watching sports. I also like comic books and fantasy novels and my favorite band is The Mountain Goats. Although I am interested in biological sciences and medical field-related research, I also love fine arts! I’ve played bassoon, saxophone, and sousaphone, and I also love theatre! Some of my extracurriculars on campus include theatre, reading, writing, and volunteering with kids; I enjoy writing everything from poetry to short stories and the occasional screenplay.
Marina Shi Isra Shuster
Undergraduate Chemical Biology and Engineering Science Double Major Undergraduate Biochemistry Major
Marina’s fun facts: Isra’s fun facts:
I’m allergic to household pets and can’t keep plants alive, so I culture bacteria (nature’s best chemists) instead. In the past, I’ve also studied the structural biophysics of switchable transcription factors. When I’m not cloning, you can find me dancing, writing, enjoying D&D, and testing my caffeine tolerance. My favorite organic compound is Vanillin and my favorite amino acid is phenylalanine. I love watching reality TV and medical dramas.