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This biochemist's research focuses on understanding how protein function is regulated by nucleotide binding, using Fourier transform infrared difference spectroscopy and other techniques to investigate the relationship between protein structure and function in Escherichia coli protein, RecA and the yeast protein phosphoglycerate kinase. But don't let that scare you. In Dr. Mac's lab, there's a whole lot of teaching going on. A 1999 White House recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, Gina MacDonald compounds her National Science Foundation-funded research goals with training the nation's next generation of promising young scientists. In her lab, undergraduates share in the hands-on investigation. And, each summer, the 2003 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar awardee is immersed in her lab and in teaching high-school teachers and students and, aided by an interpreter, deaf teachers and college students in ongoing research.
"I was 99.9 percent sure [officials] weren't going to give this award to anybody who wasn't at a major research institution."
— MacDonald on receiving the PECASE award.