I was born in New York in 1985. My family relocated to Manassas, Virginia in 1989 and has lived there ever since. I attended Osbourn Park Senior High School, graduating in 2003 as the class valedictorian. My older sister graduated from Virginia Tech that same semester with a degree in Computer Science; her love for the school turned my attention to Hokie Town. I entered Virginia Tech the following Fall, initially as a Biology major. I changed my major to Biochemistry prior to the beginning of classes that semester. I graduated as a member of the Class of 2007 with a B.S. in Biochemistry, Summa Cum Laude.

I began undergraduate research as a sophomore in Fall of 2004 in the laboratory of David Bevan in the Department of Biochemistry. I completed three years of undergraduate reseach with him and continued to work in his lab to complete my Ph.D. in May, 2012. My specialty has been molecular dynamics simulations, and I have studied systems containing the major cellular macromolecules - DNA, proteins, and membranes. I worked in the Bevan lab until May, 2013 when I relocated to Maryland to take a postdoctoral position in Alex MacKerell's lab.

I also have research experience with in vitro and in vivo systems. In the Summer of 2006, I participated in a research internship with Dr. Korinn Saker and Dr. Amy Tanner at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. We investigated the effects of antioxidant supplementation on both feline weight loss and the growth of tumor cells. It was through this experience that I learned of the relationship between oxidative stress and disease, which was a main theme in my work for some time. This experience also furthered my interest in molecular mechanisms of disease and how different techniques, both experimental and computational, could be utilized to design and optimize drugs to affect these mechanisms. During my Ph.D. work, I was particularly interested in the effect of antioxidants in ameliorating the effects of the amyloid β-peptide as it relates to Alzheimer's disease. We designed simulations to model the aggregation pathway of this peptide and molecules that may inhibit it.

On the personal side, I married my wife Kelly on June 27, 2009. The ceremony was held in the Horticulture Gardens on the Virginia Tech campus. Kelly recently graduated with her DVM from VMRCVM and is now a veterinarian in Maryland. Much of our attention is focused on our two dogs, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Scout and a Chihuahua named Queso. They keep us entertained and tired out, as they seem to have an endless supply of energy. I enjoy playing guitar in my free time. I also play violin, but have become somewhat rusty over the years. I am a huge fan of Hokie football and spend most of my Saturdays watching or attending college football games. I have been a lifelong Orioles fan and I am thrilled to be working just a few blocks away from Camden Yards.

Copyright 2013-2016 by Justin Lemkul