Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Student Profile: Allison Judge

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Allison Judge

I joined the Chemical, Physical, and Structural Biology department in 2018. Before joining, I graduated from Millsaps College with degrees in chemistry and music, then worked in an immunology lab at Vanderbilt University Medical Center studying inflammatory pathways in diabetic mice.

I entered my rotations at BCM open-minded, ready to find a scientific question that interested me. This led me to join the Palzkill Lab, where we use antibiotic resistance enzymes as a model system to answer both basic and translational scientific questions. My research leans toward the basic science side, addressing how amino acid interactions affect enzyme structure, function, and evolution by characterizing about 50,000 mutants of my model enzyme. The tools I often use in the lab include NGS sequencing, enzyme kinetics, and X-ray crystallography. Thanks to the facilities and expertise within our lab and at BCM, the scale of this project is possible (and definitely less pain-staking).

After graduating, I’m planning to pursue a teaching-intensive career in academia. Fortunately, I’ve been able to give a few guest lectures, attend pedagogy workshops, and network with BCM alumni to prepare me.

Outside of lab, I play in a soccer league with other grad students, plus I’ll join a few other sports as part of the pick-up sports group (PUGS) at BCM. While living here, I’ve loved getting to explore Texas: national parks, wineries, concerts, sports—not to mention the incredible Houston food scene.